Common Dental Negligence Lawsuits
Dental negligence refers to an avoidable injury that is caused by a dentist who fails to take the proper care. Unfortunately, even if you spend time choosing the best possible dentist you can afford, it doesn’t always mean that everything is going to go perfectly with every visit. Whether it’s your dentist becoming distracted, trying to use a technique that they aren’t properly trained in, failing to maintain their equipment, or not carrying out the right treatment for you, there are many things that can potentially go wrong. And if you are caused avoidable harm, that’s viewed as dental negligence.
There are countless dental negligence lawsuits in the United States in the common, and no two are exactly the same. Nevertheless, here are a few of the most common.
Most dental procedures require the use of a local anesthetic, which stops you from feeling any pain during your procedure. This is usually provided in the form of an injection of Novocaine which numbs the soft tissues around where your procedure is being performed. In the case of serious or extensive treatment, a general anesthetic may be required.
Before any anesthesia can be used, the dentist and/or anesthetist should review the patient’s medical history to check that there aren’t any pre-existing health conditions that may increase the risk of complications. Complications arising from anesthetic include a reaction to the anesthetic itself, the patient being given out-of-date drugs, misapplication of the anesthetic, and the anesthetic failing to work. All of these could result in pain or more serious complications.
Crown or Bridge Complications
Crowns and bridges are two of the most common restorations for teeth that are badly damaged or decayed. Before you can get a dental restoration, your dentist will need to carefully plan the restoration to make sure that it fits properly, functions properly, and looks natural. Unfortunately, if your dentist fails to plan properly, or if they don’t have the skills to complete the treatment to the highest standard, you may experience problems. These could include incorrect sizing that impacts on surrounding teeth or an uncomfortable fit.
Our mouths are full of nerves and nerve endings, and this means that when your dentist carries out work on your teeth and gums, they must use exceptional skill and accuracy to ensure that they avoid causing damage. If your dentist doesn’t have the level of knowledge or experience needed to be able to carry out work without damaging these nerves, you are more at risk of experiencing an injury to the nerves found in the mouth. This can result in pain, and the risk of further problems if your nerve damage prevents you from feeling things – for example, you could accidentally burn your mouth if you can’t detect how hot something is.
Failure to Diagnose / Misdiagnosis
Even though dentists are trained to identify, diagnose and treat dental problems, there are occasions where things may get missed. This is particularly true if you choose an inexperienced or otherwise sub-standard dentist or one who is distracted during your regular appointments.
Substandard and negligent dentists could also misdiagnose a problem, causing you to have a treatment you don’t actually need and resulting in unnecessary pain and expense.
Tooth Extraction Complications
If a tooth is so badly damaged or decayed that it cannot be saved, or if you have a tooth that has become impacted, your dentist may have no alternative but to remove it. There are a number of things that could potentially go wrong during a planned extraction including:
Your tooth coming apart during the extraction
Fragments of tooth left in the gum (which can cause infection)
Wound infection during the healing process
The wrong tooth is extracted
If you suffer a complication as a result of a problem during routine tooth extraction due to the incompetence of your dentist, you may have a case for dental negligence.
Sterility and sanitization are just as important in a dentist’s office as it is in a hospital emergency room. Unfortunately, if your dentist fails to properly follow proper hygiene, sanitation, and sterilization requirements, harmful microorganisms can remain present in the room and on furniture, equipment, and hands that can pass between patients. This increases the risk of infections following your procedure. All dentists should adhere to strict cleanliness and sanitization standards to ensure that they are prioritizing their patient’s care.
If you feel that you have received substandard dental care as a result of negligence, and you can provide that your dentist or dental professional didn’t fulfill their duty of care, you could have a case for dental malpractice. Please schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with our team of experienced and knowledgeable dental malpractice team today.
For more on common dental negligence lawsuits, visit Arizona Dental Law Group in Scottsdale, AZ. Call (602) 833-4200 today.