Dental Cleaning Injuries: What to Look Out For
Your dental professional has a duty of care to provide the best possible care to their patients. However, there are instances when this fails to happen. This is known as dental negligence or malpractice and can lead to serious consequences for your dental health and even your general wellbeing. Any case where a dentist has performed poorly, negligently or inappropriately which results in avoidable harm being caused to a patient can potentially lead to a viable compensation claim.
Dental cleaning injuries can vary in severity. Some injuries may appear minor, but others can result in life-changing injuries. How do you know if you have suffered a dental cleaning injury? Here are some of the most common varieties to look out for:
Broken restoration or device
Despite our best efforts to take care of them, teeth rarely stay in perfect condition forever and most people who undergo a professional cleaning will have at least one restoration. However, being heavy-handed during cleaning and not taking due care can cause restorations or devices such as a bridge or brace to become damaged and broken and require replacement.
Damage to teeth
Unsurprisingly, the damage that occurs to the teeth themselves is a common problem in negligent cleaning appointments. Not paying proper attention or not having the relevant skills can see teeth actually being damaged by the tools used to clean them. In some cases, this damage can necessitate significant treatment to repair the tooth – such as a crown to cover a chip or crack caused by poor cleaning.
Cuts and lacerations
If proper care and attention aren’t applied to the process or the equipment used isn’t up to standard, there is a risk that the patient could become injured. Scratches, cuts, and other lacerations to the soft tissue are among the most common types of dental cleaning injuries. Particularly severe cuts can sever nerves and cause long-term neurological issues for patients that impact on the quality of their day to day life.
Swallowing/ingesting a foreign object
Small tools are often used to perform dental procedures, including cleanings. If these tools aren’t in good condition, they could break, and part of the instrument could potentially be swallowed and ingested. There have even been occurrences whereby foreign bodies have been dropped into the mouth and caused choking or even been swallowed completely. Unsurprisingly, the risk of injury increases with the size of the swallowed object, as well as with its sharpness (if applicable).
Patients who have suffered a dental injury as a result of negligence are more likely to develop anxiety about visiting a dental professional in the future, making it difficult or even impossible to receive the level of care and attention that they should. This could have a direct impact on their long-term dental health, as well as putting their overall health at risk. This is because research has found that patients who don’t visit their dentist regularly and are found to have poor dental health are more likely to develop gum disease. Advanced gum disease is a common factor in patients who have been diagnosed with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more.
If you have suffered from a dental injury as a result of negligence during cleaning, you could be eligible to claim for compensation. Call us today to schedule your case review.