If you have suffered damage to your gums during a routine dental cleaning, Arizona Dental Law Group can help. To learn more, call us at 602-833-4200.

Gum Damage after Dental Cleaning: Can I File a Lawsuit?

dental malpractice scottsdale az

Professional dental cleaning is recommended for all patients at least once per year. This appointment is a more intensive version of cleaning your teeth at home and your dentist or hygienist will use special tools to remove plaque from all of the areas of your mouth – including your teeth and gums. They also remove tartar – which is hardened plaque that can only be removed using specialist equipment. Regular dental cleans can help to keep gum disease at bay and protect your oral health and wellbeing.

When gum damage occurs during dental cleaning

It is normal for the gums to feel a little sore following a professional dental cleaning. This is because, even when carried out gently, the gums may be sore from the inflammation that was initially caused by the accumulation of plaque on the teeth and soft tissues. However, if the dentist or hygienist performing the clean doesn’t pay proper attention to what they are doing, or if they don’t have the relevant skills to carry out the clean properly, there is a chance that you could suffer damage to your gums.

Gum damage during dental cleanings is usually caused by:

  • Use of improper equipment

  • Improper handling of equipment

  • Lack of care and attention

  • Lack of professional skill and competency

Most injuries and damage sustained are cuts and abrasions to the soft tissue, followed by a recession of the gums caused by harsh cleaning that has forced the gums away from the teeth. This recession also increases the risk of dental problems in the future since the gaps between the teeth and gums provide perfect breeding spots for bacteria and are very hard to reach with a toothbrush or other at-home cleaning equipment. Patients could also experience damage to the nerves found within the gums that could cause them problems in the future.

Can I make a malpractice claim for gum damage sustained during a dental cleaning?

Most gum-based malpractice lawsuits stem from the dentist’s failure to adequately diagnose and treat gum disease. However, this isn’t to say that you don’t have a case for damage sustained during a dental cleaning. We review every patient’s case on an individual basis to determine if you can file a lawsuit for dental malpractice. For your case to be considered strong, you will have to show that:

  • your dentist had a duty of care to you.

  • they failed to meet this duty of care.

  • you have sustained measurable damages as a result of the injuries/trauma that occurred.

Measurable damages take several different forms – special and general damages. Special damages refer to economic losses directly related to the injury that can be documented and calculated. These could include medical bills, lost income, and out-of-pocket expenses, such as prescription medications and traveling costs for medical appointments. General damages refer to non-economic losses that include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.

If you have suffered damage to your gums during a routine dental cleaning, you could potentially have a case for malpractice and could be eligible for compensation. Call us today for your free, no-obligation case review.