Dental Malpractice

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dental malpractice is categorized by injury as the result of negligent dental work, as well as the failure to correctly diagnose or treat adverse oral conditions. Dental malpractice also includes any intentional misconduct acted upon a patient by a dental care provider.  Overall, in order to bring a possible dental malpractice lawsuit, one must prove that the dental care provider departed from the accepted standards of medical care, in such a way that other doctors with the same medical training would find the medical care unacceptable.

A dental care provider must at all times obtain a patient's consent for any treatment he enacts.Treatment that exceeds the consent given may be grounds for a dental malpractice lawsuit.  However, results of a medical procedure cannot be guaranteed and a lawsuit may not be brought because a patient was unhappy with the results of a treatment.

Forms of Dental Malpractice

Dental Malpractice cases can come in many forms. They can cause injury via the misuse of analgesics, anesthetics, antibiotics and sedatives.  Negligent dental care providers can also insist on costly procedures that are not necessary.  The most common cases of dental malpractice include:

  • · Facial paralysis
  • · Problems with cavity fillings
  • · Dental-related surgical errors
  • · Root canal errors
  • · Chronic pain
  • · Failure to detect an oral disease or malformation
  • · Use of defective dental products
  • · Injury to oral cavity or surrounding bone structure and tissue
  • · Improper use of dental or surgical utensils
  • · Performing unnecessary procedures
  • · Wrongful death caused by dental procedure

It is also possible for a dental care provider to exploit the insurance system for the physician's benefit.A dentist might perform many non-required or even unnecessary diagnostics and follow-up exams just to get more insurance money.  Though rare, such conduct falls under dental malpractice.

How to Prove Dental Malpractice

As in many malpractice cases, having well written documented evidence is helpful. Documented evidence helps build credibility for a claim as well as remind the patient of events he might have forgotten.  A journal of the events and symptoms of a patient is a good source of documentation.  Dental records, which include the symptoms and injuries the patient has incurred, are also helpful in building a dental malpractice case.  Remember, it is important that the documentation portray the patient’s actions as having good intentions, in case the defense argues that the patient was attempting to bring a lawsuit from the start.

Contact an Attorney

In court, the accused negligent dental care provider will have attorneys that will try to refute and devalue your case. Having a medical malpractice attorney experienced in dental malpractice matters will help fight and counter the testimony given by the dental care provider. If you or a loved one have experienced what you believe may be considered dental malpractice, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney right away to ensure your legal rights are protected.

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Accidents & Injuries