Recovering Compensation for Dental Malpractice
When you seek treatment from a dentist, regardless of the nature of your condition, you expect that the dentist and the dentist’s office will provide a certain minimum level of care. Unfortunately, in far too many situations, that does not happen. Some studies show that 15% of medical malpractice claims include some level of dental malpractice. If you have been negligently cared for by a dental technician, a dentist or any employee at a dental office or dental care facility, you have a right to seek damages for all your losses.
What Does Dental Malpractice Look Like?
Many of the components of dental malpractice are similar to other types of medical malpractice. Dental malpractice can include:
- Performing the wrong type of procedure, or working on the wrong tooth
- Negligence in providing anesthesia
- Failure to properly diagnose a condition, or misdiagnosis of a condition
- Failure to use minimally accepted standards of care during a dental procedure
In a study conducted by the insurance company CNA, claims paid for dental malpractice between 2005 and 2008 were pretty equally divided. Cases involving crowns included 14.2% of all claims paid, while surgical extractions (13.7%), root canal therapy (13.6%) and simple extractions (12.1%) accounted for similar percentages of claims.
Common examples of dental malpractice injuries include:
- Temporary or permanent loss of sensation in your tongue, jaw, chin or lips, including loss of sense of taste
- Temporary or permanent structural injuries to chin, lips, tongue or jaw caused by negligence in surgical or other procedures
- TMJ (temporo mandibular joint) problems caused by dental work
- Failure to treat or diagnose oral cancer
- Hypoxia or wrongful death due to negligent administration of anesthesia
- Loss of teeth due to failure to diagnose or treat periodontal disease
- Infection or injury resulting from misuse of dental tools, including drills, picks, lasers and implants
If, as a result of dental malpractice, you have been unable to work, have incurred significant medical expense, or have experienced substantial pain and suffering, you can seek damages for those losses.