When a person thinks about medical malpractice they often think about when a doctor removes the wrong limb, fails to diagnose a deadly disease, or when a patient goes in for routine treatment and disastrous results ensue. They don’t usually think about their visit to the Dentist, or complications that may have arisen during their visit.
Dentists can be liable for the same level of negligence as medical doctors. All Dentists are held to a community standard of care, similar to other medical professionals. Dental malpractice can have the same long term financial, emotional and physical, short term or long term complications as any other medical professional .
Dental malpractice can occur during a routine visit, as easily as during a planned dental procedure. Some examples of dental malpractice includes issues relating to; defective oral devices, tongue or nerve damage during oral surgery that can affect the ability to taste, complications arising from dental crowns, bridges or root canals, improperly performed root canal, failure to consider a patients prior dental or medical history before performing procedures, failure to consider a patients medication history or allergies prior to a procedure or prescribing a medication, anesthesia complications, the unnecessary extraction of a tooth, or even the extraction of the wrong tooth.
Dental malpractice can have serious long term effects on the patient or the patients family. Poor dental outcomes can become expensive, and cause physical and emotional pain. Nerve damage to a tooth is one of the most common outcomes of dental malpractice. Nerve damage can occur from a traumatic event as well as from irritation during a procedure or even from a routine cleaning. Nerve damage presents itself with pain and sensitivity while biting or chewing, as well as a new sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks that was not present prior to the dental visit. Nerve damage may or may not be accompanied by swelling of the gums or face. If any of these signs or symptoms occur after a dental visit, there may be damage to the nerves of the teeth that require further treatment and repair.
Another common form of dental malpractice occurs when the dentist removes or extracts the incorrect tooth, or fails to extract a tooth when extraction is necessary. The failure to extract a diseased tooth can cause long term pain and infection, as well as the loss of other teeth within the mouth. Long term infections can cause the need for painful and expensive root canals, painful dental implants, or painful and expensive dental surgeries to try to cure the infection and save the remaining teeth.
An experienced attorney, such as the attorneys at Stein and Shulman can fully and completely evaluate your past and present dental records, as well as any subsequent medical or dental care needed, to determine whether a case exists. Call the experienced attorneys at Stein and Shulman today at (312) 422-0500, to receive a free consultation and review of your dental records.