Malpractice is applicable to more than physicians or surgeons. Dentists can also be sued if they are found negligent in their practice. To prove dental malpractice, you have to be able to convince a jury that you were injured as a result of a dentist’s sub-standard care. Just as in medical malpractice, which is a type of negligence lawsuit, any case you put forth must be built upon a four factors.
Four Aspects of a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit
Some consider the causation aspect of a case the most important in terms of proving dental malpractice. You have to be able to show that your dentist’s actions or inaction “caused” your injury. In other words, if your injury would’ve occurred whether or not your dentist performed the actions they performed, then you cannot easily prove causation. This will make putting together a dental malpractice suit very difficult, if not impossible. However, if you can easily prove that one action caused the other, you will be in good shape in terms of building a successful case.
Breach of Duty
Part of proving causation is to show that your dentist breached their duty. That simply means they did not provide the care they should. They were below the standard of competent care. However, creating a dental malpractice case isn’t always cut and dry. Sometimes, proving a breath of duty is difficult. When the case isn’t as easy to determine, your lawyer will likely get another dentist within the same specialty to testify regarding the breach of duty in order to prove your case. Conversely, a clear example of breach of duty could include a dentist causing nerve damage through an injection or your dentist extracting the wrong tooth.
When determining breach of duty in terms of malpractice, you must first understand the definition of a dentist’s duty. In short, your dentist must perform to the same level as other dentists within their field of practice. If they fail to do so, they have committed a breach of their duty, which was just explained. When this happens, you have a good chance of creating a successful dental malpractice case.
The last aspect of a dental malpractice case is damages. You simply can’t build a dental malpractice case if you haven’t accrued damages as a result of the mistake. For example, you might have broken teeth or nerve damage due to your dentist’s error, and have absorbed the costs associated with fixing your dentist’s mistake. These expenses and the pain and suffering associated with dealing with the problem are your damages.
Putting a Case Together
all four of the aspects listed above. Consider these elements the four blocks you need to build your malpractice case. Without even one block, you will have a harder time building your case. However, even with all four building blocks present, you still need to seek the help of an experienced attorney to help you create an airtight case.
Common Dental Malpractice Cases
Any dental procedure can result in a case of malpractice. However, there are some specific treatments that tend to result in malpractice more often than others. In terms of understanding dental malpractice, it is good to educate yourself on these procedures.
In the case of a botched tooth extraction, infection and nerve damage are the most common problems. Some of these injuries are permanent, while others require additional, extensive care.
Infections are a big risk during an endodontic procedure. Endodontic procedures include root canals and more invasive surgeries and dental implants. In most dental malpractice cases involving endodontic dentistry, complications such as sinus and nerve perforations, infections, air embolisms and instruments being left in canals are the impetus to a dental malpractice case.
Infections are once again the most likely cause of problems when it comes to dental implants. However, issues can also arise when the practicing dentist was undereducated in regards to the procedure and didn’t perform it properly.
Crown Installation or Bridge Treatment
In malpractice cases involving these procedures, patients are usually required to have a full mouth reconstruction. Of course, this is a pricey mistake to say the least. Usually, dentists who are charged with malpractice when performing these procedures are undereducated and are not performing the procedure correctly.
Good dentists don’t run from malpractice suits. Instead, they seek to practice honorably so they are never accused of negligence. They also appreciate the courts removing dentists from practice who are harming patients. So, if you think you might have the makings of a dental malpractice case, perhaps as a result of a botched procedure that was mentioned above, contact our reputable malpractice attorneys to begin building your case today.