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How do you know if you’re the victim of dental malpractice?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Dental Injuries And Malpractice |

Going to the dentist is never a pleasant experience. If you’re getting any kind of serious dental work done either by a dentist or specialist like an orthodontist or periodontist, you can expect to be in pain during and for a while afterwards – at least once any anesthesia or pain meds wear off. 

It can sometimes be difficult to recognize that a dental professional has made an error or been negligent until some time has passed and things haven’t gotten better – or have worsened. 

In some cases, however, the error is so serious that it’s apparent right away. Dental malpractice can cause injuries, long-term or permanent complications and sometimes even death.

Examples of dental malpractice

Like doctors and other health care professionals, dentists and dental specialists owe a reasonable standard of care to their patients. Like medical malpractice, dental malpractice can include misdiagnosis, delayed or missed diagnosis, errors or negligence and misconduct (such as sexual assault).

Among the most serious (and too common) examples involve:

  • Nerve injuries 
  • Jaw, chin, lip and tongue injuries 
  • Unnecessary or wrong tooth extraction
  • Permanent loss of taste 
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders caused by misalignment
  • Injury or death caused by anesthesia errors 

It can be difficult to determine when a problem is the result of dental malpractice. Teeth are a tricky thing. For example, if an orthodontist corrects your child’s teeth and they move back to their previous position (even if your child is using their retainer or night guard), that’s likely not malpractice — and it’s typically repairable). 

However, if a dentist did or neglected to do something that caused harm or even death, it may be a case of malpractice. Your best first step if you believe that you or a loved one has suffered as the result of dental malpractice is to get experienced legal guidance.

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