No one enjoys necessary visits to the dentist. Even if you manage to avoid the extreme unpleasantness of drills, Novocain shots, extractions or root canals, basic cleanings are still at the very least highly uncomfortable. Many people have deep rooted phobias surrounding dentist visits which they have to work out in therapy before they can actually sit back in that big, sticky chair. Many films, such as Marathon Man, have also capitalized on the fear factor surrounding dental visits. But while much of this hysteria is unwarranted and dental visits are a vital part of keeping a healthy mouth and body, there are dentists out there that have little to no respect for the health and monetary constraints of their patients. These dentists routinely engage in something called dental malpractice.
Instances Involving Dental Malpractice
For most people, the word malpractice is synonymous with medial malpractice and involves errors on the part of doctors or nurses who work in hospitals or clinics. But there are actually many types of malpractice that range anywhere from dental to legal.
If a dentist fails to abide by the acknowledged standards of their industry and the result is serious injury, you have the option of suing for dental malpractice. There are a wide range of negligent acts made by dentists, but some of the most common things that lead to malpractice cases include:
o Nerve injuries-these injuries can affect a patient’s ability to taste or cause permanent numbness in the tongue, gums or other mouth area tissue
o Improper installation-dentists who are in a hurry will often fail to finish crowns, bridges or other dental procedures. Incomplete crowns and bridges can result in further tooth decay, severe infection and intense pain
o Ignoring patient medical history-failing to toughly assess a patient’s past medical and dental history can result in allergic reaction, heart complications or even death
o Failure to detect-a dentist can be held liable if he or she fails to detect and inform a patient of oral cancer, periodontal disease or any other disease of the mouth. The dentist should also be responsible for making the patient aware of treatment options or referring them to medical doctors who can adequately handle the situation
o Unnecessary extraction of a tooth or multiple teeth
o Extraction of the wrong teeth-dentists who fail to properly review a patient’s chart can make gross dental errors such as this.