Just like medical doctors, dentists can be held accountable when they provide care that deviates from the accepted standards of dental practice which causes injury or death to the patient. Dental malpractice can be defined as a form of medical malpractice for an injury caused bay negligent dental work, failure to diagnose or treat possible oral conditions, delayed diagnosis or treatment of oral conditions, as well as any malevolent or otherwise intentional misconduct by a dental care provider.
To qualify as dental malpractice:
1. The dental care provider must have unintentionally or intentionally committed an act that no other reasonable prudent oral healthcare provider would have committed during the same time period.
2. The act must have caused significant injury.
Dental malpractice is not uncommon. Often dental malpractice occurs simply because the dentist or dental business wishes to make more money and performs unnecessary procedures. For example a dentist might replace a filling that is in good shape.
Examples of dental malpractice:
• A dentist fails to take a patient’s relevant medical history into account before acting
• Permanent or temporary nerve injuries that cause numbness or loss of sensation in the tongue, jaw, lip or chin (or part of the tongue, jaw, lip or chin)
• Permanent or temporary nerve injuries that cause numbness or loss of taste sensation
• Permanent or temporary structural injuries to the tongue, jaw, chin or lips
• Temporo Mandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders resulting from dental procedures, including injuries from devices designed to hold the mouth open
• Injuries or infection to teeth, gums or jaw bone resulting from a faulty root canal, crown and bridge prostheses
• Infection to teeth, gums or jaw due to faulty dental products, devices or tools, including drills, dental lasers and silicone implants
• Infection to teeth, gums or jaw due to improper use of dental products, devices or tools, including drills, dental lasers and silicone implants
• Injuries and pain from unnecessary dental procedures
• Injuries associated with extractions or unnecessarily extracted teeth
• Unnecessary extraction of multiple teeth
• Extraction of wrong teeth
• Injury from improper or unnecessary orthodontic procedures on adults and children
• Injuries or wrongful death caused by improper or negligent administration of anesthesia
• Wrongful death resulting from dental procedures or oral surgery
• Delayed or improper diagnosis of a disease or other oral condition
• Delayed improper treatment or non-treatment of a disease or other oral condition
• Failure to diagnose or treat oral cancer
• Failure to diagnose or treat periodontal (gum) disease
• Injuries associated with root canals using Sargenti Paste (N2) – a dangerous drug that has not been approved by the FDA
• Failure to obtain informed consent
• Treatment exceeding the scope of informed consent
• Injuries sustained from improper treatment by unlicensed dentists
• Molestation or sexual assault of a patient under sedation
Do You Think You May Have A Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you believe you may have a medical malpractice claim you need to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
You can also download our FREE book on medical malpractice.