Dental care is an essential part of health, and the majority of dentist appointments and oral health procedures are to the betterment of the patient. But in a small percentage of those visits, things can go awry and dental malpractice occur.
The most common mistakes a dentist or hygienist can make include:
- Permanent injuries to nerves that affect sensation or taste
- Complications from poorly completed crowns and bridges
- Failure to detect various progressive diseases (oral cancer, periodontal disease)
- Complications from anesthesia
- Unnecessary or incorrect tooth extractions
Deaths can and do occur in dental offices. While insufficient access to dental care is considered the greatest problem, the most notable incidences of patient deaths occur in children. The reasons for this are:
- The dental office may not have a working defibrillator.
- Dental office personnel may lack training in life support, as otherwise required by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
- An unqualified person, such as a dental hygienist, administered nitrous oxide (prohibited in 24 states) or local anesthesia (prohibited in seven states).
- Sedation may have been administered, despite the fact the patient or the parent acknowledged a meal was eaten too close to the procedure time.
When a dental injury occurs that was unnecessary, the corrective costs and lingering damage can create a financial burden. If a death occurred unnecessarily, the sense of loss can almost be overwhelming. This is when a qualified and experienced dental malpractice attorney can be called upon to alleviate the financial burden caused by these losses. Retain a dental malpractice attorney when an unnecessary injury occurred.
Dr. Michael M. Wilson is an attorney and a physician who earned his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his legal and medical degrees from Georgetown University. He has focused in the area of medical malpractice for more than three decades and secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients throughout the country. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and New York as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is listed in America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.