Recently, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran an article about dental malpractice and asked the question, “Is there enough scrutiny in dental deaths?” While death during a dental procedure is rare, there is about one death per year attributed to dental work in Washington State.
While we don’t read about dental malpractice as often as medical malpractice, it does happen. Dentists get malpractice insurance like physicians, surgeons and hospitals do and they usually purchase it through the same insurance carriers.
If you think you have been the victim of dental malpractice, you should retain an attorney who is experienced in dental malpractice.
The following are some potential dental malpractice issues:
- Failure to Diagnose When it comes to diagnosis, a dental patient should have confidence that their dentist will provide them with a professional diagnosis and treatment plan like any physician does. If your dentist did not provide an accurate diagnosis, then you may have grounds for a dental malpractice lawsuit. Failure to diagnose an oral cancer or do a proper exam of your gum, tongue and other tissues may be dental malpractice. If your injuries are permanent or severe, then you should talk with a dental malpractice attorney.
- Bad outcomes with Anesthesia or Infection In the worst possible outcome of dental malpractice, a patient’s death may be caused by improperly administered anesthesia or a severe infection that results in death because instruments were not properly sterilized or the infection was not properly treated.
- Bad outcome in dental surgery – Another outcome of dental malpractice might be botched oral surgery which led to permanent damage to facial or tongue nerves or muscles and damage to the tongue. Damage to the nerves or tongue could result in difficulty in speech, loss of taste, and difficulty swallowing or eating.
- Extraction gone bad – A simple dental extraction (removing a tooth) can be malpractice if the dentist removes the wrong tooth, say a healthy tooth instead of the decayed one. Or, the removal of a tooth without your prior consent.
- Orthodontic procedures — Sometimes orthodontic procedure that are performed on children or adults can be malpractice. If the orthodontist failed to provide alternatives to patients, if they extract teeth when it isn’t needed or when orthodontics are done improperly leading to TMJ or headaches, then you may have a malpractice case.
If you think you’ve been a victim of dental malpractice, then you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can review your case and you records. With our 30 years of experience in representing people with personal injury cases, we can review your records and help determine whether you have a valid case,
Contact The Farber Law Group today for a free case evaluation.