Dental Malpractice

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Most people associate medical malpractice with doctors and complex surgical procedures. Yet dentists, too, can be negligent in their treatment of patients. Errors in dentistry can have far-reaching complications, including paralysis and death. Though trained to follow measures to keep patients safe, dental professionals can often fall short of accepted standards of care, which can turn a patient’s life upside down.

People who believe that they (or a family member) have been injured due dental malpractice should not hesitate to contact a dentist negligence attorney, most of whom offer an initial free consultation. Patients who have experienced a horrible outcome have a right to seek compensation with the aid of a Philadelphia attorney for dental malpractice.

Common forms of dental malpractice in Philadelphia, PA

Among the most common types of dental malpractice are office acquired infections and errors made during anesthesia.

Infections can occur when tools have not been properly cleaned. Such infections can become life threatening when a dental professional fails to follow up with a patient who shows signs of infection, such as sepsis, trismus, facial swelling, or dysphagia.

While most dental work requires local anesthetics, complicated procedures call for regional or general anesthetics, which if administered improperly, can have serious consequences. Anesthesia errors can lead to residual paralysis, in which a patient has a loss of function or sensation in one or more parts of the body.

Other dental procedures that can result in serious injury and end up being handled by dental malpractice attorneys include the following:

  • Dental implants can be placed improperly and/or incorrectly;
  • Nerve damage can occur in the teeth, gums, tongue, lips, and cheeks of the mouth if a dentist fails to take proper precautions;
  • Extraction of an incorrect tooth is more common than most patients believe.  This mistake is made when dental professionals are hurried or distracted and do not take time to carefully examine patients; and
  • Mistakes made during oral cancer screenings—always conducted as part of a routine dental exam—can lead to serious medical problems.

Deaths during dental procedures are almost always preventable. They occur when dentists or dental assistants are rushed or are not paying attention, and they can occur in dentist’s offices, in emergency rooms, or at primary care facilities.

Dental malpractice lawyer

A Philadelphia lawyer for dental malpractice will work with a client to assess damages incurred from lost income, dental bills, and other costs stemming from a serious injury or a lost loved one. Lawyers also calculate non-economic costs, such as pain or diminished quality of life. While no amount of money can heal a wound or bring back a loved one, fair compensation offers victims help in coping with their suffering and moving forward.

Dental litigation is often complex; for that reason, settlements and trials can take months, or even years, to conclude. A dentist negligence attorney can help an injured patient decide whether a case may be worth pursuing. If so, the attorney will seek dental records and X-rays and then review the materials to determine whether or not the dentist followed applicable standards of care.

Another reason to retain a lawyer is because dental malpractice insurance companies are not always willing to compensate a patient for the full extent of the injuries. An attorney can also make sure that victims do not settle too soon and fail to recover appropriate damages for their injuries. 

A claim for dental malpractice in Pennsylvania must always be brought within the applicable statute of limitations which is two years. If a claim is not made within the statute of limitations period, a victim and a dentist malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia will be barred from bringing the action. Experiencing malpractice is among the biggest challenges one can face in life. Therefore, injured parties should not hesitate before contacting a dental malpractice attorney.

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