Dental Malpractice

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When pain occurs in most minor dental procedures, it subsides within hours or a few days. However, after some procedures, a patient’s pain may worsen, or the patient might develop an infection or some other serious complication. The resulting injury can have a serious and lasting effect on a patient’s life. Sometimes a dentist’s error may require further treatment, or even surgery, which contributes to additional risk, further anxiety, and increased costs.

 Medical Malpractice Lawyer

 In recent years, dental professionals have been offering more complex forms of treatment, such as dental implants. When done correctly, the procedures the dentist renders provide a great service to the patient. However, some dentists, orthodontists, periodontists, and other dental professionals create assembly line practices, in which they attempt to treat as many patients as possible. This system can sometimes result in improper dental care for patients. In some instances, a dentist may push unnecessary treatments that a patient doesn’t need. Thus, it is important for dental patients and parents of minors who are patients to be aware of improper dental practices, where profit is more important than patient safety and satisfaction. In some cases, when an injury has occurred, a patient will want to retain a San Antonio lawyer for dental malpractice.

 Before consulting a lawyer, it is vital that a patient knows that a malpractice claim is not warranted in all cases. An especially painful experience or even an unsuccessful root canal is not necessarily considered malpractice. Sometimes, a tooth is simply decayed or compromised before the dentist begins the treatment. The legal criteria for dental malpractice is defined as a serious and lasting injury caused by an error in judgment or other deviation from standard practices.

 Common Forms of Medical Malpractice in San Antonio, TX

 Some incidents in which it would be appropriate to consult a dentist negligence attorney are highlighted below:

  • Improperly performed dental procedures can cause extraction nerve injuries, implant injuries, the onset of oral cancer, or serious infections. A dentist who does not exercise extreme caution may also injure vital anatomical structures in the oral cavity. This includes cutting the lingual nerve which, in some cases, can cause permanent damage followed by a numb tongue and difficulty speaking;
  • Improper wisdom teeth extractions can cause serious injuries including permanent damage to the jaw and tongue. Damage done to the floor of the mouth might cause a patient to drool, as well as to have difficulty speaking or eating. In some cases, a transection, or severing, of the lingual nerve during a wisdom tooth extraction can cause permanent numbness of half of the jaw, drooling, and constant biting of the tongue; and
  • Dental errors also happen when treatment is being rendered to a child. This can be especially true when parents are not using the services of their regular dentist but have been referred to an unfamiliar orthodontist or periodontist. In any case where errors are made, it is important to investigate the incident for possible malpractice.

Other dental errors that may be considered malpractice include the following:

  • Cracking or extracting a healthy tooth.
  • Doing an unnecessary procedure.
  • Breaking off dental instruments in the tooth or jaw
  • Damaging the jawbone or causing an infection in the jawbone.
  • Facial disfigurement.
  • Problems arising during root canal therapy, root end surgery, tooth bonding, tooth polishing, and tooth bleaching.
  • Sepsis (blood infection).
  • Errors in anesthesia (which can cause brain damage or cardiac arrest).

Most dentists and dental practices typically provide good quality dental care. However, conditions in the office can also lead to malpractice lawsuits. In some cases, dentists get too busy to provide quality care. In other instances, patient injury occurs when the dental office is understaffed or overworked.

If a dental error is made, it is important to report it. If the mistake caused serious injury or death, it is vital that a patient or family members investigate a potential dental malpractice lawsuit. This action will help discover why the error occurred and prevent it from happening to future patients. Patients who have suffered unnecessary injury should consult a medical malpractice lawyer to see if a case can be made and to seek compensation. If you think you might have a dental malpractice case, contact Ananin, Chermol, Khattar, Fishman, PLLC as soon as possible for more information about how to move forward. 

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