Personal Injury Lawyer
National statistics reveal that there are more than 200,000 dentists currently practicing in this country. A dentist will usually see approximately 2,000 patients each year, adding up to more than 500 million dental patients treated each year.
Many people may not realize that if they suffer some kind of harm due to negligent dental care, they can pursue dental malpractice claims. In fact, at least five percent of all medical malpractice lawsuits are filed against dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, and periodontists. If you have suffered an injury due to negligent dental care, contact a dental malpractice attorney and find out how they can help.
Types of Dental Malpractice
The most common types of malpractice the dental malpractice attorneys see include:
- Bridges and Crowns: Improperly placed bridge and crowns can result in infections, the inability to chew properly, unsightly gaps, and more.
- Anesthesia: Wrongfully administered anesthesia is the most common cause of dental malpractice that results in death to both children and adult patients.
- Implants: Common injuries include lost implants, infections, and inadequate follow-up care.
- Infections: Infections caused by negligent dental treatments can cause cardiac issues, brain abscesses, and blood poisoning. Many victims end up needing to be hospitalized and can even require surgery.
- Endodontic Procedures: Injuries from root canals and endodontic procedures include blocked blood vessels, infections, nerve and sinus damage. Another common error is dental tools left in the canal.
- Extractions: Issues from negligent tooth extraction include injections, nerve damage, and tears in mouth tissues and sinuses.
- Oral Cancer: A dentist’s failure to recognize mouth cancers can be fatal for a patient.
- Orthodontics: Poorly installed braces and other corrective treatments can result in infections, tooth loss, and root complications.
- Periodontal Disease: A dentist’s failure to adequately diagnose and treat periodontal disease can result in tooth and bone loss.
Proving Dental Malpractice
Under State malpractice law, a dentist or other dental provider is guilty of malpractice is they deviate from the standard of care other dental providers would use and that deviation causes injury to the patient. In order to prove malpractice occurred, a dental malpractice attorney will need to prove the following elements in order to be successful in a lawsuit:
- The victim was a patient of the dentist, which means the dentist owed the patient a duty of care.
- The dentist should have provided a certain standard of care that other dental providers would have provided.
- The dentist violated that standard of care, causing injury to the patient.
- The victim suffered measurable losses because of the injury.
The more evidence a personal injury lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah has to prove their case, the better the chances are of success in the lawsuit. The attorney will use the medical records which will show the damage that was inflicted by the dentist’s negligence. Victims should also save all communications they received from the at-fault dental provider, including authorization forms and instruction sheets. Victims should also write down details of all contacts and conversations between themselves and the dentist, as well as their staff, that took place before, during, and after the negligent treatment.
Victims should also make sure they take photographs of any visible injuries and/or symptoms, such as bruising, swelling, or disfigurement. It is also helpful to have written witness statements detailing the victim’s condition before and after the procedure.
Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into dental malpractice and what to do next.