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As everyone knows a trip to the dentist’s office doesn’t usually make people smile, at least not until they have successfully navigated the unpleasantness and discomfort and have made it out feeling at least as well as they did when they went in. Although most patients are preoccupied with the visit itself, it is in the aftermath of a visit that the evidence of dental malpractice appears. Of course, not all pain that follows dental care is malpractice and is often quite common with a tooth extraction or root canal.
Dental malpractice occurs when the dentist, dental specialist, or aide is negligent or departs from the accepted standard of care in the industry. This can take many forms. It can be as drastic as performing procedures that should not be performed, such as removing teeth or fillings that don’t need to be removed. Or the malpractice can be as subtle as failing to formulate a proper treatment plan.
The most common types of dental malpractice include shoddy workmanship, using poor quality materials, performing work outside of one’s area of expertise, improper or inaccurate administration of anesthetics, and failure to properly diagnose the patient’s condition.
Common injuries caused by dental malpractice include nerve damage, infection and bone loss, and loss of teeth. Of course, remedial dental work can be extraordinarily expensive adding emotional stress to the equation.
Many personal injury attorneys, as well as medical malpractice attorneys, shy away from dental malpractice cases, believing that the potential return is not worth the cost and risk involved. However, it has been my experience that where the fault is clear, these cases will reach a just resolution.