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Dental Malpractice Lawsuits

Dental malpractice can occur if your dentist, orthodontist, periodontist, or oral surgeon fails to provide service which is consistent with dental standards.

If you have sustained a dental injury as a result of negligence on the part of your dental provider, you may have a dental malpractice case. A dental malpractice lawyer familiar with dental malpractice can help evaluate your case and determine if you have suffered dental malpractice.

Dental Malpractice Claims

A dental malpractice claim is similar to other medical malpractice cases. Certain facts of the case must be proven in order to prove medical negligence. To prove medical negligence you must prove a duty of care, breach of care, causation of injury and damages.

  • Duty of Care
    The dental provider had a responsibility to provide good dental care.
  • Breach of Care
    For the dental profession there is a standard level of care which a dental professional is supposed to use to perform their job and a failure to provide this level of care can be considered a breach of care. In order to prove negligence you must prove that another dental professional would not have done the same thing in a similar circumstance. An expert witness may be needed to testify against the dental provider.
  • Causation
    If the breach of care was the proximate cause of the personal injury you have sustained then causation can be proven. If the dental provider had not made the mistake would you have sustained the personal injury? If yes, then you may have causation.
  • Damages
    Damages can be any loss you have suffered as a result of the personal injury. This can include lost wages, death, medical bills and pain and suffering. If you have not suffered a loss of any kind you do not have a personal injury claim.

In general terms, the dental provider must have committed an act either intentionally or unintentionally that another dental provider would not have done during the same procedure and the act must have caused serious injury. If you are able to prove these claims then you can file a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation for your personal injuries.

Common Dental Injuries

There are a variety of injuries which can be sustained during dental treatment.
Several common injuries might include:

  • Injury sustained under Anesthesia Errors
  • Injury to teeth or gums because of faulty equipment such as drills or dental lasers
  • Injuries due to dental products which are not well made
  • Improper diagnosis
  • Dental extraction of the wrong tooth
  • Improper treatment by an unlicensed dentist
  • Damage to the nerves surrounding the jaw, tongue or lips
  • Injuries and infection because of improperly sterilized equipment
  • Wrongful Death
  • Medication Errors
  • Structural injuries to the tongue, chin or lips
  • Failure to obtain informed consent

Dental malpractice can also include intentionally harming a patient or any type of misconduct while a patient is under sedation

Dental Malpractice Attorneys

If you have had a minor injury with few complications you may not need a dental or oral surgeon malpractice lawyer. If however, you have an oral or dental injury and you are unsure what the long term complications might be or if you have any questions a dental malpractice lawyer can be a valuable resource. It is especially important to seek counsel if one of your loved ones has died or if your case proceeds to trial. It is important that you have an expert dental malpractice attorney who understands the law and has the resources necessary to challenge the testimony of the dental provider's attorneys.

A lawyer with experience in dental malpractice can evaluate the validity of your claim, gather all evidence, hire expert witnesses and help recover a reasonable settlement for your dental injury.

A dental malpractice case is similar to other medical malpractice claims. Compensatory damages are given to individuals who win their orthodontist or dental malpractice case. If the dentist, orthodontist, periodontist, or oral surgeon is found medically negligent for your injury you can receive compensation for economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses can include lost wages and medical bills. Non-economic losses may include other pain and suffering.

If the injury was intentional or committed with malice (such as an assault of a patient under sedation) the damages could include punitive damages. These payments are used to punish the defendant and deter the defendant from committing future offenses.