We have all heard of medical malpractice. We assume that a medical doctor must perform within acceptable standards and provide suitable care. If they do not and someone is seriously injured, they are probably going to be sued. But does that apply to dental professionals as well? Indeed, it does.
A dentist or a dental assistant must meet acceptable standards. If they fall below what is considered an acceptable standard of care and someone is injured, it is considered as negligence. The patient can sue the dentist. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer may refer to this as dental negligence or dental malpractice.
Examples of actions that could merit a lawsuit
Here a just a few examples of situations that could result in a dentist being sued:
- The dentist did not inform the patient of all available treatment options
- The dentist did not explain the risks involved in a procedure
- Severing or damaging the nerves while removing teeth or placing dental implants
- Causing nerve damage while removing molars or wisdom teeth
- Improper use of medications resulting in permanent nerve damage
- Pulling the wrong teeth in error
- Not performing a complete oral examination
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist when they need one
- Not detecting oral disease, cancer or tumors during dental work
- Causing damage to the jaw, bone, tissue, or oral cavity
- Not administering proper antibiotics before or after a procedure
- Damaging the sinus cavity during procedures
- Faulty work resulting in injury or infection to the jaw, face, or gums
Beyond the mouth
The above actions are just some of the issues that come up regarding a dental facility not operating correctly. These things cause more than mouth problems. Infections can lead to oral issues, numbness, permanent damage to the tongue, lips, or mouth, as well as uncontrolled bleeding. Undetected cancers and disease can spread to other areas of the body. Infections can cause brain injury, stroke, or heart attack. While we rarely associate a trip to the dentist with our morality, the fact is, an uncontrolled infection or disease can cause premature death.
You think you need help
Maybe you have never considered this before, but if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need help. Of course, your health is the priority. If you are ill, in pain, or just feel something is wrong, consult your doctor. As stated, this could be serious, and you may need medical attention.
Once you have someone caring for your health, your next step is to hire a personal injury attorney in Atlanta. You need an attorney that is experienced in dental malpractice cases. Request a copy of all your dental records. These belong to you, and by law, the dental office must give them to you.
Your attorney will review the information and usually consult with experts in the field to determine if your injury or the injury or death of your loved one was due to dental malpractice. You may need to see another dental specialist to complete your evaluation.
At this point, your medical malpractice attorney will advise you of your need to proceed with the lawsuit. Sometimes problems are reversible, and sometimes they are not. Certainly, if your loved one passed away, there is nothing that will restore you. The only thing our legal system can do is to make someone accountable and compensate you financially. The compensation punished the medical professional who made a mistake on the job. At the very least, it gives you the satisfaction that your injury was recognized.