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When is it dental malpractice? What is the legal remedy?

A little pain is normal. Lasting injury is not normal.

Many people have a deep fear of the dentist. For some, that fear is exaggerated or wholly unfounded. For those who have experienced true dental malpractice, avoiding dentists and dental care is entirely understandable.

Dental malpractice can be a painful, embarrassing and expensive ordeal for the victim. If your dentist was negligent in your treatment or botched a dental procedure, you may have legal remedies for the lasting injury and suffering. Don't let dental malpractice undermine your health and finances. An experienced personal injury and malpractice attorney can explain what options are available to you.

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Dental malpractice comes in many forms

Sometimes, a dentist's drill slips or goes too deep, causing nerve damage or cracking a healthy tooth. Sometimes, to milk insurance, dentists extract teeth that do not need to be extracted or perform other unnecessary procedures. Sometimes they cut corners or use cheaper materials, resulting in the failure of an expensive bridge or veneer. Dentists should adhere to a standard of care based on what another competent dentist would or would not do in similar circumstances.

Other examples of dental malpractice include introducing life-threatening, infections, anesthesia errors during oral surgery, failure to diagnose oral cancer, failure to refer to a specialist and failure to obtain informed consent from the patient.

Dental malpractice can have a lasting impact

Those who experience dental malpractice face a variety of negative outcomes. You can't sue just because your mouth hurt like heck when the novocaine wore off. That is normal for invasive work like fillings, crowns and root canals. There must be lasting harm from a professional error by the dentist, orthodontist or oral surgeon. A finding of dental malpractive might lead to monetary damages for:

  • Costs of dental repair or revision surgery
  • Lost wages
  • Dental disfigurement or facial disfigurement
  • Nerve damage (loss of taste or sensation)
  • Deterioriation of the jawbone or healthy teeth
  • Chronic pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

The financial and physical consequences that can last for years. Unless your dentist makes amends by correcting the mistake and covering all the costs, you may want to consider speaking with a malpractice and personal injury attorney about your experience.

An attorney can help you recover

Choose an attorney who understands the law as it applies to dental malpractice. During an initial consultation, you can provide them with all the details of your experience. They, in turn, can advise you as to your options, including negotiating with the dentist's insurer or filing a civil suit to recover your losses. The cost of repairing poorly performed dental work can be high. Similarly, if your dentist failed to diagnose and treat a condition you brought to his or her attention, the dentist could be liable for the result.

It can be hard to define what, exactly, comprises dental malpractice. The best way to protect yourself following a mistake by your dentist or an adverse outcome is to speak with an experienced lawyer

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