A 44-year-old Connecticut woman went to the dentist to have a missing upper incisor replaced with a fixed bridge. Without her consent, the dentist extracted her three remaining upper front teeth.
Another dental patient went to have a cavity filled. While the dentist was excavating the tooth decay, the dental drill pierced the patient’s upper cheek and permanently damaged his facial nerve.
Many people fear going to the dentist. And when you hear stories like these, it’s no surprise. Although most dental patients do not suffer injuries to the extent mentioned above, there are lesser injuries caused by dentists that may still rise to the level of dental malpractice.
Dental negligence, which is a subset of medical malpractice, is something a lot of people don’t think about when they think of malpractice. However, when you go to the dentist and suffer an injury you may very well be the victim of dental negligence or malpractice.
Unfortunately, a lot of dental malpractice cases go unreported. This is often because patients aren't aware of their options, don't know how or where to report the incident, or are just unsure what constitutes dental malpractice.
By way of example, here are just a few of the incidents that may constitute dental malpractice:
- Complications arising from anesthesia
- Pulling of the wrong tooth or teeth
- Failure to diagnose oral cancer
- Improper placement of crowns or bridges
- Negligent collection of medical history
- Nerve damage to the lips, cheek or tongue
- Nerve injuries that affect your ability to taste
- Unnecessary tooth extractions
Failure to perform work that should have been done may also constitute dental malpractice. If you think you have been the victim of dental malpractice, contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options.