7 Things You Should Know About Dental Malpractice: How Common Is It Really?

7 Things You Should Know About Dental Malpractice: How Common Is It Really?

Most people think of doctors and hospitals when they hear about malpractice, but it’s also possible to sue a dentist for negligence. While dental malpractice claims aren’t very common, they do exist. If you suffered an injury as a result of a dental procedure, you might have a valid dental malpractice claim on your hands. Its always said that you should choose your dentist sensibly

Malpractice occurs whenever health cares professional acts negligently and causes injury to a patient. The guilty party could be a doctor, nurse, hospital, or even a dentist. It’s not always easy to prove fault in a malpractice case, which is why it’s best to hire a corpus christi lawyer instead of representing yourself. There are a few things you should know before entering a courtroom for a dental malpractice case.

The Patient Must Establish Proof

Have you ever heard how challenging it is to win a malpractice case? Even dental malpractice suits are not always open and shut. It’s up to the patient to prove the dentist or dental provider was negligent. However, merely sustaining an injury won’t guarantee you have a solid case.

7 Things You Should Know About Dental Malpractice: How Common Is It Really?

If a patient wants to sue a dentist for malpractice, they must establish four elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Duty of care simply determines the patient actually went to the dentist for treatment. A breach of duty occurs if the dentist fails to meet the standard of care. In a dental malpractice suit, the breach must include an injury. It’s then the patient’s responsibility to prove the breach directly led to the injury. Finally, the patient must prove the financial and non-financial losses they incurred as a result of the injury.

Dental Malpractice Is Rare

Can you really get hurt at the dentist? If you’ve never heard of a dental malpractice suit, you’re not alone. Dental malpractice is not as common as other types of medical malpractice. Only one out of every seven malpractice claims involves a dental injury. That doesn’t mean these cases don’t exist.

Dentists only work on a very small part of the body. However, if a dentist isn’t careful, they may cause a serious or life-threatening injury. These complications are usually avoidable, and a dental injury can greatly reduce a person’s quality of life. If someone gets hurt during a simple dental procedure, they should question whether the dentist acted negligently.

There Are Many Reasons to File a Malpractice Claim

No one expects to go to the dentist for a procedure and leave with an injury. This is precisely what can happen if the dentist violates the standard of care, however. Furthermore, dental negligence is more likely to occur during a routine procedure rather than a complicated treatment. Regardless of the reason for treatment, a patient shouldn’t have to worry about sustaining an injury during dental care.

7 Things You Should Know About Dental Malpractice: How Common Is It Really?

Why do patients file dental malpractice claims? Injuries may happen for many reasons. Malpractice can occur if the dentist fails to properly diagnose a condition. Failing to refer a patient to a specialist for advanced care may also constitute malpractice. Inappropriate or incorrect treatment may also lead to an injury. For example, a patient may have a legitimate malpractice case if the dentist drills the wrong tooth.

There Are Many Types of Dental Injuries

When you go to a dental clinic, you trust your dentist will provide you with precise, accurate care. However, if they act negligently, it can affect your mouth in many unpleasant ways. Some patients have won dental malpractice cases because the dentist placed a dental crown or filing on a healthy tooth. Other patients may have gone in to have a damaged tooth extracted, only for the dentist to pull the wrong tooth. Both of these examples may cause patient pain and suffering. So, to prevent dental injuries, you should know about  finding a right dentist.

Dental Injuries Can Affect More Than the Mouth

The majority of dental malpractice cases involve injuries inside the mouth. A patient may have suffered tooth loss as a result of a dentist’s negligence, for instance. However, it’s important to note that dental injuries can affect any part of the body.

7 Things You Should Know About Dental Malpractice: How Common Is It Really?

How is this possible? An adverse drug reaction may cause other systems in the body to shut down. Anesthesia, for example, may result in cardiac arrest or respiratory distress. An incorrectly diagnosed tooth infection may spread into the bloodstream and travel to the brain. Oral surgery may also pierce the sinus cavity or damage the jaw bone. No matter where the injury is located, if a negligent dentist caused it, you may have a viable malpractice claim.

Failure to Act May Lead to Dental Malpractice

Not all dental malpractice injuries happen during a scheduled procedure. Some occur because the dentist failed to provide the patient with adequate treatment. For example, if a patient shows the textbook symptoms of oral cancer, the dentist may be found negligent if they don’t refer the patient for further testing. If a tooth infection spreads because the dentist failed to prescribe the proper antibiotics before a procedure, it may be possible to prove they failed to provide the standard of care. Even failing to offer post-treatment care when a patient complains of discomfort may be considered malpractice.

You Need a Solid Paper Trail

Not having proper documentation may prevent a dental malpractice victim from winning their case. It’s better to walk into court with too much paperwork than not enough. Getting everything in writing is a must. Any missing pages or inconsistencies in your paperwork may delay your case.

What kinds of documentation should you provide? It’s best to start with the patient’s dental records. Having a detailed history will give the judge a baseline from where to begin their assessment. You’ll also want to include any written consent for any procedures done when the injury occurred. A comprehensive treatment plan and bill breakdown may also be helpful. Any notes or statements you can obtain about the incident may also help prove your case.

7 Things You Should Know About Dental Malpractice: How Common Is It Really?

Dental Malpractice? You’re Not Alone

Too many patients accept the outcomes of obvious negligence as the luck of the draw. However, dental malpractice can negatively affect your life for years to come. Dental negligence may even result in death. If something doesn’t seem right following a dental procedure, it’s best to have an attorney review your claim to see if you have a viable dental malpractice case.

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