Going to the dentist is scary enough for some people, but dealing with the aftermath of a major dental mistake is often traumatic. Many people who suffer harm from their dentist avoid seeking dental care in the future. Depending on what happened, some people have to endure additional dental surgeries to fix the damage. If you or a loved one feels there were acts of negligence that affected your health, consult a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer right away to learn more about your rights for a fair recovery.
What Is Dental Malpractice?
Similar to medical malpractice, dental malpractice involves negligence committed by a dentist that causes harm to a patient. Negligence not only means making a major dental error but also perhaps a lack of action that would prevent harm to a patient. Common examples of dental malpractice include:
- Intentional misconduct that harms the patient
- Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis
- Not treating a major dental problem
- Misuse of dental instruments
- Not following proper dental procedures
There are also specific types of malpractice that usually only apply to dentists. Some dentists and dental assistants make mistakes related to:
- Improper use of dental anesthesia
- Unnecessary teeth extraction
- Not considering important aspects of a patient’s medical history
Negligent dentists have also been known to cause various injuries such as broken jaws, temporomandibular joint disorders, nerve injuries in the mouth, and loss of taste. Other medical complications can arise from poorly conducted procedures involving dental surgery and incomplete crowns.
Common Causes of Dental Malpractice
There’s a multitude of dental malpractice causes that harm patients. Some dentists abuse substances in the dental office while on the job. Their dental skills can be significantly disrupted by the use of such chemicals. Other dentists may make errors due to:
- Sleep deprivation
- Lack of competence to perform certain procedures
- Being rushed and highly stressed
- Heavy workload
- Dental staff shortages
Many dental malpractice claims are filed because of a lack of patient information, the wrong treatment, chronic pain, technical complications, and prolonged treatment to correct dentist errors.
You also need to provide evidence of the harm you suffered. Collecting evidence can be difficult when you’re not sure where to look, and the dentist is trying to hide what happened. Start with obtaining copies of your medical records. Then consult with a lawyer to figure out what other steps you can take—they can help you build a strong claim for significant compensation.