When Can You Sue Your Dentist for Dental Malpractice?
Almost everyone hates going to the dentist because it might hurt badly. Nonetheless, we trust our dentists to provide the best possible treatment when seeking dental care. Unfortunately, dental malpractice can occur, resulting in severe injuries or even death in extreme cases.
If you suspect that you or someone you love may have been a victim of dental malpractice, you might want to speak with a lawyer to discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit against your dentist. Our New York medical malpractice lawyers at Leitner Varughese PLLC can review the facts of your case and determine if you can sue your dentist for dental malpractice.
What is Dental Malpractice?
Dental malpractice refers to dental treatment that falls below the industry’s accepted standard of care, resulting in harm to a patient. If you have suffered dental injuries due to your dentist’s negligence, you may be able to sue for dental malpractice. In order to do so, you must prove certain elements.
Fact: According to a 2018 survey by Dental Protection, almost 90% of dentists admitted to having fears of being sued by patients.
Elements of a Dental Malpractice Claim
To have a successful dental malpractice claim, an individual must prove that the dentist breached the industry’s accepted standard of care, resulting in an injury. The following are the essential elements of a dental malpractice claim:
A dentist-patient relationship existed
The dentist breached the industry’s accepted standard of care
The breach resulted in an injury
The injury caused damages
You may need the assistance of a skilled lawyer to help you file a dental malpractice claim and prove the above-mentioned elements. Sometimes, dental malpractice cases require expert testimony to prove the elements of a successful claim.
Examples of Dental Malpractice
Below is a list of some of the most common examples of dental malpractice;
Infections. A dentist can be sued for dental malpractice if they cause an infection during a procedure that leads to severe complications. Common infections include bacterial endocarditis and necrotizing fasciitis.
Improper tooth extraction. A dentist who extracts a healthy tooth negligently, causing nerve damage, can be sued for dental malpractice. Patients may also allege malpractice if the dentist removes a tooth unnecessarily or fails to refer a patient to a specialist in more complicated cases.
Anesthesia complications. Dental anesthesia complications can result in severe injuries such as brain damage or even death. A dentist who fails to monitor a patient’s vital signs during anesthesia can be held liable for dental malpractice.
Failure to diagnose dental conditions. A dentist who fails to diagnose a dental condition, such as oral cancer or periodontal disease, can be liable for dental malpractice.
Failure to obtain informed consent. A dentist must obtain informed consent from a patient before proceeding with a dental procedure. Failure to do so can be dental malpractice.
Complications with bridges and crowns. A dentist who poorly fits a bridge or crown can be sued for dental malpractice if it leads to nerve damage or headaches.
Root canal injuries. A dentist who damages a patient’s nerves during a root canal procedure can be liable for dental malpractice.
These are not the only forms of dental malpractice that may warrant filing a lawsuit against the dentist. Consider speaking with a knowledgeable lawyer to discuss the facts of your case and determine if you can sue your dentist for malpractice.
Discuss Dental Malpractice with a Lawyer
When deciding to sue your dentist for dental malpractice, you might want to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer to determine if you have a viable claim. Our lawyers at Leitner Varughese PLLC can guide you through the complicated legal issues surrounding a dental malpractice claim in New York. Reach out to our office to schedule a free case review. Call 212-671-1110.