You make a point of taking care of your dental hygiene, seeing your dentist regularly and following up with any dental issues or concerns. Suddenly, though, your diligence has caused a serious injury or dental problem that you were not expecting due to your dentist’s negligence or lack of care.
While often a less common occurrence, dental malpractice is still a big entity of medical malpractice. Just as we expect our doctors to diagnose and treat our medical concerns, we trust our dentists to do the same. When a dentist fails to diagnose properly or timely, provides faulty dental work, or even performs dental work that is unnecessary for the purpose of gaining extra insurance money, they should be held responsible for malpractice.
But while this type of malpractice is common, it’s also quite hard to prove that your dentist was, in fact, negligent. An experienced attorney can help you make this distinction by helping you prove that either the dentist failed to provide the standard of care or intentionally committed a fraudulent or unreasonable act that in turn, caused your pain, suffering, or additional medical bills.
Many patients may feel that they can sue their dentist when a crown comes undone or when they do not like the care they received. But, unless your care caused you to truly suffer, you probably do not have a dental malpractice case on your hands. In order to consider a lawsuit, you must be able to prove one of these:
· Injury or Pain Due to Negligence
Most dental procedures have pain associated with them, but that pain is still included in the standard of care. To prove malpractice, you must be able to show that the pain and suffering you are experiencing is out of that standard of care. If a nerve or tooth is damaged that wasn’t involved in the original procedure, or if the procedure failed because the dentist was not prepared for it, then you have a case on your hands.
· Failed or Delayed Diagnosis
After your dental hygienist cleans your teeth, the dentist should come in to take a look at your mouth and make sure everything looks okay. If you are complaining about pain or discomfort, they should take the proper measures to truly understand what your issue is. If a dentist fails to do this properly, they could miss a major diagnosis, causing you to go untreated or treated improperly. This is dental malpractice.
Misconduct can include a lot of different acts, but if your dentist is acting inappropriately and fails to perform his or her duties as a dental professional, you may have a case on your hands.
If you have experienced any of these problems and feel you have a dental malpractice case, contact the experienced attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. For more information or to file a dental malpractice claim, contact us at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.