Although the term “doctor” seems to be most associated with physicians and surgeons that take care of the human body, dentists also fall in this category.
One way of thinking about it is that by taking care of your oral health, dentists are specialized doctors. A newly graduated dentist holds either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery degree) or a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine degree), depending on the dental school attended. The degrees are equal. Negligent dental care can be considered to be medical malpractice and can result in serious and permanent injuries, even wrongful death.
Dental Malpractice Liability Claims
Dental malpractice occurs when the dental provider fails to give his or her patient the required level of care established by the dental community. This is often referred to as the “standard of care.”
Dental providers whose treatment falls below this standard are liable to their patient for the injuries and damages they cause. In order to establish liability, our Middle Georgia dental malpractice attorneys can help you prove you sustained an injury that would not have occurred if it wasn’t for the dentist’s irresponsible actions. If the dentist exhibited behavior outside of a reasonable standard of care, and if that behavior caused your injury, we can evaluate your situation and help you understand your rights.
For example, a Georgia woman won a multimillion-dollar malpractice verdict in 2014 against one of the largest dental providers in the U.S. for work performed by one of its dentists who improperly fitted crowns and proposed unnecessary treatment. As a result of the poor treatment, the patient alleged that her gums bled, some of her teeth fell out and she had difficulty eating. The patient claimed that the dentist’s work was below the minimum standard of care. Unbelievably, the patient paid more than $20,000, much of which was never documented, but the dentist left in the middle of the treatment and the company did not finish the work.
Types of Dental Malpractice
There are many ways in which dental malpractice can occur, such as:
- Failure to diagnose infection
- Failure to properly detect an oral disease or malformation
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist when necessary
- Failure to warn a patient of the risks of a procedure or medication
- Improper utilization of dental or surgical utensils
- Injuries from too much or poorly monitored anesthesia
- Nerve injuries to the jaw, lip or tongue
- Performing the wrong procedure
- Persistent pain following a dental treatment
- Poor restorations, causing tooth loss
- Poorly performed procedures, requiring repeated expense and pain
- Removal of a healthy tooth
- Unnecessary dental treatments
- Use of defective materials or tools.
Other forms of malpractice may occur in relation to an individual’s insurance. A dentist or dental professional may proceed with unnecessary diagnosis and exams, and follow through with the procedures for the sole purpose of collecting higher insurance compensation. Dental mistakes can leave patients in serious pain and in need of significant follow-up care.
Contact a Dentist Malpractice Attorney
If you believe you have been injured as the result of dental work by a Georgia dental practitioner, you have the right to seek compensation. A dental malpractice attorney of the Mann Law Firm are here to help you navigate the legal process. Since we are a small firm of dedicated attorneys with decades of experience, your case will get the individualized focus that it deserves. Share your story with us today by calling (478) 742-3381 or filling out our online form.
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