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Dental Malpractice


Dental malpractice is a form of medical malpractice dealing with injuries that occur during a visit to the dentist. While malpractice lawsuits do not necessarily claim that the dentist intentionally harmed the patient, in some cases, a dentist or dental professional can be found guilty of negligence or misconduct, such as molesting a patient while he or she is under sedation.

A dentist performing a procedure
In order to prove that a dentist is guilty of dental malpractice, the patient must prove that the dentist acted in a negligent manner and that the negligence resulted in an injury.

Types of Dental Injuries

There are several types of injuries that can occur during dental procedures. These include:

  • Nerve injury to the jaw, lips, and tongue
  • Anesthesia injuries and deaths
  • Injury to the jaw bones
  • Injury to the teeth or gums from a faulty crown or bridge
  • TMJ resulting from orthodontic treatment
  • Injuries or infection resulting from use of dental products

Types of Dental Malpractice

Dental malpractice cases can be brought against dentists, orthodontists, periodontists, and oral surgeons for any of the following reasons:

  • Failure to diagnose conditions such as oral cancer or periodontal disease
  • Failure to advise patient of diagnosis
  • Improper diagnosis
  • Lack of informed consent
  • Error during a dental procedure resulting in injury to the patient
  • Medication errors

Dental Malpractice Lawsuits

In order to prove that a dentist is guilty of dental malpractice, the patient must prove that the dentist acted in a negligent manner and that the negligence resulted in an injury. Four elements need to be proven for a dental negligence lawsuit to be successful:

  • Duty of care: the dentist had an obligation to provide competent dental care
  • Breach of duty: the dentist did not provide competent dental care
  • Injury: the patient was injured while undergoing a dental procedure
  • Proximate cause: the patient’s injury was a result of the dentist’s breach of duty

Speak to a Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or a loved one has been harmed by dental malpractice, contact a dental malpractice lawyer for more information.

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