Dental exams and cleanings are an important part of your healthcare regimen. Dentists, like other healthcare providers, are required to provide only quality care that meets accepted standards. When the level of care falls below accepted standards, patients may have grounds to claim dental malpractice. Let’s take a look at dental malpractice and personal injury, and when you may have a case.
What is Dental Malpractice
Similar to medical malpractice, dental malpractice occurs when a dental professional provides sub-standard care that results in injury or death. Dentists are not the only ones whose negligence leads to a dental malpractice claim. Dental assistants, hygienists, technicians, oral surgeons, and orthodontists can all be held liable for sub-standard dental care via a malpractice claim. Some examples of dental malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to treat
- Delayed diagnosis or treatment
- Intentional misconduct
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
Dental malpractice is a serious concern, and injuries sustained during dental work can lead to permanent damage to teeth, muscles, and nerves in the mouth and jaw.
Dental Malpractice and Personal Injury
Dental malpractice falls under the umbrella of personal injury laws. Like other areas of personal injury law, in order to make a successful dental malpractice claim, you must do the following:
- Prove that a dentist-patient relationship existed
- Establish the accepted standards of care given the circumstances
- Prove that the standards of care were breached
- Prove that the breach caused your injury
Like most personal injury claims, building a dental malpractice claim can be complicated. It is always best to consult with a personal injury attorney before attempting any sort of lawsuit. An attorney who is experienced in dental malpractice will be able to help you build your case and overcome obstacles that may arise.