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What constitutes dental malpractice?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2024 | blog, Medical Malpractice

Dental malpractice occurs when dental professionals deviate from the standard of care that one can expect, and patient harm results. Everyone should be mindful of the potential risks associated with dentists who are less than stringent with safety procedures.

When a person experiences health complications due to careless dental treatments, it may reach the legal threshold of dental malpractice.

Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis

Dentists occasionally misdiagnose problems in patients. In other instances, they arrive at the correct diagnosis after an unreasonably long stretch. Either way, the underlying issue may fester and worsen. The upshot is likely to be unnecessary pain and prolonged treatment.

Surgical errors

Dental procedures, including tooth extractions and root canals, carry inherent risks. Despite this common understanding, serious errors such as damaging nerves, blood vessels or adjacent teeth could justify a lawsuit. On average, cases involving nerve damage are among the most expensive, paying out more than three times that of those involving broken teeth.

Inadequate infection control

Maintaining a sterile environment is paramount in all medical practices, including dental offices. Dental malpractice is present when a dentist or dental assistant neglects to take proper control measures. Should an infection occur, it could lead to the development of a severe complication such as meningitis or a parapharyngeal abscess.

Prescription errors

Dentists sometimes prescribe medications as part of their postoperative regimen. Someone who is inattentive might prescribe the wrong medicine, order the incorrect dosage or fail to consider potential interactions with other drugs the patient is taking. All these situations can lead to further health troubles.

While most dentists strive for perfection, some are irresponsible. Patients should do their due diligence and screen those they allow to work in their mouths.


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