When most people think of medical malpractice, they most often think of doctors or other hospital personnel whose negligence causes a patient serious injury or death. But any medical professional can commit medical malpractice, including doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, pharmacists, and dentists.
Dental malpractice, like other forms of professional malpractice, is the failure by a dentist to conform to the appropriate standard of care in his treatment of patients, which causes a serious injury. Moreover, again like other forms of professional malpractice, dental malpractice can take many forms: from injury during treatment to a failure to diagnose a dangerous condition.
Some of the most common forms of dental malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose oral cancer
- Failure to diagnose periodontal disease
- Injury to nerves during treatment (in the lips, tongue, or jaw)
- Use of an incorrect prostheses (such as a bridge or crown)
- Infection from improperly sterilized tools, leading to temporary pain, permanent injury, or even death
- Injury or death from anesthesia errors
- Inadequate or incorrect orthodontic procedures
- Unnecessary extraction of teeth
- failed orthognathic surgery
- osteoradionecrosis (after an extraction from an irradiated jaw)
- injuries from Sargenti paste (used in root canals)
Dental malpractice is less common than other forms of medical malpractice in the United States. Some experts estimate that only about 10,000 Americans suffer from dental negligence each year. But our experienced malpractice injury attorneys believe that this figure is actually much higher.
In fact, several recent studies have concluded that this figure may be half the true number, as at least 10,000 additional victims do not file claims or seek recovery for dental malpractice, either because their injuries are relatively minor or because they do not realize that they may be entitled to legal recovery.
For a free consultation with a top-rated Chicago injury lawyer at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500 or fill out a case evaluation form on our website.