Going to the dentist is usually a positive experience; however, there are times when things go wrong. When that happens, you may need to contact a dental malpractice attorney. Following are five situations for which you will likely want to pursue a dental lawsuit.
1. The Patient Dies
Unfortunately, no state keeps track of how many patients die as the result of a dental visit. However, it’s estimated that a dental patient dies almost every other day. Common causes of death include a reaction to anesthesia or medications, or objects obstructing the airway.
In cases of death, it is very likely that dental malpractice was involved. So, as a surviving family member, you will definitely want to consult with a lawyer.
2. Life-Threatening Complications
Dentists often use sharp instruments during even a routine check-up. Although they are well-trained and generally very careful when using them, an unexpected movement by you or a twitch on their part may cause a small cut to occur on your gums, cheek, or tongue. If not properly addressed bacteria can enter the wound and cause an infection.
And if the infection is left untreated sepsis can set in. Sepsis can cause long-term problems, such as chronic pain, organ dysfunction, amputations, and even death.
If you have to seek medical treatment because of an infection caused by dental work, it’s worth seeking out dental malpractice attorney.
3. Failure to Detect a Disease
Part of your dentist’s job is to look for signs of disease in your mouth. It’s their responsibility to alert you of a potential issue so that you can address it immediately. If your dentist fails to detect tooth decay, oral cancer, or another periodontal disease and you later suffer complications from it they may be held liable.
4. Did Not Follow Proper Procedures
74% of claims made against dentists are for errors or improper procedures. As with all medical facilities, a dental office must adhere to strict environmental hygiene practices.
All instruments, supplies, and surfaces must be clean and sterile. Staff must wear gloves and face masks to prevent the accidental transmission of germs to patients. And care must be taken when working with the sharp instruments to prevent an accidental cut.
If you notice your dentist or their staff not practicing proper procedures and you are injured or become sick as a result, contact a dental malpractice attorney to discuss your options.
5. The Dentist and/or Staff Exhibited Inappropriate Behavior
It is never okay for your dentist or any member of their staff to touch you in an inappropriate way. If you’re the victim of sexual molestation, assault, or rape, contact the authorities immediately to report them. Then, contact an attorney to file a lawsuit.
What You Must Prove
As the patient, you must provide proof that the dentist failed to provide an adequate standard of care that any other dentist would have provided. Alternatively, you must provide proof that they intentionally committed an act that another dental provider would not have committed in a similar situation.
If you feel you’ve been the victim of dental malpractice, don’t wait to get the physical and/or emotional help you need from a trusted health professional. Then, if you and your doctor or therapist believe that you should pursue legal action, contact the Steigmann Law team. Our experienced attorneys will be able to provide the legal assistance you need.