Woman at the dental office, being shown an x-ray of her teeth.

7 Mistakes Dentists Make That Can Lead to a Malpractice Claim

You might not realize the harm that a dentist can do if he delivers substandard dental care, but errors that a dentist can make could cost you your life. If you or a loved one experienced complications from a dental procedure or did not get a timely diagnosis, you might want to talk to a New York dental malpractice attorney. You might be eligible to pursue compensation for your losses.

You could lose the right to go after money damages if you wait too long. New York law has a short deadline for filing malpractice lawsuits. If you miss the deadline, the law cannot help you.

Here are seven mistakes that dentists can make that can lead to a malpractice claim:

1. Radiology errors. 

When a dentist misinterprets your x-rays, he can fail to diagnose problems that will worsen as a result. On the flip side, you might have to undergo unnecessary and expensive dental procedures that set you up for future issues with your teeth if your dentist misreads your imaging studies.

2. Delay in diagnosis.

If your dentist does not notice and diagnose problems in your mouth early on, you might develop tooth decay, advanced gum disease or tooth loss as a result. You might have to get bridgework or go for specialty care, like a periodontist or oral surgeon, because of the delayed diagnosis.

3. Failure to diagnose mouth cancer. 

A dentist might miss the symptoms of oral cancer in a patient. As a result, the malignancy could advance to a later stage that has less possibility of a cure.

4. Anesthesiology errors.

 If the needle gets inserted too far, the patient might sustain paralysis of the tongue or jaw from nerve damage. Sometimes the paralysis resolves within a few months, but other patients endure lifelong problems.

5. Failure to refer. 

If your dentist is a general dentist, he should refer you to a specialist like an endodontist or an oral-maxilla-facial surgeon when your condition warrants specialty care. A general dentist should not attempt to perform procedures for which he does not have the training or qualifications.

6. Infections. 

An infection in the mouth, like a tooth abscess, can spread deep into the jaw or migrate to other areas of the brain. A dental infection means that bacteria are present. A mouth infection can cause sepsis, which can be life-threatening. People with weakened immune systems should be particularly mindful of the risk of oral infections.

7. Surgical mistakes. 

Dental surgery can include things like tooth extractions, root canals, and dental implants. Some examples of errors during these procedures are breaking into the sinus cavity, damage to the tooth or adjacent teeth, or nicking a nerve and causing paralysis of the mouth.

These are but a few examples of mistakes a dentist can make that can harm a patient and lead to a dental malpractice claim. If you think that you were the victim of substandard dental care, a New York dental malpractice attorney might be able to help you go after the compensation that you deserve. Contact our New York dental malpractice attorneys today.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.