As with any health care procedure, patients can suffer serious injuries or illnesses from dental and orthodontic procedures. In some cases, the injury or illness is the result of circumstances beyond the control of the provider. However, if an injury is caused by the negligence or carelessness of an orthodontist or dentist, the patient may be entitled to compensation for damages. Our New York dental malpractice attorneys can investigate the circumstances of your injury to determine if a malpractice claim needs to be filed.
Common Reasons for an Orthodontic Malpractice Claim
When a dentist, orthodontist, or oral surgeon makes a mistake, patients can suffer serious injuries. To prove a malpractice claim, you must prove that you had a patient-dentist relationship; the acceptable standard of care for the given circumstances; the provider breached the standard of care; and, the breach caused the patient to suffer harm. Because of the complex nature of a malpractice claim involving an orthodontist or dentist, you need to move quickly to consult a New York malpractice attorney who has experience handling orthodontic malpractice claims.
Some of the common reasons why a patient may be injured and entitled to compensation include:
- Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis of Dental Disease and Problems
When symptoms of a dental problem exist, a dentist should take notice and perform whatever tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis. If a dentist fails to diagnose or misdiagnoses oral cancer, periodontal disease, problems with braces, or other dental issues when symptoms are present, the dentist may be liable for dental malpractice.
- Delays in Treatment
Early diagnosis of problems with braces, oral diseases, or other oral health issues is key to successful treatment. Unwarranted or unnecessary delays in treatment can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, or damage from braces. You might have a dental malpractice claim if the dentist delayed treatment unnecessarily.
- Unnecessary Extraction of Teeth
In some cases, an orthodontist may recommend extracting some of a patient’s teeth before the braces are applied or in other situations. However, if those teeth were extracted unnecessarily, you may be entitled to compensation for orthodontic malpractice.
- Failure to Refer for Extractions at the Beginning of Treatment
The failure to refer at the beginning of treatment for indicated extractions may result in the damage and loss of additional teeth which were salvageable early on. Only experienced attorneys and experts can spot this.
- Performing Procedures Without Informed Consent
A medical provider is required to obtain informed consent before performing any procedure, including an orthodontist. Before an orthodontist puts braces on your teeth, you have the right to hear the benefits and the risks associated with the procedure. In addition, you have the right to hear the benefits and the risks of any procedures that are necessary to put the braces on, adjust the braces, care for the braces, and remove the braces. The orthodontist might be found to be negligent if your consent was based on incorrect information or lack of information.
- Using Improperly Sterilized Equipment or the Wrong Equipment
When an orthodontist or dentist is performing a procedure, the dentist uses a variety of tools. Some of those tools are used with other patients. If proper sterilization techniques are not used, a patient could contract a disease, infection, or suffer other ill effects. In addition, if a dentist uses the wrong equipment and tools during a procedure, unnecessary damage and injuries may result.
- Problems with Anesthesia or Medications
During some procedures, an orthodontist or dentist will use anesthesia to help reduce the pain and make the patient more comfortable. An orthodontist or dentist may prescribe medications to help patients relax during a dental procedure. If the orthodontist fails to inform the patient of the risks involved with anesthesia or the orthodontist makes a mistake that causes an injury, the orthodontist may face a malpractice claim.
- Failure to Supervise Employees
In addition to the dentist or orthodontist, one or more technicians may perform procedures for patients. If the provider does not supervise his or her employees adequately, mistakes can be made that injure patients. The orthodontist or dentist may be held liable in a malpractice claim.
Call a New York Dental Malpractice Lawyer to Discuss Filing an Orthodontic Malpractice Claim
Negligence and mistakes can cause many problems and severe injuries with braces and other orthodontic procedures. If you have suffered through a dental error, contact our dental malpractice lawyers today to discuss your potential legal claim. Our New York dental malpractice lawyers can help you gather the evidence needed to prove that orthodontic malpractice caused your injury.