How Do I Know if my Dentist Was Negligent?

We trust our dentist to provide safe and proper care for our oral health. When a dentist fails to provide adequate care, the dentist’s actions may be negligent. If a dentist is guilty of negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and harm caused by dental negligence. A New York dental malpractice attorney can help you determine if your dentist was negligent in the treatment he or she provided.

Proving a Dentist Was Negligent

Dentists owe a duty of care to their patients just like a medical provider owes a duty of care to his patients. A dentist that is negligent in breaching the duty of care can be held liable for damages and injuries caused by the negligence.

Orthodontic surgeons, dentists, periodontists, and orthodontists are expected to provide care that meets or exceeds the acceptable standard of care within the industry. In examining whether the dentist deviated from the standard of care, we consult experts within the dental field to review the treatment provided by the dentist. Experts compare the dentist’s actions against the acceptable treatment for the same or a similar situation to determine if the dentist deviated from the acceptable treatment. If so, the dentist may be negligent and liable for damages.

We must also prove that the deviation from the standard of care caused your injury and your injury resulted in damages. Again, experts are often used to provide testimony that explains how your injuries were a direct result of the dentist’s negligence. The damages sustained because of the injury include physical pain, permanent impairment, scarring and disfigurement.

Common Causes of Dental Malpractice and Negligence

A dentist may be negligent in one or more ways when providing dental care for a patient.  Some of the common factors in cases involving dental negligence and dental malpractice include:

  • Failure to perform a thorough oral examination, including x-rays, before performing a procedure or treatment
  • Failing to discuss the potential risks and benefits of a procedure with the patient, including providing information related to any alternative forms of treatment
  • Incorrect use of medications or dental anesthesia
  • Faulty restorations that result in tooth loss
  • Failing to refer a patient to a specialist when the need arises
  • Failing to diagnose infections and provide treatment for infections
  • Faulty or inadequate treatment related to veneers, root canals, dental bridges, crowns, or implants
  • Misalignment of teeth due to a standard dental procedure
  • Nerve damage from improper use of dental tools or improper dental procedures
  • Failing to diagnose periodontal (gum) disease or oral cancer
  • Any incorrect or improper procedure that results in injury or damage

The above list is not an exhaustive list of the ways a dentist can harm a patient through negligence and inadequate care. A thorough investigation is required to determine the circumstances related to the injury and whether the dentist’s actions give rise to a dental malpractice claim.

Contact a New York Dental Malpractice Attorney for a Case Review

Dental negligence and malpractice can result in chronic pain, loss of bone support, loss of teeth, damage to gums, and damage to the tongue, face, lips, and jaw. If you suspect you might be the victim of dental malpractice, contact our New York dental malpractice attorneys today to discuss your case.

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.