Oral Hygiene Negligence by Dental Professionals

During the past half-century, oral hygiene has played an increasingly essential and more sophisticated role in dental care. If your dentist or dental hygienist has caused you harm by being negligent in this area of dental care, he or she may be guilty of dental malpractice. In this case, you need a skilled dental malpractice lawyer on your side to win the compensation you deserve. 

Types of Oral Hygiene Negligence

Oral hygiene involves more than cleaning the teeth, mouth, gums, tongue, and the areas between the teeth. It also involves scrupulous examination while on the lookout for potential oral problems as well as guidance and instruction about personal dental and periodontal (gum) care. 

If in spite of receiving regular checkups at the dentist and having the requisite number of cleanings, you have experienced issues your practitioner should have prevented or warned you about, or if you have been physically injured during your cleaning, you may be entitled to substantial damages. 

The range of oral hygiene negligence is broad, stretching from undiscovered cavities or infection to severe injury (e.g. laceration of the tongue), and includes:

Failure to Properly Clean Teeth and Gums

This involves the use of various dental tools and equipment to thoroughly remove particulates of plaque, tartar, or calculus. Water flossing is also part of this process.

Failure to Perform a Periodontal Screening & Recording (PSR) to detect periodontal disease through probing and recording the status of the gum line at each tooth. A full-mouth probing/recording should be performed by two individuals (one to probe and the other to record findings) at least once a year.

Failure to Examine the Jaw and Neck for swollen glands or other signs of systemic problems

Injury to a patient during the cleaning process

There are any number of injuries a patient may suffer during the cleaning process, including:

  • Chipped or broken tooth or laceration of the gum, tongue, or upper palate
  • Being burned by the spillage of a toxic substance 
  • Being cut by or aspirating a broken instrument tip
  • Failing to have a cavity, gum recession, bone loss, or another dental problem diagnosed
  • Failing to have a possible oral cancer detected
  • Failing to have a mouth infection diagnosed or properly treated 
  • Failing to have teeth cleaned properly to prevent damage
  • Failing to have a chipped tooth detected and repaired, resulting in a worsening problem
  • Being examined with unsterilized instruments, resulting in an infection
  • Having mistakes made during administration of local anesthesia or IV sedation

Contact Our Experienced Dental Malpractice Attorney for a Free Evaluation

Every state has laws known as dental practice acts in place. If your New York dentist or hygienist has violated these, and you have suffered personal injury as a result, Attorney Lance Ehrenberg is well-prepared to assist you. He has spent decades as a trial attorney working on dental malpractice cases and has a strong track record of success. 

Call him now to find out if you are entitled to receive damages for medical treatment, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

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.