The Difference Between Dissatisfaction and Negligence

Like your family physician, your dentist has the same duty to protect you from harm.  He has breached this duty if he does not provide you with the local standard for competent care.

dental-chairJust like in a medical malpractice lawsuit, dental malpractice must be based on the four principles of negligence: the dentist’s duty, how it was breached, what caused the breach, and the damages incurred as a result. You can not file a lawsuit against your dentist just because you are not pleased with the result of his work, but you might be able to if he extracted the wrong tooth. In order to help you differentiate between a poor result and malpractice, you should seek the advice of a Missouri medical malpractice attorney.

There Are No Guarantees

Dental medicine is not an exact science with no guarantee that there will not be future complications in the future. In order to prove that negligence caused your injury or pain you will have to be able to show a jury what the appropriate standard of care was in your circumstance, and how your dentist’s conduct did not follow it. Expert witnesses may need to be called to testify on your behalf as to what the normal standard should have been. A Missouri medical malpractice attorney will be able to help you find these experts. The witnesses will also be able to help a jury understand how the dentist’s negligence directly caused your injury. The damages caused by dental malpractice can be an injury, such as nerve damage, but they may also only incur a monetary burden to you if you have to pay to have a mistake rectified. You may also file a non-economic claim against your dentist if his negligence causes you embarrassment, say by missing front teeth. A young Missouri dental patient was awarded $151,900 when his dentist permanently damaged his front teeth.

A Malpractice Case of Negligence

There was an interesting malpractice case brought against a dentist in Oklahoma this past summer. Seven separate plaintiffs are alleging that they contracted infectious diseases, including HIV, from the defendants’ office. The dentist and his staff were reusing containers holding anesthesia and thus were transferring disease from one patient to another. There is a possibility that 7,000 other patients may also have been exposed.

That type of gross recklessness is not a typical scenario for a dental malpractice lawsuit. More often, a dentists’ negligence will cause nerve injury or damage, where the patient loses his ability to taste. Failure to diagnose claims have also been filed against a dentist, especially when a mouth sore or lesion is later found to be cancerous. Dentists use anesthesia for most procedures, if they are negligent in reviewing your medical history and you have an adverse reaction, they could also be found liable for damages. Another type of case typically seen is when a dentist removes the wrong tooth.

St Louis Medical Malpractice Attorney

In order for a malpractice claim to be successful against your dentist, you will need to be able to show that you did not just suffer from pain for a few days or had to schedule an extra visit. The damages will have to be where additional surgery was required to fix his error or he has left you with a permanent loss of sensation or disfigurement. Contact Zevan and Davidson Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 588-2700 if your recent injury in the dentist’s chair qualifies you for compensation of damages.

Photo credit:  dentalsupply

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


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