Our Dental Malpractice Attorneys Will Help You Get Your Smile Back
Most people are familiar with the concept of medical malpractice cases. What many people aren’t aware of, however, is that there is a similar type of case that applies to the dental industry. Dental malpractice cases aren’t as common as medical malpractices, but it is very important to have a good understanding of them should your dentist make some sort of serious mistake.
Types of Dental Malpractice
When determining whether or not there has been dental malpractice in a particular case, it is important to understand that malpractice typically requires some type of negligence or a mistake that should not have been made. As everyone knows, some dental procedures are painful, but that does not mean there is malpractice. Some examples of cases that may involve malpractice would include:
- Dental Nerve Injuries – Dental nerve injuries can be a devastating and traumatic experience. These nerve injuries can be permanent. There are many nerves that can be injured during a dental procedure. The two most frequent injuries that occur are the Lingual Nerves (LN) and the Inferior Alveolar nerves (IAN)
Lingual Nerve Injury
Lingual nerve injuries are generally caused during extractions of wisdom teeth. Symptoms usually experienced after an injury to the Lingual nerve include the following:
- Numbing of the tongue;
- Loss of taste;
- Altered taste;
- A tingling sensation in the tongue;
- Impaired speech;
- Pain or burning sensation;
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Injury
Inferior Alveolar nerve injuries are frequently caused during the removal of wisdom teeth, placement of dental implants and during Root Canal Treatment. Symptoms commonly experienced after the Inferior Alveolar nerve has been injured include:
- Numbness or pain in the chin, lips, and gums;
- A tingling or electrical shock sensation in the chin, lips, and gums;
- A burning pain in the chin, lips, and gums;
- Impaired speech.
Root Canal Overfill or Over- Instrumentation
When filling materials are overextended they can enter the underlying main sensory nerve in the lower part of the jaw or enter into the sinus in the upper jaw and burn delicate nerve tissue. A constant lack of sensation and/or pain and discomfort in the chin and lip is indicative of overfill of the lower posterior (back) teeth.
If dental implants in the lower jaw are drilled too deeply, they can penetrate the underlying inferior alveolar nerve and cause permanent pain and/or numbness of the chin, lip, and gums of the lower jaw. Your dentist should be consulted immediately if sharp pain and /or numbness continues 8 hours after implant placement surgery has been performed. There is a short window in which these nerve injuries must be treated and the failure to do so can result in permanent nerve damage.
- Anesthesia Issues – Dentists often have to use anesthesia during procedures. If they use too much of it and it results in serious medical issues, that could be an example of malpractice.
- Failure to Diagnose or Improper Diagnosis – There are some issues such as infections that can be very serious. If the dentist fails to diagnose these issues, or diagnoses it improperly, it could be malpractice.
- Unsterilized Equipment – Dentists are responsible for ensuring all the equipment they use is sterilized to very high standards. If they have failed to do this, it is an example of malpractice.
There are many other examples of dental malpractice to be aware of. If you think your dentist has been negligent in any way, we can help. The Sharp Firm has earned a strong reputation as leaders in the dental malpractice area for years. People from throughout Texas contact us to take advantage of our dental malpractice experience.
If you believe that you have been the victim of dental malpractice, please contact us. We offer a free consultation to go over the facts surrounding your case, and can help determine whether or not you have a strong case. If so, we’ll work hard on your behalf to get the best possible settlement or verdict.