What Is Dental Malpractice?

Dental Malpractice Lawyer Salt Lake

If you have been harmed by your dentist, either due to your dentist’s actions or perhaps his or her inactions, you may be wondering if you have grounds for legal action. If it turns out that the harm you have suffered meets the criteria for so-called dental malpractice, you almost certainly have grounds to file legal action.

What exactly is dental malpractice? In a nutshell, it means that your dentist failed to uphold the duty of care he or she owed you as a patient. That duty of care is defined by law. But it is important to note from the start that the law is nuanced and complex. Exceptions sometimes apply to generally understood rules. As a result, it is important to speak with an attorney experienced in dental malpractice cases before making assumptions about your situation. Before you commit to filing legal action (or decide to forgo legal action), please explain your situation to an attorney in order to receive relevant guidance and support. At that time, you can make an informed decision about your situation moving forward.

Understanding Dental Malpractice

Dental professionals (dentists, orthodontists, etc.) owe a legal duty of care to their patients. If other dental professionals of similar skill, education and specialty would not consider the care provided to a patient to be reasonable and adequate, then the care provided (or not provided) is likely to be considered dental malpractice by a court of law. When a dentist fails in his or her duty of care and harm results, the patient who suffered harm can likely hold that dentist accountable through a malpractice suit with the aid of an experienced attorney.

Depending on the circumstances, any number of failures on the part of a dentist can rise to the level of malpractice. For example, failure to diagnose a harmful condition may be considered malpractice if a patient is harmed by the lack of information. Failure to treat infections and other complications may also be considered malpractice. Lack of informed consent on the part of a patient, failure to refer a patient to a necessary specialist and anesthesia administration challenges may also provide grounds for legal action when these challenges result in harm. Other missteps may be considered malpractice as well, so please ask your attorney any questions you may have if your situation does not fall under one of these common scenarios.

Legal Guidance Is Available

If you have questions about dental malpractice, please do not hesitate to connect with an attorney experienced in this nuanced and highly-specialized area of law. The American legal system seeks to protect patients from unreasonable harm. But it is not easy to seek justice alone. Having an experienced dental malpractice lawyer in Salt Lake from Rasmussen & Miner on your side can help to ensure that you receive any compensation you may be entitled to and that your action helps to protect patients just like you in the future. Please consider calling a law firm today so that they can learn more about your unique situation and can help you explore your legal options.

Were you harmed by your dentist?

Statistics show that one out of every seven malpractice suits are filed by patients against their dentists. Mistakes or negligence on the part of a dentist can result in permanent or long term injuries and a lifetime of pain and discomfort. At Rasmussen & Miner we have represented our share of clients who were harmed in this way by their dentist. If you believe you were injured due to dental malpractice, do not delay in contacting a lawyer from our Salt Lake firm who will review your case for free. You may be eligible for compensation from your dentist, compensation that may enable you to reverse the condition that they caused. If your damages include pain and suffering, you can be compensated for that as well.

What are common examples of dental malpractice?

Some mistakes made by dentists are insignificant and do not result in serious harm to the patient. Other mistakes do cause serious harm, and in those instances, the dentist should be held accountable for their negligent actions. Here are some of the most common examples of dental malpractice and which are cause for Salt Lake patients to seek guidance from a lawyer:

  •         Misdiagnosis of a serious dental condition.
  •         Delayed diagnosis of a disease such as oral cancer.
  •         Delayed treatment of a serious condition such as an abscessed tooth, advanced mouth infection, or oral cancer.
  •         Failure to inform the patient that a particular procedure is not necessary or a failure to inform the patient of the risks associated with a particular procedure.
  •         Failure to inform the patient and gain their consent for work they performed or for a procedure they did on the patient, whether or not the work or procedure was successful.
  •         Failure to take into consideration a patient’s documented allergy to a medication, substance, or anesthesia.
  •         Incorrect administration of anesthesia or the failure to monitor the patient while under anesthesia.
  •         Incorrect implementation of braces, filling, crown, bridge, or other device.
  •         Severe injuries to the patient’s jaw, chin, lips, teeth, or tongue.
  •         Unnecessary extraction of a tooth or teeth.
  •         Damage to a nerve while undergoing a procedure.

What is necessary to prove dental malpractice?

Whether you file a personal injury claim against the dentist, or later elevate the claim to a lawsuit, you and your Salt Lake dental malpractice lawyer must prove the following:

  1. You were a patient of the dentist who acted negligently.
  2. Because of their negligence, you were harmed.
  3. Another dentist under similar conditions would have not made the same medical mistake.
  4. The harm you suffered is measurable and quantifiable rather than minor.

If you were harmed due to dental malpractice and would like to have your case reviewed at no charge by an experienced lawyer in Salt Lake, call Rasmussen & Miner today.