Experienced Dental Malpractice Attorneys – Available 24/7. 800.359.5690
Dentists and oral surgeons are required to comply with the standard of care during dental consultations, routine examinations, and surgery. If the standard of care is ignored or overlooked, serious injury — and in extreme cases, death — can occur in the dentist’s chair. Like all medical professionals, dentists and other dental care providers have a high level of responsibility to treat their patients with compassion and care. If you were injured due to dental malpractice you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
According to statistics from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), over 150,000 medical malpractice payments were made between 2004-2014.1 Of this figure, 10% was due to malpractice within the field of dentistry.
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury as the result of someone’s negligence, you may seek compensation for damages from those responsible. This kind of injury is often accompanied by a long-term or permanent disability. You or a family member may be unable to maintain employment as a result, creating an incredible financial strain. Hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney is the first step in protecting your rights. A skilled dental malpractice attorney from The Carlson Law Firm can talk to you about your rights and options. Our legal team is fighting to improve the safety and quality of patient care in Texas, one case at a time. We protect the rights of patients and their families who have been affected by dental malpractice. We provide dedicated, aggressive representation to victims of medical malpractice, including dental malpractice, throughout central Texas.
Texas Dental Malpractice Attorney Case Evaluation
As skilled malpractice attorneys, we can evaluate your case and inform you of your rights and options. Dental malpractice can occur during routine checkups and during surgery. We regularly investigate claims arising from errors such as:
Extracting a tooth may be a minor procedure compared to the kinds of surgery that other healthcare providers perform, but if an error occurs at any stage, the consequences could be devastating. Dentists are just as prone as other doctors to commit WSPEs, for example, and if they extract the wrong tooth, the patient will have to undergo another, even more invasive procedure to replace it with an implant.
The only thing worse than undergoing a root canal procedure is undergoing several root canal procedures to fix a botched procedure. Thus, if a root canal is done wrong, a competent dentist may have to go back into the tooth and fix what was initially done, drill deeper, or redo the filling (the post and core) of the root canal. Reshaping of the tooth may be necessary and a new crown may be required to be put on the tooth. For very serious instances of root canal mistakes, an infection of the gums or jaw bone could occur requiring removal of the bone or of the tooth.
Periodontal disease can lead to horrific results, including the loss of almost all or all of a person’s teeth. However, luckily, periodontal disease is very treatable if diagnosed early and there is strong dental intervention. This can help ensure that a patient’s mouth is protected from harm and guarded from this serious health condition. But when there are clear signs of periodontal disease and no diagnosis or treatment, the ramifications can be irreversible and downright devastating. This is dental malpractice.
Too often, we don’t consider the anesthesia used in a dentist office to be as risky as anesthesia used in an operating room. The fact is, drugs used to numb pain in a dentist office are the same used in hospitals. Complications in dental anesthesia have a close connection with extractions.
Like any medical procedure, dental treatments have a risk of infection. If your dentist fails to address the infection, you could suffer serious injury. This category is one of the most common cases in dental malpractice.
The wrong injection may affect other nerves as lingual, alveolar etc. This type of malpractice may be because the doctor hits the nerve and doesn’t withdraw the needle to re-inject properly.
Adverse reaction to drugs
Before injecting any drug, the doctor should be aware that it is not contraindicated for the patient. The wrong drugs may cause allergies and some more dangerous results.
Regardless of the type of negligence you experience as a patient, you need to understand the laws and procedures within your state that determine how you file a dental malpractice claim. For instance, the statute of limitations.
Any dentist, may it be a general dentist, oral surgeon, periodontist or else, all may make dental mistakes with non-reversible outcomes such as poorly placed dental work, botched dental surgery, nerve damage, loss of taste and sensation etc.
If you underwent oral surgery and sustained any of the following injuries, you may be entitled to compensation:
- Blood infection
- Gum infection
- Jaw bone injury/fracture
- Nerve damage to jaw, tongue or lips
- Wrong tooth extraction
We also handle malpractice claims that can arise from cosmetic dental procedures. If you are unsure this has occurred, our skilled dental malpractice lawyers can evaluate your potential case.
Elements of a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit
In order to make a successful case for dental malpractice, an injured patient, with the help of a skilled dental malpractice attorney, will need to establish the following:
- The existence of a dentist-patient relationship
- The appropriate medical standard of care under the circumstances
- How that standard of care was breached, causing harm to the patient, and
- The nature and extent of the patient’s injury
Filing a complaint with the dental board
If you’ve been the victim of dental malpractice, contact your state’s dental board and register a complaint. If there is sufficient cause to further your claim, an investigator will contact the dentist in writing, stating a complaint has been filed against him.
If the investigator determines your complaint doesn’t warrant further investigation, you’ll receive a letter stating it has been dismissed. The letter should include instructions for appeal.
The dentist will have thirty days to respond to the complaint. After reviewing the dentist’s response, the investigator will determine whether to proceed. If the response proves no malpractice occurred, you will receive a letter stating your complaint has been dismissed. Again, the letter should contain instructions for appeal.
Representing Dental Malpractice Victims Across Texas
Very few lawyers handle dentist malpractice cases. Don’t let another day pass without honest answers and dedicated legal representation you can count on. If your life or the life of someone you care about has been changed forever due to an anesthesia error, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We offer free initial consultations with a dental malpractice attorney for clients in Killeen, Temple, Waco, Bryan, Laredo, San Antonio, Austin, Lubbock and Corpus Christi.
With many different office locations throughout Texas, we serve injured clients statewide and provide the comprehensive legal protection they deserve. No appointment is required during normal business hours, and bilingual staff members are available to assist our Spanish-speaking clients. Se habla español.