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Dental malpractice: When mistakes by dentists cause severe injuries

Routine dental visits and procedures can sometimes lead to serious injuries.

You probably view dental visits and procedures as possibly uncomfortable, but also routine and unlikely to do any harm. Many people, however, have suffered serious and even fatal injuries while undergoing dental work. A mistake by a dentist can cause a variety of complications and long-term consequences for a patient. These injuries may go beyond the mouth and jaw and affect other areas of the body.

A recent case in New York illustrates this point. In this instance, a dental patient claimed a piece of a dental tool broke off inside his mouth during a routine cleaning. The metal piece then became lodged in the patient's left lung and caused several health complications. The patient initially prevailed and was awarded $430,000. The New York State Appellate Division panel, however, recently reversed the decision due to concerns about which dental provider was actually at fault for the mistake (the patient was seen at two different clinics).

Examples of dental errors

There are many mistakes dentists or oral surgeons can make which may lead to serious harm. These include:

  • Improperly done tooth extractions (may cause nerve damage or other complications)
  • Extraction of the wrong tooth or teeth
  • Dental instruments left in the patient
  • Failure to perform implant procedures or other treatments properly, leading to infection
  • Improper diagnosis or treatment of dental conditions

A common, and relatively major, dental procedure many people undergo is wisdom tooth extraction. Patients who have this procedure generally do not experience serious complications. There is a risk, however, of severe nerve injuries including paresthesia, a debilitating and permanent neurological injury. When patients suffer cut or traumatized nerves after the removal of wisdom teeth, it may indicate negligence by their provider.

Steps to take if you experience dental malpractice

If you think you may be the victim of dental malpractice, it is wise to contact an attorney. These cases often require testimony or advice from dental and medical experts. An attorney can assist you in obtaining this crucial information from well-regarded experts.

The attorneys at Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld, LLP have handled maxillofacial and dental malpractice cases since 1950. They have a proven record of success in obtaining significant financial compensation for victims of dental malpractice.

Contact the firm today for a free initial consultation to discuss the options available to you based on your unique situation.

Keywords: dental malpractice, medical malpractice, dentist error

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