Dental errors are a type of medical malpractice that focuses on injuries patients sustain during treatment by dental professionals. Patients can sustain these injuries during almost any type of procedure, or they may result from a dental staff member’s failure to properly provide necessary medical care. Our staff at Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld, LLP, knows that these errors, particularly maxillofacial surgical errors, are a less common area of medical malpractice that can have serious consequences for injured patients.
Maxillofacial surgeons are often tasked with extracting teeth. One of the major hazards associated with this type of procedure includes damage to the nerves of the mouth, jaw and tongue. When wisdom teeth are extracted, these nerves are more likely to be damaged because they are often located next to or under the roots of the teeth. The nerves can be pulled, severed and permanently damaged if dental professionals do not take proper precautions during an extraction.
A recent publication from the Journal of Dentistry states that patients with damage in these essential nerves may experience a permanent loss of feeling in various areas of the mouth. Some patients may lose the ability to taste, or experience a condition known as paresthesia, where the affected regions of mouth and jaw can have a burning, tingly or prickly sensation. The condition is often permanent. These injuries can make it impossible for patients to enjoy the sensations of eating. In severe cases, it may affect their ability to safely chew their food due to a fear of damaging the delicate tissues of the mouth or swallowing the tongue.
Other common injuries connected to these procedures includes damage to the jaw bone or surrounding teeth, infection in the gums and jaw, and exposure of the sinuses. For more information on these types of dental injuries, please visit our web page.