If you have been to the dental office and have been mistreated or mistreated by your dentist, you are a victim of dental negligence. For more information, read on…
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Being a victim of any kind of medical negligence is terrible, and dental negligence is no different. If the treatment you have received has affected your life in a way that you are entitled to compensation for a negligent dentist to make the road to recovery easier for you. This can help pay for the next treatment down the line.
In this post we are going to talk about the ways a dentist can be negligent and why you might choose to sue them for it. Then we discuss how COVID-19 has affected dental care past year and a half.
What is Dental Negligence?
Before we get into the ways a dentist can be negligent, let’s give you a quick rundown of what dental negligence is.
Dental negligence covers any type of injury caused, aggravated or overlooked by your dentist. If their negligent handling has caused you avoidable harm, you may file a claim for dental negligence.
This damage can be physical damage, damage to your well-being or financial loss from being unable to work or having to pay for further corrective surgery.
In what ways could your dentist be negligent?
Now that we’ve got the definitions out of the way, it’s time to look at how your dentist can be negligent?.
It may not seem like there are many ways a dentist can be negligent, especially when compared to a doctor or surgeon. That said, there are many more than you might think.
Here are some of the most common ways dental negligence can occur:
- nerve damage
- Damage or facial deformity after cosmetic treatment
- Incorrectly administered anesthetic
- Failure to properly diagnose dental disease
- Failure to effectively treat dental disease
- Failed Implants
- Poorly placed implants
- Removing too much enamel when installing veneer
- Inadequate root canal treatment
- Insufficient crowns
- Insufficient fillings
- Pulling the wrong tooth
- Tooth decay not under control
- Not good at dealing with gum disease
- Improper use of bleaches
- Bad orthodontics
This list is by no means exhaustive, but should give you an idea of the number of ways a dentist can carelessly treat their patients.
What are the reasons for suing a negligent dentist?
So we know now how a dentist can be negligent?But why would you sue them for that? Isn’t it enough that they made a mistake and apologized for their abuse?
That would be the caring thing to do in most other situations. However, when it comes to negligent medical care, compensation is often the only way to right the wrong.
The main reasons people file a complaint: negligent dental care are:
- For misdiagnosis, late diagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition resulting in avoidable injury, pain or suffering to the patient.
- For injuries caused by poorly performed dental procedures or carelessness resulting in avoidable injury, pain or suffering to the patient.
- For financial loss as a result of paying for remedial treatment as a result of negligent medical care.
- For lost income if the careless dental care has affected the patient’s fitness for work.
- For physical and psychological trauma arise as a result of negligent dental care.
As you can see from the list above, it is only fair that you receive compensation for dental work that has caused you pain or injury, especially when it results in financial loss and loss of income.
How do you prove your dentist was negligent?
It’s all well and good with the moral justification and legal precedent for your… dental negligence lawsuit, but it means nothing if you don’t have proof. To substantiate your claim, you must prove the following:
- Infringement: you must demonstrate how the dentist has breached his duty by falling below the expected standard of care. The standard is a measure of the reasonably average skill level of the dentist.
- Cause: you must demonstrate that you have suffered direct damage as a result of the dentist’s breach of duty.
- Injury: you must demonstrate that you have suffered damage as a result of your dentist’s duty of care. If you suffered no damage but your dentist was blatantly careless it would be very difficult to claim dental negligence.
If you can prove all of the above, you should be in a good position to: file a claim for dental negligence.
Has COVID-19 worsened dental problems?
Now that we know what is dental negligence?, how a dentist can be negligent and why you might want to sue them, it’s time to see how dental care is doing in the era of COVID-19.
Since the start of COVID-19 in March 2020, more people have been affected by a delayed diagnosis of gum disease and tooth decay, both preventable conditions if caught by your dentist. If left untreated, these conditions can be catastrophic for the patient.
In the UK, the health and social care watchdog, Healthwatch England, has released a report stating that the number of complaints about dental experiences increased by 452 percent between July and September 2020.
These complaints were probably due to patients not having access to: routine and emergency dental care due to limited appointments during COVID-19. The lack of routine appointments will have had the most impact on the rise in gum disease and tooth decay.
On top of these cases, the number of oral cancer referrals has fallen by a third compared to the usual 22 cases noted every day in previous years. In general it looks like dental negligence claims will increase in the coming years.
Should you sue your dentist for negligent care?
In this post, we managed to discuss what dental negligence is, the ways a dentist can be negligent, and the reasons to sue a dentist. We also talked about how dental negligence has been exacerbated by COVID-19.
It’s all up to you or you sue your dentist for negligence. You have ample right to sue them for injury, and if you suffered a financial loss as a result of the injury, you should definitely file a claim to get you through it. Just be sure to seek the advice of a lawyer to see if your claim is reasonable.