Medical malpractice is a very broad term that includes many types of negligent acts by health care providers. This includes dentists, oral surgeons and dental hygienists. Whether it is a simple dental exam or a complicated extraction involving anesthesia, there is always a risk for injuries during dental procedures. Like any healthcare provider, dentists and dental assistants are responsible for ensuring your health and safety by strictly following an appropriate standard of care. However, mistakes do occur and dental patients may suffer personal injury or death as a result of dental negligence.Types of Dental Malpractice
Like other doctors, dentists owe their patients a duty of care. Dentists must perform procedures in the way an ordinary dentist would under the same circumstances. What this means is dentists are held to the same level that other dentists in the geographic area or that have the same type of educational background. Dental malpractice occurs when a dentist or another oral health care provider breaches the standard of care. While an unsuccessful procedure does not automatically mean an individual will have a claim for malpractice, dental malpractice lawsuits do commonly arise from the following:
- Anesthesia complications
- Failure to diagnose oral diseases or cancers
- Injuries to oral nerves
- Complications with bridges and crowns
- Tooth extraction problems
- Root canal injuries
- Complications from Novocain
- Wrongful Death
Cases of dental malpractice usually relate to an injury in the jaw or mouth, but studies have linked oral health to health of the body as a whole. An injury in the mouth caused by a dentist or a dental provider could have lasting impacts on an individual’s overall health. Similar to other medical malpractice claims, someone who is injured must act quickly because the statute of limitations for dental malpractice actions is only two years from the date of the act causing the injury.Dental Insurance Woes
Compared to other cases of medical malpractice, those with dental injuries are much more likely to not have dental insurance, or to not have significant coverage. Over one third of American adults have no dental insurance, and this figure includes sixty seven million Americans under 65 who do not have dental insurance. The number of individuals under 65 without dental insurances is nearly twice the number of individuals under 65 without health coverage. Additionally, the federal program Medicare does not cover dental services. If an individual received an injury form a dental procedure and did not have insurance coverage, they may be concerned how they will be able to pay medical bills. An experienced attorney can help get medical bills paid.
Dental malpractice is common in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois. Victims of negligence have the right to receive fair and reasonable compensation for the harms caused. If you or a loved one has been the victim of dental malpractice, a Chicago personal injury lawyer can discuss your case with you in a FREE consultation to determine the best course of action. Please call 877-374-1417 or 312–332–2872 or contact us online.