Common Forms of Dental Malpractice

Dental Malpractice can take many different forms, including but not limited to:

 

  • Failure to diagnose a serious dental problem (leading a patient to avoid seeking treatment, and the problem worsening);

 

  • Misdiagnosis of a dental problem (leading the patient to have the incorrect treatment for the problem);

 

  • Performing an unnecessary dental treatment, such as root canal when the patient does not actually have decay, symptoms or pathology;

 

  • Performing dental treatment on the wrong tooth, such as improper record keeping;

 

  • Unnecessary tooth extraction;

 

  • Incorrect administration of local anesthetic (leading to numbness, lack of taste or drooling);

 

  • Causing nerve damage during a routine dental procedure;

 

  • Failure to prescribe appropriate antibiotics after oral surgery or endodontic procedures (leading the patient to have an infection, complications or hospitalization);

 

  • Using dental equipment that has been improperly sterilized and causes an infection.

 

  • Failure to diagnose periodontal disease (leading the patient to have mobile teeth or necessity of extractions);

 

  • Failure to take a proper medical history (leading the patient to have an allergic reaction to medication or serious medical complications);

 

  • Failure to inform of broken instrument or foreign body, such as a separated root canal file (leading to pain, swelling and infection) and/or

 

  • Failure to provide patient informed consent for dental treatment (leading the patient to accept unnecessary or unknown procedure risk).

See also "Dental Malpractice Case Examples"

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