When people go to a medical professional, they have a right to expect a certain standard of care. Essentially, patients have the right to receive the same level of care from one medical professional as they would from another similarly trained medical provider.
Medical malpractice refers to the failure to meet these expected standards. While this doesn’t guarantee that mistakes won’t be made, it does hold medical professionals liable when they fail to deliver a proper degree of care. Medical care standards pertain to all medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, our attorneys have significant experience representing victims of medical malpractice and, specifically, dental malpractice. Patients who have suffered physically, emotionally, or financially as a result of dental malpractice in the Salt Lake City, UT area should work with our attorneys to obtain compensation for their losses.
When to File Suit
Sadly, it is not unusual for dental professionals to make errors when treating patients. This may include misdiagnosis, inadequate patient care, or the use of substandard dental materials.
However, it is not always appropriate to file a dental malpractice lawsuit. If substandard dental care creates a problem that is primarily cosmetic in nature, one that can be easily fixed, and does not result in any long-term repercussions, it is probably not worth seeking legal action.
If dental malpractice involves catastrophic injuries, illnesses, or other complications, it is a good idea to consider a dental malpractice case. Following are some of the most common reasons for seeking compensation through a dental malpractice lawsuit:
- Anesthesia complications: Many dental procedures require the use of anesthetic. Local anesthetic, sedation, and general anesthesia can all result in complications if they are not properly monitored. Possible complications include respiratory problems, hearing conditions, and nerve damage.
- Failure to diagnose oral cancer: Many people rely on dentists for oral cancer screenings. Since oral cancer rarely results in noticeable symptoms until it has reached advanced stages, an oral cancer screening is the best chance a person has to diagnose and treat cancer while it is still in its early stages. A failure to diagnose oral cancer can significantly increase the likelihood that the condition becomes fatal.
- Injuries to oral nerves: When dental work is performed, there are needles, drills, and other dental tools very close to the oral nerves. If care is not taken, oral nerves can become injured. Nerve injuries may result in short- or long-term complications, including numbness and a loss of oral sensations.
- Infections: Infection is a common risk of many dental treatments. If a dentist fails to take the precautions necessary to prevent an infection, he or she may be held liable for any resulting damages. Serious dental infections can spread and affect other oral tissues, and may result in the need for extensive dental treatment.
- Wrongful death: Although it is not common, dental treatment can lead to wrongful death. If dental malpractice results in the loss of a loved one, surviving family members have a right to seek compensation for their losses.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have received substandard dental care that has resulted in catastrophic injuries and losses, you may be able to seek financial compensation through a dental malpractice lawsuit. To learn more about your legal rights, schedule a free consultation with the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane.