When Dental Malpractice Causes a Wrongful Death
By John Macfarlane on November 28, 2018
Dental malpractice can occur anytime a dentist fails to provide proper care. Although rare, dental malpractice can result serious injuries and even death.
When a loved one has died due to the negligence of a dental professional, surviving family members may seek restitution through a dental malpractice lawsuit.
The wrongful death attorneys of Younker Hyde Macfarlane have the expertise to represent clients in dental malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits in and around Salt Lake City, UT and are standing by to help you in your time of need.
Malpractice and Wrongful Death Can Happen in Any Medical Field
When most people think of medical malpractice and wrongful death, they often think of deaths caused by surgical errors and may be surprised to learn that malpractice and wrongful death can happen in any medical field.
Medical malpractice is simply a failure for medical professionals to meet certain standards and makes it possible to hold medical professionals liable when they do not provide an expected and proper level of care.
All medical professionals, including dentists, are required to uphold medical care standards specific to their field. If they do not and a patient is injured or dies as a result of a medical professional's negligence, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be brought against the medical professional or his or her employer.
What Might Cause a Wrongful Death to Occur at the Dentist?
Wrongful death is the term used when a person dies as a result of another person's negligence or misconduct. Dental malpractice can lead to wrongful death during or after a dental procedure. Let's consider some ways in which wrongful death may occur as a result of dental malpractice.
Signs of Distress Were Ignored
A wrongful death may occur when a dentist ignores a patient's signs of distress. This may include oxygen levels declining during sedation, excessive bleeding during oral surgery, or any other indicator that a patient is not well.
Patient Had a Bad Reaction to Sedative or Anesthesia
Sedatives and anesthesia used during some dental procedures, such as oral surgery, can react negatively with a patient. This may be due to medications a patient has been taking, or their overall health. In other cases, a person may not tolerate sedatives or anesthesia simply due to physiological factors.
Too Many Procedures Performed at Once
In an effort to save time or restore oral health as soon as possible, a dentist may choose to perform multiple dental procedures at once. Depending on the types of procedures performed, performing too many invasive treatments at once can traumatize a person's body and lead to wrongful death.
Patient Health History Ignored
A dentist may ignore or fail to learn about a patient's health history and the current state of the patient's general health. Performing oral surgery on patients with heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, and other chronic health conditions can put patients at unnecessary risk of serious injury or death.
Failure to Take Precautions to Prevent Infection
Failure to take precautions to prevent infection can lead to infections spreading from areas treated within the mouth to the rest of the body. If the infection enters the bloodstream, it may lead to a life-threatening condition called sepsis. Sepsis can cause organ failure and death if not treated.
Contact the Attorneys of Younker Hyde Macfarlane
If you believe the loss of a loved one was caused by the negligence of his or her dentist, you are encouraged to call (801) 335-7025 to schedule a consultation and find out what legal options will work for you.
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They were extremely knowledgeable, extremely helpful experts. The team helped me with all aspects of my case, including medical and financial, and understood that it affected more than me but also my family.- Jill S.