What is Considered Dental Malpractice?

Understanding Dental Malpractice

When many people think about medical malpractice, they think about medical errors that occur involving doctors or at medical facilities. There is, however, a growing number of dental malpractice cases occurring across New Jersey. These cases can involve errors committed by a variety of professionals in the dental industry including dentists, dental assistants, and hygienists. One of the best ways to prevent being impacted by dental malpractice is to understand the ways in which dental malpractice often occurs. There are strict statutes of limitations in New Jersey regarding medical malpractice, which means that a person who decides to pursue a case outside of this time window will be prohibited from doing so.

Common Types of Dental Malpractice

There are a number of different ways dental malpractice can occur, but some of the most common examples include the following:

  • Anesthesia complications. Many patients do not consider the anesthesia that is used in a dentist’s office to be as dangerous as the anesthesia that is used during surgery. In reality, these drugs are actually the same. Some types of anesthesia can cause patients to experience allergic reactions and other unwanted complications. Some patients even die from dental anesthesia.  
  • Extraction errors. Many dentists perform teeth extraction on a routine basis, but complications can arise during these procedures. Not only is nerve damage a potential result from extractions, so are facial fractures.
  • Infections following treatment. There is a risk of infection following many different types of dental treatment including both minor and more serious ones. If your dentist fails to address your infection, there is a risk that you could end up experiencing serious injuries.
  • Not diagnosing dental diseases. Dentists must perform a thorough examination to determine if a patient has one of several serious oral conditions including cancer and periodontal disease. When dentists fail to properly identify these diseases, patients can suffer substantial harm and sometimes even die.
  • Permanent damage. Just like other medical professionals, many dental procedures can result in permanent damage. Dental professionals must inform patients about the potential complications that could result from a procedure. When dentists fail to explain these details, a patient can often pursue a medical malpractice claim.
  • Unnecessary procedures. There are a number of dental procedures including teeth extractions that are necessary to keep patients healthy. When a dentist performs a procedure that is later decided to be unnecessary, it is possible for malpractice claims to arise. Similarly, dental professionals must explain all procedures to the patients before they are performed as well as the reason why the procedure is necessary.

Speak with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been harmed by complications that occurred at the dentist, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced lawyer at Ferrara & Gable. Schedule an initial consultation with us today, during which time we will discuss your various available options to pursue compensation.