A dentist can be liable for malpractice if there is proof of deviation from a reasonable standard of care and that it caused someone to suffer damages. Both are important elements in this type of case. 

What constitutes dental malpractice?

Just a standard trip to the dentist can raise fears for some people. These can stem from a previous bad experience or the unpleasant side effects of a particular procedure.

Dentists owe a duty of care to their patients, meaning they must provide services that meet a certain reasonable standard. When there is a departure from this standard of care and it ends up causing harm, the dentist could be liable for resultant damages.

For instance, certain side effects are expected with some procedures. But if a dentist incorrectly performed a procedure, it is a deviation from a reasonable standard of care. If it results in permanent nerve damage, the dentist might be liable for any damages that result. Another example would be a dentist who fails to get a patient’s complete medical history before providing care.

Some health conditions may impact the dental treatment the dentist provides, such as:

  • diabetes;
  • cardiovascular disease;
  • hypertension; and
  • asthma.

If there is a severe adverse reaction because of a failure to obtain this information or provide care accordingly, a dentist could be liable.

What types of damages would warrant filing a claim?

As noted, the validity of a claim is based on the patient suffering damages or losses. Serious injuries, such as permanent nerve damage or disfigurement from a procedure are examples of injuries that warrant legal action.

Some of the types of damages that claimants may seek in a dental malpractice claim include:

  • medical costs;
  • lost wages;
  • pain and suffering; and
  • mental anguish.

Contact attorney Jason Schultz to learn more about damages specific to your case.