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4 Prominent Things You Should Know about Dental Malpractice

4 Prominent Things You Should Know about Dental Malpractice

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Linda Rizzo, a 58-year-old retiree, had been undergoing four years of dental treatment with Dr. Kay for which she had paid $36,000. Post its completion, she filed a lawsuit against the dentist claiming that he had inserted upper and lower bridges that did not fit, which had ultimately resulted in permanent residual injuries of her jaw and gums. Dr. Kay was adjudged negligent and Rizzo was awarded a sum of $450,000 for suffering pain and as damages.

Rizzo's case is just one of many dental malpractice cases that have happened throughout the years. In fact, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank, one out of every seven medical malpractice cases directly involved a dental professional in 2006. Dental negligence can lead to long-term complications and can cause pain for a lifetime.

You don't want to endure such suffering. It is, therefore, crucial that you're extremely careful about the quality of care you're receiving from your dentist. The dentist should perform his/her duty to perfection, provide you with the best possible dental care, and act in your best interests. But, there have been several cases where dentists have put their patient's health at risk for personal gain or by being negligent.

Dental malpractice can result in severe consequences. Knowing the varied aspects related to this form of medical malpractice will help you take steps in the right direction.

Here are the four most crucial aspects related to dental malpractice you need to know about.

1. What Is Dental Malpractice?

Dental malpractice refers to a form of negligence where the harm caused to the patient may be a result of the following:

  • Negligent dental work
  • Failure to diagnose or treat a hazardous dental condition
  • Delayed diagnosis or treatment of oral disease
  • Any intentional misconduct on the part of the dentist

2.Your Consent Is of Utmost Importance

It need not be said that the healthcare professional needs to provide you with the acceptable standard of dental care. Apart from this, he/she cannot provide you with any additional services that are beyond your informed consent.

The treatment provided to you should not exceed the consent that you have already given to your oral health care practitioner. Failure to adhere to this aspect by the practitioner may make you eligible for filing a dental malpractice lawsuit.

3.Common Forms of Dental Malpractice

People can sustain temporary or permanent injuries to the nerves of lips, chin, tongue, jaw or teeth owing to even the slightest mistake on the dentist's part. Here are a few of the most common types of dental malpractice:

  • Improper or negligent administration of anaesthesia
  • Fractured or broken jaw due to a dental procedure
  • Delayed or wrong dental diagnosis or treatment
  • Improper usage of dental tools and equipment
  • Nerve injuries caused by dental injections
  • Permanent or temporary numbness or loss of taste/sensation
  • Permanent or temporary structural injuries to the tongue, jaw, chin or lips
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders
  • Wrongful death resulting from dental procedures or oral surgery
  • Complications arising from negligently completed crowns and bridges
  • Dentists' failures to take into account a patient's relevant medical history
  • Failure to detect oral cancer, periodontal disease, or other oral diseases
  • Unnecessary extraction of multiple teeth and/or extraction of wrong teeth
  • Molesting a patient while under sedation
  • Complications from dental work performed months earlier

4.Things You Should Keep in Mind with Respect To A Dental Malpractice Claim

In order to have a dental malpractice claim, a patient should be able to prove that the dentist either unintentionally failed to provide the acceptable standard of care or the dentist intentionally committed an act that no other qualified and reasonable oral health care provider would have committed when dealing with a similar situation.

Also remember, dissatisfaction with the result of the dentist's services doesn't give you the ground to sue. Dental malpractice suits can be brought against practitioners only when they fail to uphold the acceptable standard of care, or when they provide treatment that exceeds your informed consent. More importantly, you need to prove that the dental professional's incompetence/negligence caused your injury.

Best Thing to do to Prevent Dental Malpractice

You can spare yourself the nightmare in the first place by opting for a dentist who is qualified, experienced and highly-reputed. Going for the first dentist that you come across without checking his/her credentials can be very risky.

It is, therefore, essential that you take substantial time when choosing a dentist. Doing so will spare you a lot of trouble in the future. Talk to your friends, colleagues, friends, and family for recommendations based on their experiences. You can also find dentists practicing in a particular area by searching online. There you can see unbiased reviews and opinions on each dentist in your region. For instance, if you're suffering from a gum problem and want to find a Periodontist in Pittsburgh, you can enter Periodontist Pittsburgh into the search engine. This will provide you with a list of relevant results of local Periodontists in Pittsburgh with reviews from actual patients.


Be sure to work with a skilled dentist that has the experience and skills to address what might be ailing you. Even a slight mistake on their part can leave you with a lifetime of dental trouble. Most dentists provide their patients with care and treatment of the highest standards, but there can be times when a few of them become negligent and not provide optimum service to their patients.

(Image Sorce: Pixabay)


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A general dentist did a root canal with a post to tooth #11. Before, during, and after an abscess was present. Multiple rounds of antibiotics. After having oral surgery this week with an endodontist, it was found bone was eaten away from the infection. Is this something the dentist should have not had an issue with and should have been able to remove the infection during the root canal? I complained about this tooth for months- before, during and after...
Thank you,
Tamara Lee Wood

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A general dentist did some work on a root canal which was a front tooth. I was talked in to doing crowns on all my front teeth to make sure they all match. I've has severe issues with sensitivity to hot and cold, constant bleeding. The tooth with the root canal that they replaced the post for is very crooked, causing me to bite my lip. I went to a second dentist and he said that some of the crowns have a gap between the gum and the tooth. There is no options for me now that my teeth were ground down to nubs. My teeth were completely healthy before all this work was done. Now, I find myself stuffing cotton in my mouth to absorb the bleeding daily before I have to talk to my own patients. I can't kiss my husband because of the bleeding and not wanting him to taste blood. I wake up in the middle of the night swallowing blood from my gums. I can't bite into anything with my front teeth. And one of the real issues that needed to be addressed was that I had tooth aches on the top and bottom on the right side of my mouth. It was never taken care of.

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She probably should not have been working on that tooth to begin with since the fillings were from less than a year prior. The other one had been done in 2015 and the dentist has left a spot that was not smooth to the tooth . My problem is she cut into the gums about an eight of an inch or more above where it had been prior to that appointment and told me I had receding gum line but the work she was doing shouldn't have interfered with the gum line ,, I called and told them that it was still bleeding and it hurt horribly.. if I used mouthwash , I could cry. She said stop using mouthwash and use salted water. But the problem is I think she cut into my gums on purpose. It has been over two weeks and it isnt getting better. I am using an extremely soft old organic toothbrush and avoiding going near it most of the time because it bleeds unmercifully. If you look at all my other receeding gumline you can see how horribly she cut it. She took an hour and a half on the 1st tooth which was way weird. And put some kind of white bond on it. It doesn't even match the one next to it where she destroyed my gum? I need help. I went to her in the fall because my regular dentist has new hygienists everytime I go and this kid shoved to pitch used to determine gum line right up into it and said I needed a scaling but I was not about to let a kid that just poked a hole in my gum do scaling. Not the same tooth as the one the dentist screwed up.. I didnt call new dentist until it stopped hurting. Is there a dentist I can talk to about this. Or a dentist examining board?

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My daughter had a root canal the afternoon of Monday June 25, 2020, yes 3 days ago. It was a new dentist in the office. The root canal was to be done on a lower left incisor. My daughter has severe dental phobia/anxiety. She had contacted office Thursday June 112020 to express her extreme phobia /anxiety especially since no one could accompany her due to COVID-19 fell on deaf ears. When she arrived for appointment again told of dental phobia/anxiety again nothing,thought at least laughing gas would be available. Dentist began root canal about 2 hours later says unable complete root canal due to being complicated, multiple, deep canals/roots. The office didn't have correct, long enough equipment to finsh. A temporary filling was placed on top, she was having quite a bit of pain and discomfort was told normal and was sent home. She said her time in chair was horrible she felt so much of what he was doing, entire procedure was pain. The dentist is very young in practice only 3 years out of dental school. My daughter is 22 years old no dental insurance, she paid $330 for root canal out of her pocket on sliding scale for low/no income individual, since didn't complete she should receive either a full or partial refund. They said are referring her to an Endodontist to finish procedure but not to get her hopes up be they only do so many reduced rate or free procedures.Its now Thursday June 18 2020 3 days later and she still experiencing pain, discomfort and bleeding.My daughter has teeth that need a lot of work, the previous dentist at this office had been working to get her teeth all fixed up, she has severe dental phobia /anxiety that is now even worse after this fiasco and does NOT want to go back to this dentist or any dentist now. What is she supposed to do now, she can't afford to go to a different dentist to fix this screwed up root canal. Now she is scared of dentist more than ever. Please help.

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I had a large bridge put in last year. It failed in less then a year. Now they want me to pay for a different procedure to fix my problem. I paid $14000, no insurance. I don’t want to have to pay again for their failure. I was told by the dentist who replaced the original dentist that the bridge that was made for me is not the normal way of going about fixing my original problem.

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What if you get dentures and they dont fit correctly amd after paying a lot of money the only way they will work on them so they fit is if you spend even more money!! And I have only had them 5 months!!

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They have kits online that you can make your own dentures these days. I don't know how much time or craftiness you have but this might be a cheaper option and you have more ability to customize it accordingly.

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Is there any way possible to sue a medical school for the malpractice of an intern? From the beginning this person was hostile, and during the procedure it was apparent she did not know exactly is what to do, which made me nervous. At one point she attempted to push a needle in a place and I could feel it was not going further, due to the fact it was not in a good position. I reached up after telling her this, and the needle which was now removed was bent. She then decided to use the bent needle again anyway, which caused me to be even more frightened. Then each time upon extraction there was always some mishap, slipping tools and broken tooth. I only had four teeth to be removed since those were all that remained in my mouth. Well, I feel that there are roots still left in my gums after two of the extractions, a molar and a canine. I am set to get dentures in two days and I hope I am wrong.

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I went to a dentist because my teeth were bad and i was having trouble eating he said they needed to come out so right then he pull 6 teeth on the bottom they were infected he sent me home with NO antibiotics the infection got in my blood stream went to my brain and my heart valve it caused me to have 3 strokes and I might have to have my heart valve replaced is not sending me home with antibiotics malpractice

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I noticed a dentist scraped my tooth -10 years ago while i was sedated and getting my wisdom teeth pulled out and its gotten bigger since then. My sister had the same dentist at the time and she said it happened to her to while she had her wisdom teeth pulled out to. This was under parent consent, is there any way to get the dirtbag now.

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I’m currently having a root canal completed on my lower left molar, the last tooth in back of my mouth. This is being done in three parts in which I have completed the first two parts. First part done on 12/10/2020, second part done 1/19/2021. For the third part, I’m just awaiting my crown to be placed which will be done next week 2/9/2021. I was given local and injection anesthesia for the first and second parts of my root canal. After the first root canal session I had the usual numbness and pain associated with injections and anesthesia that all wore off after a few days. After the second root canal session, again I had the usual numbness and pain associated with injections and anesthesia. My second root canal session was done the morning of Tuesday, 1/19/2021– of course, I still had the numbness and pain as mentioned earlier. Numbness wore off the same day but I still had pain in my jaw and on the tooth being worked on (#18). The next day, Wednesday 1/20/2020 no numbness but still pain. On Thursday, 1/21/2021 I woke up with numbness of my lip & chin as well as the teeth in my lower front area. I went to the dentist again on 1/26/2021 to address the numbness and was referred to an oral surgeon for a second opinion. He took X-rays & found that they had pushed out whatever material was used through my tooth and put the bottom. The material is now sitting on a nerve causing the numbness in my lip, chin, and teeth. He said he is unsure of how they will remove the material. What do I do now? Help!! Louisville, KY.

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My mother in Washington State had several implants recently done. She was very badly bruised and in a lot of pain. She is 88 years old and said the Doctor was extremely ruff with her. She said she was covered in blood during the procedure. after the screws were put in and months later the teeth added one fell out. the doctor glued the teeth together and sent her on her way. What actions can be taken on the Doctor so he doesn't do this to another elderly person!

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i have ADD/deppression and ptsd went dentist 7-2020 im n im afraid needels and i told dentist i was scared he was really mean and i pd him 3900 to pull 27 teeth and new dentuers he got mad cause i cry a lil bitt he scream me he said aint got paientece deal with me. 1hour later he had all 27 out except he broke 8-10 off left in my mouth bleed with new dentuers, iwent back tthey pull 3 pieces broken off, i pull couple pieces my hands i still have pieces broken off under gums rubbing all day you can see them broke off in my mouth at least 3-4 more, what do i do he is veryy very mean man?/ he traumtized me more than i already was in life, now dentures rub broken teeth and bleed and fall out with lots glue all day.

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I don’t have insurance so I’m paying out of pocket for a $2600 root canal. Money which I don’t have by the way. So I had to sign up for a care credit card. I had the surgery a couple days ago and my mouth is still hurting. So I went to check in the mirror and my tooth NEXT to the root canal tooth has a huge crack going down the side into my gums. This tooth was perfectly healthy before the root canal by the way. What can I do about this? I’m not going to pay them for screwing up. I want to be compensated for this and have it fixed for free. What do I do? Is this medical malpractice??

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Does this site refer to any lawyers? I have a situation similar to above.

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Is a dental assistant qualified to put dental crowns on? Should the teeth be rinsed before putting the new crowns on??

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is it worth posting a comment or question because i've not seen any replies, do they reply to any comments? wondering because i'm thinking i have a very good case and am trying to find and understand how to go about suing the "reputable" dental franchise oh hell Western Dental. The are the worst!

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My firmer dentist made too and bottom partial the top is fine but the bottom was never made right, I advised them at the dental office they had me going back and forth the actual dentist never even checked the partial had the assistant who broke the clasp trying to fix it at the time and blamed it on me. I can’t eat with the bottom partial on it is so very painful, Oh and they finally had one of the dentist check me and I was so frustrated and I asked him to fix it and he asked me to leave then told me to never come back. Please can someone advise me on what can I do and also keeping them on at gatherings or events for hours create so much pain causing swollen glands and sore throat, please help on advising Thank you,

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My dentist was performing a root canal on my tooth. He broke off a file deep within my root. He then decided to send me to an endodontist. The endodontist worked for 2 hours trying to get the file out. The result was the file was broken off again. I now have about 1/3 of a file broken off deep in my root and the endodontist isn’t sure the canal if clear of bacteria. I have paid $900 to the endodontist with no resolution. I go back in a week. Do I have a malpractice case against the dentist?

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I signed and paid an agreement at Dentist to pay for my teeth to be pulled out and refutes put in. I signed it Oct 25th 2021. On Wednesday Nov 17 I went to have the teeth pulled and have the temporary healing denture put in. I had 6 teeth that had to be pulled out. We talked about that and they told me that that was what they were going to do. I went to two appointments before yesterday. When I went yesterday and they pulled all 6 teeth and put a healing denture in that didn’t fix they told me they found a mistake on their paperwork where they were suppose to put 6 teeth in the contact but only put three and told me that now I have to pay about $850.00 dollars more. Do I have any rights about this?

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