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More Than Just a Toothache—When Dental Malpractice Warrants a Lawsuit

Submitted by jrlaw on Oct 12th, 2009

Dental malpractice is not an issue that frequently comes up, as most malpractice cases involve major surgeries and vital organs. However, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank’s Annual Report there are over 27,000 dental malpractice cases reported in the U.S. each year.

Obviously, no one is insensitive to the tremendous responsibilities that dentists undertake. Dentists work long hours on oral cavities using very small and potentially destructive instruments with little or no pain occurring to the patient. It is a job that requires great skill and years of experience to master.

There is no excuse for negligence. Even if a dentist is not perfect, he or she must taken precautions to ensure that medical malpractice does not take place. This could include failing to detect a critical oral disease, the improper use of dental utensils, giving the patient defective dental products or misusing anesthesia. Personal injuries and even wrongful deaths have occurred because of negligent dental work.

According to Robert S. Baratz, D.D.S., if you are the victim of dental malpractice, you have a few legal options to pursue. Dental societies, or local organizations of dentists, can help with fee disputes but ultimately have the doctor’s best interests in mind. State licensing boards have the task of maintaining their state’s high quality of service and are required to investigate any complaints against a practitioner, provided that a written complaint has been received. If you choose to write a letter, make sure it is fact-based and certified by mail.

However, if you or someone you know has been seriously injured or killed in an incident of dental malpractice, then the best solution is to talk to a qualified lawyer. Make sure the lawyer you consult is experienced in handling personal liability cases and medical malpractice cases specifically.

Do not delay—timing is important. Remember, talking to an attorney puts you at no obligation. The Rasanky Law Firm specializes in malpractice cases and can guide you to a successful court victory. Call 1-800-ATTORNEY for a free consultation.