Dental malpractice lawsuits are complex and technically challenging. Cases like this are filed if a plaintiff believes his or her dentist or oral hygienist caused an injury. Injuries may include, but are not limited to: implant failures, oral surgery errors, extracting the wrong tooth or teeth, endodontic mishaps, prolonged treatment of a questionable nature, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose an oral issue, such as periodontic disease or cancer.
Most people think malpractice is what a dentist does that hurts them. While that is true, is may also involve doing a mandibular block incorrectly and permanently damaging a nerve, making a defective oral device or permanently harming a nerve in the tongue. Any of these errors, termed negligence, may mean a plaintiff filing a dental malpractice lawsuit.
To prove dental malpractice, the plaintiff needs to show more than pain of short duration or having to make an unnecessary visit. The dental malpractice must have harmed the plaintiff in a measurable and significant way; a way in which they may recover a large award in court. This may include, for instance, if corrective dental surgery was needed to fix something a dentist had messed up. If a plaintiff had to miss a lot of work or if there was a permanent disfiguration or loss of taste or sensation, the award may be higher; more so if pain and suffering is a component of the case. Statutes of limitations for filing dental malpractice lawsuits vary from state to state.