While many people think of their internists and surgeons as doctors that may be liable in medical malpractice cases, it is less considered that dentists can also engage in medical malpractice. Yet, there are many instances where dental procedures carry a risk of permanent damage to the face. The highest instance of injuries involve root canal therapy, which can result in nerve injuries to the face and injury to the jaw.
The problem occurs in root canals when the filling hole is overfilled, crushing the surrounding nerves. The damage must be identified immediately and rectified in order to correct the problem or permanent nerve damage will soon result. Other risks with root canals involve the use of toxic materials and the quality of the dentist. The filling materials can contain many toxic materials which can cause other health issues. Additionally, dentists who have not performed many of the requested procedures may not properly assess the tooth before beginning the procedure, increasing the risk of overfilling and subsequent nerve damage.
As with many other medical procedures, like surgeries, there is a risk of unnecessary treatment for root canals. A recent verdict out of the state of Washington awarded several hundred patients a multi-million dollar verdict for performing unnecessary root canals. Apparently the dentist fraudulently performed the procedure and failed to obtain their consent. When the dentist sold his practice, the new dentist observed the high number of patients with the procedure and complaints of injury. It is rare for a patient to need more than one or two root canals in their lifetime, and the average patient of the negligent dentist had an average of four.
When you suspect negligence with regard to your dental procedure, it is imperative to get a second opinion as soon as possible. Prevent such problems by ensuring that the dentist is qualified to perform the needed procedures. Check to make sure the dentist has not had any previous issues with negligence. After receiving necessary medical treatment, obtain an attorney immediately to discuss your options.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance.
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