With the post COVID-19 shelter at home situation nearing an end, many people contemplate getting dental work that they may have needed before all of this started, but have not been able to complete. This could be because of shelter in place and business laws that have been enacted to combat the spread of the corona virus, or it may be due to a personal decision to not receive non-emergency dental or medical care until the pandemic has subsided. This pent up demand may be seen as a way to have a new beginning or to get ready for the post COVID-19 lifestyle. As an Atlanta Dental Malpractice lawyer, I am far too aware of injuries that can result from botched dental work. While I hope that it happens to none of you, chances are some of you will receive dental treatment which is below the standard of care and this may result in a dental malpractice lawsuit to recover for injuries.
Dental implants, root canals, and tooth extractions are just three of the many dental procedures that result in serious nerve injuries to the lingual and inferior alveolar nerves. It’s a simple (not simplistic) error that dentists make that cause these injuries. Most times, the injury occurs because the dentist does not take into account the distance between the tooth root and the nerves, or worse yet, doesn’t even take pre-procedure x-rays to make sure there is sufficient room between the tooth roots and the nerves. Other times, the injuries are the direct result of sloppy dentistry or the dentist simply not caring enough about his patient to ensure that the procedure is done correctly and the nerve is not placed in danger.
Dental implant procedures are “in” these days and they are effective, if performed within the standard of care. Unfortunately, we are seeing a lot more clients coming into our office complaining of nerve injuries after the dental implant was placed too deep into the jaw and resulting in a damaged nerve. There are many ways for the dentist to measure the amount of bone height that is available for the implant prior to drilling the hole for the implant and placing the implant in the jaw. While some of these measurements have a margin of error, most methods today do not.