As an Atlanta Dental Malpractice Lawyer, I encounter many clients who have had asymptomatic wisdom teeth extracted. Not only is this a form of dental malpractice (because it constitutes over-treatment) but many of these procedures result in permanent nerve injuries to the lingual nerve and/or the inferior alveolar nerve. Many times clients have gone to the dentist for a check up and are told that they should have all four wisdom teeth extracted, even though there are no problems associated with these teeth. To be sure, there are times when wisdom teeth should be extracted, but this is not always the case.
Simply put, a wisdom tooth that is not causing any problems, should not be removed. Even “impacted” wisdom teeth should not be removed, unless they are infected or causing another serious dental problem.
Unfortunately, over ten million wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) are extracted from almost 5 million people in the United States every year. This results in hundreds of permanent nerve injuries when the lingual nerve or the inferior alveolar nerve is damaged due to a needle severing the nerve during nerve blocks injections, a root tip ripping the nerve during extraction or a number of other complications related to the drug use to numb the patient or the extraction. I have seen cases in which both of these nerves have been damaged by one extraction.
Robert J. Fleming is an Atlanta, Georgia lawyer who specializes in serious dental malpractice cases. If you would like to discuss your potential case in complete confidence, please call Mr. Fleming directly at (404) 525-5150 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.