Most people don’t consider that dental malpractice lawsuits make up a considerable portion of the overall number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in Georgia. Dental malpractice suits make up their own category, and like all other healthcare professionals, dentists are legally responsible when unacceptable treatment services are rendered.
The total number of dental malpractice claims continues to rise each year. Some examples of injuries that cause dental malpractice lawsuits to be pursued are injuries to the jaw (such as a broken jaw), lip and tongue nerves, injuries associated with anesthesia and death.
For example, a dentist must make sure that his or her patient has no prior medical conditions requiring special treatment before giving anesthesia or if the dentist fails to detect oral cancer or other oral diseases he/she is liable.
Many people die when anesthesia is improperly administered or when gum infections are improperly treated. Other common reasons for filing dental malpractice suits are:
• Permanent nerve damage resulting from oral surgery.
• Permanent numbness from root canal surgery.
• Accidental removal of the wrong tooth.
Just like other physicians, dentists are accountable when they make the wrong diagnosis or practice below the standard of care and cause injury during treatment. And by law, they are required to administer a certain level of care to their patients. This is known as the “standard of care.” Dentists in Georgia must comply with the standard of care in order to avoid practicing negligently. In other words, a dentist must do what a reasonably prudent dentist would do under like or similar circumstances in order to comply with the standard of care for a particular case. Unfortunately, there are times when a dentist is guilty of “sloppy medicine” which results in injury. However, this may not rise to the level of malpractice as there is a fine line between sloppy dentistry and malpractice. In most cases, an expert must be retained to review all of the pertinent dental and medical records (including digital copies of x-rays and Cone Beam CT Scans) to determine if the alleged wrongful acts rise to the level of dental malpractice, and therefore support a lawsuit for the injuries sustained due to the faulty treatment.
Many people in the Atlanta area aren’t even aware that they can file a malpractice suit against dentists. While not every dental injury is caused by malpractice, many are and it is advisable to seek an experienced dental malpractice lawyer who can help you evaluate the merits of your case.
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.