Dental Implants are an effective treatment for missing teeth. In fact, they are the preferred treatment because they integrate into the jaw just like you natural teeth. Unfortunately, with the rise of dental implant procedures, there has been a rise in dental malpractice claims caused by these implants procedures. The following are the most common types of malpractice-related injuries:
(1) Tissue or nerve injury– Dental implants are an invasive procedure. When the implants are screwed into place, common problems include abnormal swelling of the tissue surrounding the implant. If proper care is not taken by the dentist, this tissue can become infected and lead to other complications. Another problem caused by dental implant malpractice is nerve damage. Nerve damage occurs when the implant is placed too close to the nerve, or in extreme cases of malpractice, when the implant is screwed through the nerve canal and into the nerve itself. If this happens, the implant must be “backed out” as soon as possible, but in most cases, if the implant is in the nerve, the resulting nerve damage is irreparable. Explicit recommendations for pre-operative radiographic evaluation prior to placement of implants can help prevent nerve injuries. Cone beam CT scanning, can provide improved imaging for planning implant treatment. Many dentists also use software to assist in the planning of implants and for the identification of the inferior alveolar nerve “IAN” canal position. Most cases of paresthesia can be prevented but not remedied. However, when this problem occurs, follow-up must be initiated quickly, since the first few months may determine the degree of nerve healing. Many dentists fail to timely treat or refer injured patients to a nerve specialist in order to try to cover up their mistake, however, this is rarely successful and amounts to nothing more that an additional count of negligence against the defendant dentist in the dental malpractice lawsuit.
(2) Sinus Complications — these occur when the patient receives a maxillary implant (to replace an upper tooth) and the implant “communicates” with the sinus and causes infections and other unpleasant side effects. In many cases, this happens because the dentist failed to do a pre-implant sinus lift which can alleviate these possible sinus problems.
(3) Implant Integration Failure — occurs when there is incompatibility between the implant and the receptive bone. This often occurs if there is not sufficient bone (and/or bone density) to support an implant. It is below the standard of care to install an implant under these conditions because it is almost certain to fail.
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling 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.