As this recent article detailing the death of a young child as a result of dental care shows, damages from dental malpractice can include serious injuries such as damage to the dental nerves, pain, numbness and even death.
After their 6-year-old son died following a dental procedure, a California couple went to the California Legislature, hoping a new law could prevent other families from experiencing similar tragedy. Unfortunately, what they learned is that, sometimes, the quest for truth is not what the state dental boards strive for. According to the article, in California, for example, the California Dental Association spent about $664,000 lobbying last year – more than the pharmaceutical industry trade group or the association for Hollywood movie studios.
As an Atlanta attorney who regularly handles dental malpractice claims, I have been interviewed on just how difficult it is to know what the Georgia Board of Dentistry is and is not doing when it comes to investigations. While it is hard to know just what the Georgia Board of Dentistry is up to, we do know that they rarely take action, and this is unfortunate because, as discussed above, dental malpractice can and often does lead to horrific injuries which in many cases are permanent.
For instance, many clients have suffered permanent nerve injuries with resulting numbness and pain in the lips, chin and jaw from the placement of dental implants in the mandible or from root canals that were negligently performed and which exuded root canal material into the nerves resulting in similar injuries. In addition, complications from anesthesia during dental procedures where the patient is put under general anesthesia can lead to problems with heart rate, blood pressure, stroke and even death. Because of this, the standard of care now requires capnography, oxygen levels and blood pressure to be monitored and recorded in the chart for these procedures. Many times, in order for the dentist to perform his job properly and to ensure that the anesthesia is properly administered and recorded, it is necessary for an additional assistant to be present at the chair with the sole purpose of monitoring the anesthesia. Whether the standard of care requires this depends on many factors including the experience and training of the dentist and assistants who are present during the procedure.
Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases 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. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities 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 discuss your case in complete confidence, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.