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Root Canals and Other Dental Work Lead to Dental Malpractice Litigation

Most dental malpractice cases handled by our firm stem from root canals or dental implants that are performed below the standard of care and which result in serious dental nerve injuries. A recent case (that we did not handle) appears to have been filed by a woman who claims that her dentist performed over 30 dental procedures in a single sitting. This is hard to fathom, and, if the allegations are true, it would be hard to imagine how the patient could have stayed numbfor these dental procedures without exceeding the recommended maximum dose of anesthetic numbing agents (but withouth knowing more, I guess it is possible).

8 crowns, 4 root canals, and 20 fillings in a single visit is certainly a lot of dental procedures in one day. Without reviewing the patient’s dental records, it’s hard to comment further, other than to follow the case and learn more as facts develop in the case. According to news reports, the expert who reviewed the records noted that almost every tooth in the plaintiff’s mouth had some form of decay on it, but that the care provided was nonetheless, “wrong.” One of the specific acts of negligence cited in the news report was that the amount of anesthesia administered to the patient exceeded what the expert considered to be safe under the circumstances. It is not clear, what specific injuries this alleged violation of the standard of care caused. However, it is an interesting case to follow for a nunber of dental reasons and I am curios to see how the litigation develops.

Most dental malpractice cases in Georgia are reviewed by an expert dentist, endodontist, oral surgeon or similar expert prior to the lawsuit being filed. If there is malpractice identified by the expert and the malpractice has proximately caused a substaintial permanent injury, an affidavit is prepared to support the lawsuit, the lawsuit is drafted and the complaint is filed in the appropriate court. Most of these cases start out as root canals or dental implants which are not performed to the standard of care and which wind up injuring an adjacent structure in the mouth or jaw such as a dental nerve. This is similar to a medical malpractice case where a doctor or surgeon leaves the surgical field and injures the patient while they are not operating in the area in which they should be. This is usually when the most damage is caused by the dentist.

Robert J. Fleming is a partner in the law firm of Katz Wright & Fleming, LLC in Atlanta, Georgia and Decatur, Georgia. He is a personal injury attorney who has been handling wrongful death, dental malpractice, professional negligence, car accidents and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been severely injured or died as a result of negligence since 1995. He practices in the metropolitan Atlanta area including the city of Decatur, Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, and Cobb counties in Georgia. If you or a family member has been seriously injured and would like to discuss your case in complete confidence, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online. We are here to help.

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