The risks of toxic materials used during root canal therapy causing permanent dental nerve damage are many. However, some of the most common are: (1) inadequate imaging of the proximity of both borders of the inferior alveolar nerve canal. In fact, a common cause of dental malpractice is to assume that the visualized border of the inferior alveolar nerve canal is the superior (top) border when only one border is visible; (2) inadequate cone measurements, and (3) not limiting filling materials to the confines of the shaped root canal space. Other instances of potential dental malpractice during root canal procedures are:
- The pre-treatment radiograph not being of acceptable quality, both as an “angle of taking the radiograph” not adequately showing the visibility of the root tips and the contrast of the image;
- The post-treatment radiograph not being of acceptable quality, both as an “angle of taking the radiograph” not adequately showing the visibility of the root tips and failing to clearly show, not only the extensive root canal filling material in the inferior alveolar canal, but also the close and intimate proximity of the IA canal to the root tips of the tooth;
- Not adequately measuring working length. The measurement of the length of the root is called the working length. The measurements in the chart must be accurate. If there are no “working length” radiographs or indication of the use of an electronic apex locator, it is below the standard of care and would likely lead to an over obturation of the canals. Based on the radiographs that usually appear in the patients chart, the working length of the tooth can be determined after the fact and can show if over-instrumentation was a cause of the nerve injury. This instrumentation (i.e., the root canal cleaning and shaping instruments, both with hand files and rotary driven files) beyond the apex of the roots would in itself cause significant damage to the inferior alveolar nerve
- Using the wrong root canal filling material, which can lead to an overfill of the filling material. Even worse, over-filling into the inferior alveolar canal using root canal cement, which, if in contact with the IA nerve, would cause anesthesia.
Many times, any of the above dental mistakes are the direct result of malpractice and lead to permanent dental nerve injuries. Robert J. Fleming is an Atlanta lawyer who represents patients that have suffered dental nerve injuries caused by malpractice. If you would like to discuss your situation in complete confidence, contact us online or call (404) 923-7497. Attorney Fleming has been handling 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.