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What are some examples of medical malpractice in dentistry?

Not many people realize that dental mistakes are often a form of medical malpractice. Like doctors, dental professionals have a duty to provide care to their patients and to protect them from harm. Unfortunately, mistakes can happen when you are sitting in a dentist's chair just as easily as they can happen in other health care settings.

After a dental procedure, it may be difficult for patients to differentiate normal discomfort, swelling, bleeding and other symptoms from more serious aftereffects. It is always wise to contact your dentist's office to report the presence of any unusual symptoms. The following list of common dentistry mistakes may also help you identify potential problems.

  1. Medication errors: A few examples of possible medical malpractice include administering too little or too much anesthesia, failure to consider interactions with other drugs and making dosage errors.
  2. Procedural errors: Examples of procedural mistakes that are most likely to result in an adverse event include oral surgery errors, implant treatment errors and endodontic therapy errors.
  3. Diagnostic errors: Possible medical malpractice mistakes include failure to diagnose oral cancer or periodontal disease, misdiagnosing a condition and failure to refer patients to a specialist for further diagnosis.

The three sets of examples above are just a few ways a dental professional can make mistakes. Some other examples include failure to recognize complications during a procedure, failure to maintain dental equipment and failure to follow-up with patients where disease is identified or suspected.

As you can see, dental workers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are just as culpable as other medical professionals are if a patient suffers harm. If you need additional information about medical malpractice in the field of dentistry, it is wise to seek advice from a personal injury attorney.

Source: Dental Academy of Continuing Education, "Medical Errors in Dentistry," Dr. Richard Nagelberg, DDS, accessed Jan. 04, 2018

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