How to File a Dental Malpractice Claim

If you had a dental procedure done recently that doesn't heal and it is causing you pain, you could sue your dentist for dental malpractice. Dental malpractice may cause permanent damage to lips, mouth, and jaws which leads to a loss of taste. Here are some tips on filing dental malpractice claims.

What Constitutes Dental Malpractice?

Dental malpractice usually consists of one or more of the following criteria:

  • Neglecting to give informed consent
  • Nerve injuries caused by negligence
  • Extracting the wrong tooth or extracting more than needed without patient's consent
  • Neglecting to detect oral conditions and diseases like TMJ (jaw disorder) or periodontal disease
  • Improper use of tools
  • Not following a standard of care another dentist with similar skills would have followed

Filing a Dental Malpractice Claim

  • Determine who to sue. An oral surgeon or a hygienist may be at fault for your injury.
  • Establish there is a patient and dentist relationship. One way to prove this is to gather all of your dental records showing the dentist has been treating you. Records are a vital part of the defense, and any missing records or unclear details can present problems.
  • Some states may require you to file an affidavit from a health care provider telling the dentist the claim has merit before you file suit. It also helps to register a complaint with the state's dental board. After you file your complaint, an investigator will send notice to the dentist in writing a complaint has been lodged against them.
  • The dentist has 30 days to answer the complaint, and the case will continue if your complaint warrants a hearing based on the dentist's response. If they do not find a reason to continue the case, you will get a notice with instructions on how to appeal.
  • Prove breach of the standard of care and that the violation caused you injury. Dentists can make mistakes in treatments so not all failed procedures or injuries mean you have a malpractice lawsuit. The standard of care is what any reasonable dentist would do under the same circumstances. Even if negligence occurred and your injury heals within a reasonable time period, you likely do not have a case.
  • Check the statue of limitations in your state. Statutes of limitation set a certain time period to file suit.

You have a right to be treated by your dentist with a standard of care. Don't let your dentist get away with injuring you. If you believe you have a dental malpractice suit, contact a personal injury lawyer like Connor Law.