When the term medical malpractice is used, many people think of doctors and the mistakes a healthcare provider has made which resulted in harm to a patient. However, Pennsylvania residents may know that medical malpractice lawsuits are not limited to errors a doctor may make. Dentists who are negligent can also face lawsuits.
Recently, a man filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a dentist after a dental surgery led to more tooth pain and additional damage, which required additional dental surgeries to fix. According to the man’s lawsuit, sometime in November of 2012 the man visited a dentist regarding tooth pain. He alleges that following several dental visits, he was informed that there was potentially a dental carie under the crown of the painful tooth. Following this assessment, the dentist recommended removal and replacement of the crown, and filling of tooth.
The man alleges that during the procedure, the dentist cracked his tooth but told him that it was already cracked and now it had to be extracted. Despite the extraction of the tooth, the man alleges that he felt pain not only at the extraction site but also in his jaw. He visited another dentist, who informed him that his tooth was likely damaged at the time of the procedure. In April of 2013, the man was diagnosed with a shredded meniscus which would require additional oral surgery. Furthermore, it was determined a bone fragment from the extracted tooth had travelled to his sinus cavity, and that would also require surgery.
The man filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the dentist claiming medical negligence, not using the correct procedure, performing an unwarranted procedure, not referring him to an oral surgeon and improperly and negligent using tools. The man is seeking compensation for medical and dental expenses stemming from the procedure, loss of wages, pain, suffering, mental anguish and physical impairment.
Any kind of surgery, whether it is a dental or medical surgery, carries a risk. Nevertheless, dental and healthcare providers have an ongoing duty to provide a reasonable standard of care under the given circumstance. Failure to do so could result in harm to a patient.
Source: The Louisiana Record, “Patient claims dentist lied about cracked tooth, sues for medical malpractice,” Lizzy Fitzsousa, April 29, 2014