Dentistry and dental care can often come with complications. As with standard medical treatment, sometimes things go awry when in the dentist's chair, and when that happens, it doesn't always mean the patient is entitled to compensation. However, it is important to understand that like physicians and nurses, dentists have a responsibility to ensure they provide the best possible treatment available under the circumstances.
Proving dental malpractice, is not always easy. But if three conditions can be established, plaintiffs have a good chance of recovering damages. They are as follows:
A Dentist/Patient Relationship Is Established
Proving that you are under the treatment of the dentist in questions is typically not a problem in dental malpractice cases. But it is still crucial to recovering damages in these kinds of cases.
The Dentist Failed to Provide Proper Treatment Under the Conditions Provided
Proving that your dentist did something improper involves a demonstration of proper treatment under the conditions under which you originally received treatment. If, for instance, you can establish through witness testimony (typically provided by a good, competent dentist of equal specialty and appropriate education and training) what proper treatment and procedures under the conditions of your treatment would have been, you can prove through contrast that the treatment you received was in some way inadequate. By establishing a “medical standard of care,” you can show that the treatment you received, and which resulted in injury failed to rise to the level of that care.
Your Injuries Resulted in the Failure to Provide Adequate Treatment
Proving your dentist acted improperly or was in some way negligent during your treatment is simply not enough to establish dental malpractice. Plaintiffs must also prove that that inadequate treatment or neglect actually caused their injuries. Typically, that involves linking the injuries in some way to the action or neglect that caused them and that is often best established through expert testimony.
Say, for instance, a patient is having a root canal and the dentist performing the procedure fails to provide adequate anesthesia before drilling. The patient endures an excessive amount of pain, a level unusual to the procedure itself and eventually suffers migraines, and sustained pain long after the procedure takes place. If, however, the dentist fails to remove all of the decaying pulp from a tooth that is no longer viable, resulting in continued pain and suffering long after the procedure, it is possible the dentist's neglect might go unnoticed. Without adequate investigation and expert witness testimony, and possible second dental opinions, it may never come to light. Simply enduring excessive pain after a commonly difficult procedure is not enough to establish dental malpractice.
Proving dental malpractice can be an uphill battle unless you have the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney with a track-record for success in these cases. Call the offices of Panio Law in Chicago if you would like the representation you deserve. We work assiduously to recover compensation for our clients, helping them get back on their feet and on with their lives. Call us at (312) 313-0305 to speak with an attorney today.