Malpractice cases of any kind tend to involve complex information about procedures and standard practices—you have to prove how a practitioner deviated from the standard of care and injured you. In dental malpractice cases, this means highlighting how your dentist, dental hygienist, or other care provider failed in how they treated you.
In cosmetic dentistry cases, some victims think they have less of a case if they elected to have a procedure done. However, even if you didn’t need dental care for health reasons and just wanted to make your smile a little better, the dentist owed you a duty of care. If you were injured or had issues following your procedure, you could have a malpractice case. A personal injury lawyer can explain your rights.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Complications Considered Malpractice
Dental malpractice is a form of personal injury, and the grounds for personal injury is that you were injured by someone who violated their duty of care to you. A dentist who treats you for any reason—whether it’s for your health or your appearance—owes you a duty of care.
What Counts as Cosmetic Dentistry?
The Cleveland Clinic outlines some of the most common forms of cosmetic dental procedures, including:
- Teeth whitening
- Dental implants
- Dental bonding
Some of these, while labeled cosmetic, are still part of treating a condition. For instance, if you have misaligned teeth, you may experience symptoms like pain. Getting cosmetic changes can improve your well-being.
What Forms of Malpractice Can You Suffer in Cosmetic Procedures?
Any mistake your practitioner makes that causes you injury could warrant legal action, but some common forms of dental procedure errors include:
- Anesthesia mistakes like not enough or too much anesthetic
- Defective products like faulty implants
- Failure of the procedure, requiring additional care
- Lack of warnings or information about the procedure or aftercare
- Poorly fitting implants or veneers
- Broken, cracked, or chipped teeth caused during the procedure
- Cutting, burning, or otherwise harming the gums
- Ingesting substances that cause illness or damage
- Reactions to products or whitening agents
- Failure to review a medical history or check for drug interactions
- Infections caused by negligent sterilization
These can arise due to issues ranging from lack of training, distraction while doing the procedure, lack of communication, or simple human error.
Whatever the case, you potentially have a case if you suffered any of the above. In fact, if you suffer any unexpected injury or complications following cosmetic dentistry, you could have a case, so reach out to a dental malpractice attorney for more information.
Possible Complexities in Dental Negligence and Malpractice Claims
If you want to file an insurance claim against a dentist, staff member, or practice, be prepared for the other party to put up a fight. Below are some possible complications that can come up and how to address or avoid them.
Blaming the Victim
Cosmetic dental cases can get complicated when the narrative centers on the fact that you elected to have cosmetic work done. While true, this doesn’t free the dentist and their team from any responsibility. If they made a mistake that caused you injury, they should compensate you for your losses. It’s that simple.
Victims can also get blamed for the injury due to excuses like:
- You had a pre-existing condition.
- You contributed to or caused the problem.
- The issue was unrelated to the cosmetic procedure.
By knowing your legal rights in cases of dental malpractice, you can recognize these tactics. Don’t let the other party convince you this is somehow your fault. Check with a lawyer before accepting these excuses.
Getting Overwhelmed by Technical Jargon
All types of malpractice are infamous for this. The basis of your case has to do with how an expert practiced in their field, so you must prove just where they went wrong. That could mean very specific proof, down to the chemical composition of a drug you were given or a product that was used.
Unfortunately, some healthcare professionals get away with negligence because victims aren’t equipped to understand what happened to them, let alone explain it enough in a claim or suit to get damages.
A dental injury attorney combats this by enlisting the help of experts. This could include other dentists, orthodontists, or endodontists, as well as experts in chemistry, pharmacology, even product manufacturing. In fact, your right to use dental experts is a crucial thing to know about pursuing a dental malpractice case, and your attorney can help identify who to contact.
When to File a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit
Many malpractice cases start with an insurance claim against those responsible, but you may need to take the extra step of filing a malpractice lawsuit. An attorney, like the ones at our firm, can help determine the best time for this.
It may have to do with the statute of limitations. Rather than letting your chance at damages slip through your fingers when the statute of limitations expires, we may file a lawsuit to protect your right to compensation. We’ll still seek a settlement out of court, and many cases don’t even make it to trial.
How a Dental Negligence Lawyer Can Help in Cosmetic Dentistry Cases
Our legal team can:
- Investigate your cosmetic dental procedure to spot negligence
- Connect you with experts and resources
- Gather medical records, scans, photos, and other evidence
- Talk to those involved in the procedure
- Get testimony from friends, family, and coworkers about your experience
- Compile proof of your need for damages
- Fight for compensation for bills, lost income, and pain and suffering
- Help you get the care you need to recover from your ordeal
- Prepare a court strategy in case we need to take a suit to trial
- Protect you from bullying, intimidation, or getting the runaround
Hiring an attorney can alleviate some of your worries about seeking damages. The bulk of the work is done by our team, and we are prepared for tactics used by negligent dentists and healthcare providers. You don’t have to be well-versed in dental malpractice nuances yourself. You can hire our lawyers instead.
Contact KJT Law Group if You Suffered from Dental Malpractice
We offer free case evaluations to go over whether you suffered dental negligence and how to seek compensation. With over a decade of experience and millions recovered for our clients, we know what to look for when preparing a case, defending your rights, and securing fair damages. Contact us today for a free consultation: (818) 507-8525.