Each year, thousands of Americans sustain minor to severe injuries due to the actions – and inactions – of negligent dental practitioners and nurses. Dentists, like all medical professionals in the health care industry, have a legal obligation to provide each of their patients with a reasonable level of care. When this accord is broken, the patient may suffer injuries and health complications that warrant a medical malpractice claim.
What Constitutes Dental Malpractice?
“Dental malpractice” serves as an umbrella term for a variety of injuries and acts of misconduct. For example, a dentist can be held legally responsible for pulling out the wrong tooth or completing an extraction that results in nerve damage. In either scenario, the wrongfully injured patient would need to endure additional and costly surgeries just to rectify the damage. By filing a medical malpractice claim, the patient can recover compensatory damages that account for their existing and projected medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
Other valid examples of dental malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose oral diseases and other medical conditions
- Delayed diagnosis or treatment of an oral disease
- Defective crowns and bridges
- Failure to take a patient’s medical history into account
- Anesthesia errors
- Injuring the jaw or sinus cavity during surgery
- Failure to properly supervise negligent employees
- Inability to properly treat conditions
- Acts of intentional misconduct
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
The Department of Health has the legal authority to close a dental office if it fails an inspection. Sometimes, multiple reports of unsanitary conditions prompt the agency to engage in a detailed investigation. If this happens to your dental office, it’s important to seek alternative medical attention as soon as possible. You should undergo tests to make sure you haven’t contracted HIV, AIDS, hepatitis, or any other diseases.
On the other hand, a patient can’t file a dental malpractice claim just because they’re unhappy with the final alignment of their teeth. You can be displeased with your current dentist, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have grounds for a claim. If you have questions about what constitutes dental malpractice, contact the Philadelphia dental malpractice attorneys at Ginsberg & Associates Trial Lawyers today.
Dental Malpractice & the Trieu Family Dental Clinics
On December 7, 2018, three Philadelphia dental practices – all Trieu Family Dental Clinics – were closed down due to unsanitary conditions. Investigators from the Health Department visited the clinics after receiving a tip about the locations not observing best sanitary practices. According to Dr. Steven Alles, the Director of Disease Control with the Philadelphia Heath Department, “The sterilization and handling of used instruments on patients was not being cleaned appropriately or in a timely fashion.” Officials are concerned because roughly 1,500 patients may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis b, and hepatitis c. Each of these patients should have been notified about the situation by December 7, 2019. Unfortunately, it can take years for symptoms to surface, so it’s important that these patients diligently monitor their health and schedule regular checkups.
The Health Department has set up a special hotline to help any patients who have questions or concerns about this situation. You can call the hotline at (215) 218-2999 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you’ve sustained injuries or contracted a disease due to the negligent care and practices of Trieu Family Dental Clinics, contact the Philadelphia dental malpractice lawyers at Ginsberg & Associates Trial Lawyers immediately. Our firm is currently investigating cases where the failure to properly sterilize dental tools resulted in the contraction of deadly and even fatal diseases. By taking legal action, you can secure a substantial settlement or verdict that facilitates your recovery and safeguards your quality of life.
We have offices conveniently located in both Philadelphia and Marlton. Contact Ginsberg & Associates Trial Lawyers at (215) 392-6616 to schedule a consultation.