Failure to Diagnose Issues and Dental Malpractice


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When the dentist is unable to diagnose the tooth or mouth issue correctly and appropriately, he or she could become involved in a dental malpractice suit. If he or she engaged in any type of negligence or a breach of his or her duty to care for the patient by the standards he or she follows, it is possible to succeed in winning compensation awards.

One of the primary reasons a dental malpractice suite transpires is due to the failure to diagnose the trust issue involved in the mouth or teeth of a patient. These issues are similar to medical problems when the doctor is not capable of determining the true issue with the person. It could lead to further injury inside the mouth or throat, or it could harm the patient long-term when diagnosed incorrectly. Removing a tooth when it is another area of the mouth does not resolve the problem, and it could lead to further pain if the removal damages the nerves.

Common Problems with Diagnosis

When the dentist has never had any experience or study in an area of dental practice, he or she may not have a familiarity with the issue at hand. If an infection exists, but the patient does not tell the professional where the pain resides, this could lead to assisted misdiagnosis. Another problem with diagnosing the problem is that some issues do not exhibit symptoms or may not until so much pain occurs within the mouth. Certain teeth may not show rot on the outside, but by the time the diagnosis is correct, the nerves may suffer extensive damage.

Common Malpractice

Unfortunately, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose the problem inside the mouth is a common issue for many dentists. Because of this, malpractice suits against the dentist or his or her practice is a common problem in the dental world. However, in usual circumstances, the professional will rush into it and attempt to remedy the complication as soon as possible. He or she may avert litigation disaster through these actions and resolve the matter in the mouth at the same time. Many patients are only seeking a way to clear up the tooth, gum or another issue before it harms them further.

Another common mistake that dentists may make it a failure to inform a patient of a disease or other problem inside the mouth when spotted during a routine exam. The professional may see something and not tell the person. This may not cause an injury by the dentist, but the disease or medical issue could entail future injury or damage. If the spot found is cancer, it is critical to seek treatment immediately to try to mitigate the damage that it will eventually cause. If the patient discovers the dentist did not inform him or her of the issue, he or she could pursue legal action.

Pursuing a Malpractice Case

When the dentist is unable to diagnose or fails to correctly diagnose the problem, the patient may have grounds for a malpractice case. This could entail a breach of the duty of care or negligence. However, the harm inflicted from the wrong treatment or when the true problem is not brought to light may become the necessary proof of the claim against the dentist. It is important to gather as much evidence as possible and hire a lawyer to increase chances of success in the courtroom. The legal representative may need to negotiate a settlement with the dentist if the plaintiff agrees to the amount of compensation offered.

When negotiations fail or there is not enough money offered, the former patient may need to seek a remedy through litigation. The burden of proof placed upon the shoulders of the plaintiff requires him or her to show the courtroom that compensation is necessary due to the actions of the dentist. That because of his or her misdiagnosis, he or she suffered injury or long-term damage that may require extensive surgery or treatment for recovery. When evidence is sufficient in the courts, the former patient may win compensation awards to ensure a full recovery after the injury.

Legal Support in Failure to Diagnose Dental Issues

The lawyer hired for dental malpractice may have enough evidence from the victim. However, when it is not sufficient, he or she may need to help the plaintiff gather more to demonstrate to the courtroom that the claim is valid. This may also increase the strength of the claim for a chance at a successful outcome.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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