Cavities, Crowns, and Compensation: Dental Malpractice in Texas

Dental malpractice suits can occur for a number of reasons. Dental procedures can often be invasive and may result in long-term injuries if proper care isn’t followed. A 12-year study of 242 medical legal cases found that several types of injuries occurred, eight of which were fatal. According to this study, the more common procedures resulting in injuries are as follows:

  • Endodontic procedures. Forty-two total cases led to injury, and 22 of them resulted in hospitalization. Four cases were fatal. The remaining cases included nerve damage, sinus or other perforations, air embolisms, or instruments broken in the tooth canal.
  • Dental implants. Twenty-five total cases involved dental implants, but none were fatal or caused hospitalization. However, they did require additional dental treatment. For example, postoperative infections, un-restorable implants, implants placed in nerves, loss of implants, and fractured jaws all occurred.

Other common, allegedly negligent cases include crowns and bridges, failure to diagnose periodontal disease, anesthesia complications, infections, and other miscellaneous complications. The most common injuries were infections and fractured mandibles. 

It’s important to note that most dental malpractice suits in Texas are rejected. Because of several state and local laws, proving dental malpractice can be EXTREMELY difficult unless there is significant nerve and tissue damage to the face or mouth. Without extreme nerve damage, most dental malpractice cases in Texas are thrown out. No matter how detrimental your situation may be, seeking a legal opinion from a qualified dental malpractice attorney can be helpful in determining if you have a case.

Dental Malpractice Suits in Houston, TX

Dental malpractice cases can be particularly devastating. Not only can the injuries be severe and debilitating, but they can cause significant facial deformation. Unfortunately, dental malpractice suits seem to be growing in number. Many cases occur because a dentist who was only trained for routine procedures attempts to conduct a procedure beyond the scope of his or her capabilities.

In these types of cases, negligence is certainly indicated. All personal injury suits hinge on whether or not the defendant can be proven negligent. There are several examples of situations where a dentist would be considered negligent. Some of the more common situations include:

  • Antibiotic negligence. Failure to give you antibiotics or gives improper antibiotics, which results in a serious infection.
  • Teeth extraction. Pulling healthy teeth that did not need to be extracted.
  • Failure to diagnose a significant problem like a tumor or periodontal disease.
  • Crown issues. Improperly designed crown resulting in further injury.
  • Mishandling instruments. Lacerations or perforations resulting from improper use of tools.
  • Unqualified for the procedure. Performing cosmetic work the dentist was not qualified to perform, which resulted in injury.
  • An error during the administration of anesthesia can sometimes result in severe injury death.

Finding An Experienced Houston Attorney

Though these are not the only cases were negligence may be present, they are some of the more common situations. In any type of personal injury case, especially a medical malpractice suit, it is imperative to work with an experienced attorney. You must prove negligence on the dentist’s part. Beyond negligence, you must also prove a doctor-patient relationship existed and that the negligent act caused actual injury. The injury must have led to specific damages, which must also be documented and presented. For example, many people who file medical malpractice suits have suffered the following damages:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Additional medical bills
  • Lost work, or loss of earning capacity.

A competent attorney will prove negligence and get the most compensation possible for your damages. The state of Texas puts a $250,000 cap on non-economic medical malpractice damages. Non-economic damages are intangible, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish. It is the attorney’s job to get the most compensation for each type of damage and to provide documentation of each.

Although Attorney Brian White & Associates does not handle dental malpractice sites, visiting a legitimate attorney directory can help you find a dental malpractice attorney in your area.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this blog post (“post”) is meant for general informational purposes only. Publication of this post does not insure that Attorney Brian White & Associates offers representation for this type of case. Information found in the post does not constitute as formal legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.