detailMedical Negligence

Dental and Orthodontic Negligence

Dental and Orthodontic Negligence

Dental Negligence Lawyers

Dental practitioners, orthodontists and dental and oral surgeons owe the same duty of care to their patients as any other medical professionals and treatment providers. They are required to exercise reasonable skill and care in provision of dental treatment to their patients, by taking all available and necessary steps to avoid and minimise the risk of injury during dental treatment.

A visit to the dentist is not something many people look forward to. What is a minor procedure can, sometimes, result in significant injuries and ongoing problems as result of negligence on the part of a dentists, orthodontists, dental or oral surgeon.

Our team of specialist medical negligence lawyers are experienced in acting for patients in dental treatment compensation claims all around Australia. We understand the devastating effects of having suffered an injury, because of negligent dental care and will and help you get your smile back through a claim for dental negligence compensation.

We’ll be here for you every step of the way guiding you through the process in your dental negligence claim. We have the expert knowledge, expertise and a proven track record needed to obtain outstanding results in all types of dental negligence compensation claims.

We’ll act for you in your dental negligence claim on a no win, no fee basis with no upfront costs. See our why choose us page for many more reasons as to why so many Australians choose Longton Compensation Lawyers over anyone else for their dental negligence compensation claims.

What are examples of negligent dental treatment?

The most common examples that arise out of general dental, orthodontic and oral surgical treatment are:

  • Dental misdiagnosis or incorrect diagnosis

Undiagnosed gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) or tooth decay, treatment of which was delayed as any prior issues the patient raised with their dentist were ignored. This delay can result in mobility of teeth, loss of teeth, loss of bone from the jaw or development and progression of infection, because appropriate treatment was not carried out in a timely manner.

  • Poor or improper technique or performance and planning of dental treatment

Examples of poor or improper performance of dental treatment include:

  • Sodium hypochlorite spillage which has caused injury.
  • The tip of an instrument retained in or around the treated tooth.
  • Incomplete filling of root canals, due to failure to accurately record the lengths of the canals prior to treatment.
  • Failure to use a “rubber dam”, permitting bacteria to seep into the treated tooth and cause infection.
  • Perforating the tooth leading to nerve damage.
  • Not repairing perforations resulting in bone loss.
  • Designing and fitting the crowns poorly.
  • Leaving decay under the crown.
  • “Over-preparing” or ‘”over-working” the teeth for crown or bridge placement.
  • Improper or incorrect tooth extractions

Examples of improper or negligent tooth extractions include:

  • Removing the wrong tooth or damaging another tooth in the process.
  • Leaving tooth roots in gum.
  • Inadequate management of post extraction infection.
  • Fracturing the jaw.
  • Causing nerve injuries

Nerve injuries to the trigeminal nerve and its brunches can occur due to negligent dental treatment. It can affect sensation in the face and motor functions such as biting and chewing, as well as symptoms of complete numbness (anesthesia), tingling (paraesthesia) and pain and burning (dysesthesia) in the face.

In performing dental treatment, it is important that your dentist has considered the proximity of the tooth to the surrounding nerves. This assessment usually requires performance of an x-ray or an OPG.

 – Example 1

During implant treatment, mistakenly drilling too far through the jaw canal, or placing the implant that is too long and exerts pressure onto the nerve.

 – Example 2

During root canal treatment using sodium hypochlorite to clean the canal, but also injecting it into the surrounding tissues resulting in nerve damage or damaging the surrounding nerve by direct trauma.

  • Not referring the patient to a specialist such as a dental surgeon or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon

In performing dental treatment, your dentist must consider whether he has the necessary skill and expertise to successfully carryout the proposed treatment, and, if necessary, refer the patient to a better qualified and experienced specialist, such as a dental surgeon or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who can successfully perform the treatment with a lesser risk of complications.

 – Example

Nerve injuries can commonly occur during the extraction of teeth. It important that the patient is informed of the risk that nerve damage can occur because of the extraction and given an opportunity to seek treatment from a more experienced doctor, such as a dental surgeon or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who are more experienced and better trained in performing difficult tooth extractions with lesser chance of nerve injury.

What dental treatments can involve negligence?

The following dental treatment and procedures can give rise to dental negligence compensation claims:

  • Treatment of periodontal disease.
  • Tooth extractions (surgical and non-surgical).
  • Veneers and cosmetic dentistry procedures.
  • Dental fillings.
  • Dental infections.
  • Placement of crows and bridges.
  • Root canal treatments.
  • Braces and Invisalign.
  • Dental, oral, orthodontic and maxillofacial procedures.
  • Bonding.
  • Dentures.

Contact us today, and start with a free consultation by clicking “Make a Booking” to receive our preliminary expert advice.  

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Founding Partner | Public Notary

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