Wisdom Tooth Extraction Gone Wrong: Can this be Dental Malpractice?

Nearly every person has three sets of molars.  The last set that emerges is what we call wisdom teeth.  Why we even have them is anyone’s guess.  Most people have them removed because they can cause more harm than good. 

Wisdom teeth are known to become impacted or partially impacted, they grow in crooked or sideways, surrounding teeth can be damaged by them, and the mouth might be over crowded by their presence.  Even serious infections can develop if wisdom teeth are not removed. 

Since wisdom tooth extraction is an event most people go through, one would think that dentists and oral surgeons are so practiced with the extraction that errors no longer occur.  The experienced Hudson dental malpractice attorney knows otherwise.  In fact, wisdom tooth extraction can and does go wrong.  Injured patients should know that wrongfully performed wisdom tooth extraction can de dental malpractice. 

Wisdom tooth extractions, performed negligently, have been known to cause:

·         Sinus perforation,

·         Infection,

·         Nerve damage,

·         Jaw fractures,

·         Uncontrolled bleeding,

·         Temporomandibular joint injury.

Even the wrong teeth can be mistakenly removed by negligent dentists and oral surgeons.  Mistakes related to the negligent administration of general anesthesia have caused patients to suffer injury as well.

What does it mean to be negligent?  In general, compensable negligence occurs when someone owes a duty to another, breaches that duty, causing injury and damages.  It is nothing intentional, but the negligent act or omission should not have happened. 

Negligence in the dental setting is dental malpractice.  The requirements for a successful dental malpractice claim are the following:

·         A dentist patient relationship,

·         A deviation from the standard of care owed to the patient that which occurred while treating the patient,

·         The deviation must have caused the patient’s injury,

·         And the victim must have suffered damages; pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, etc.

There are nuances to all of this that only the experienced personal injury attorney will know.  For example, the offending dentist’s actions will be judged in light of other dentists in the area of similar skill and training that perform the same work under similar circumstances. 

The standard of care owed to dental patients must be proved by expert testimony.   So too must causation be explained by experts. 

Proof of the losses claimed by victim must also be introduced by evidence and direct testimony.  This requires reviewing medical records, wage statements, victim accounts, questioning experts and witnesses, among many other things. 

The short answer to the question is, when dentists make a mistake that shouldn’t have been made and wouldn’t have been made by another nearby dentist, failed wisdom tooth extraction can be dental malpractice. 

The attorneys at Greenberg and Greenberg handle car accident cases throughout New York State, including Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, and Albany County.  Our legal team has earned a reputation for dedicated service to our clients injured in New York personal injury accidents.  Please contact us today to receive a free case evaluation by dialing locally to 518-828-3336 or call toll free at 877-469-9300.