Has this happened to you?
You’re enjoying a meal with family and friends. Everyone is in a good mood and excited to share stories and catch up. One minute you’re laughing at Uncle John’s favorite joke – the next minute, you’re experiencing excruciating tooth pain after taking another bite of your favorite food. Of course, it always happens after hours when your dentist’s office is closed. Fortunately, you get an appointment with an emergency dentist, hoping they can alleviate your pain. You’re not sure what happened, but the pain is much worse after you received dental care.
Now, what do you do?
If your visit to the dentist has left you with a mouth full of pain and you’re getting nowhere as you seek relief, DiBiaggio Law can help. Unfortunately, dental malpractice in Florida happens. We know the long-term consequences can be devastating – from additional health issues to financial losses as you seek treatment to deal with the pain.
If you think you may have been the victim of dental malpractice, call us at (561) 473-9800 to schedule a FREE consultation with our experienced and compassionate dental malpractice attorney. And if you’re unsure, continue reading as we go over four types of dental malpractice in Florida and why you might have a dental negligence claim.
What is Dental Malpractice?
Dentists must provide patients with a reasonable standard of care, like all other medical professionals. Any actions or inactions by a dentist that fall short of the required level of care may constitute dental malpractice.
Depending on the severity of the harm caused by dental malpractice, you could be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. It is critical to recognize signs of dental malpractice and seek legal counsel from an experienced dental malpractice lawyer to protect your rights as a patient. Though there are many types of dental malpractice, we’ll discuss four types next.
Misdiagnosis occurs when a dentist misdiagnoses a dental condition or fails to diagnose a condition that a reasonable dentist would have identified. This can lead to delayed or inadequate treatment and further damage your dental health. For example, if a dentist fails to diagnose and detect oral cancer or other oral diseases, the disease may spread and become more challenging to treat.
Misdiagnosis can also occur when a dentist misidentifies your dental condition or prescribes the wrong treatment. One scenario is when a dentist diagnoses cavities when you have periodontitis (gum disease) and provides the wrong treatment. The underlying gum disease worsens and destroys the bone that supports your teeth.
2. Improper Treatment
Improper treatment occurs when a dentist performs a procedure that is not medically necessary. For example, if a dentist performs a root canal on a tooth that does not require the procedure, the tooth may become further damaged and require additional treatment.
Improper treatment can also occur when a dentist performs a procedure negligently or carelessly, such as damaging a nerve during tooth extraction, causing severe pain and numbness in the affected area.
3. Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
Failure to obtain informed consent occurs when a dentist fails to provide you with adequate information about a procedure or treatment, including the potential risks and benefits. If the dentist fails to obtain your informed consent and moves forward with a procedure that damages your dental health, you might have a dental malpractice claim.
4. Failure to Refer You to a Specialist
Finally, dentists should recognize when your dental problems go beyond the scope of their practice and refer you to a specialist. Failure to do so may constitute medical malpractice if you suffer negative consequences.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
Under Florida law, any lawsuit alleging medical malpractice, including dental malpractice, must be filed within two years of the alleged negligence or two years from the date when the injury was discovered, whichever comes later.
Proving Dental Malpractice
To prove dental malpractice in Florida, you must prove that the dental professional failed to provide a standard of care that a reasonably prudent dentist would have provided under similar circumstances.
Evidence such as medical records and expert testimony can help build your case. However, it is important to note that even when a dental provider’s actions result in injury, it does not necessarily constitute malpractice. Establishing that a duty of care was breached, damages were suffered, and the breach of duty was the cause of those damages is required for you to bring a successful case against an at-fault dental practitioner.
Since dental malpractice can cause crippling and long-lasting consequences, it is critical to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you suspect you have been a victim. Your Florida dental malpractice attorney can help you gather evidence to prove that the dentist was negligent and that their negligence further damaged your health.
Contact a West Palm Beach, Florida, Dental Malpractice Lawyer Today
Are you suffering due to the negligence of your dental provider? With so much at stake, you need the help of a dental malpractice lawyer with experience in dental negligence claims. At DiBiaggio Law, we have successfully obtained compensation for our clients – including compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages – and we can do the same for you if we take your case.
We offer a FREE consultation where we’ll review your case and give you our honest opinion. If we take your case, we’ll do so on a contingency basis, which means you won’t owe us anything unless we recover compensation for you.
DiBiaggio Law is based in West Palm Beach, Florida, and has been serving clients in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties for nearly 30 years. Call us at (561) 473-9800 or complete our online form to schedule your FREE consultation. Let us fight for you and be your voice during this challenging time.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.