What is Dental Malpractice?
If you are suffering due to improper care by a dentist, dental assistant, periodontist, dental hygienist, or other dental care professional, you may be a victim of dental malpractice. Dental procedures have risks, so the outcome of some types of dental work can be uncertain. Sometimes there is a small infection or other problem that can be corrected. In some cases the harm done by a dental mistake can cause serious permanent injuries that cause a substantial amount of pain and suffering. The best way to find out if you have a dental malpractice case is to speak to an experienced dental malpractice attorney to discuss your legal rights to monetary compensation.
How To Determine If It’s Dental Malpractice
Dental professionals have a duty to their patients to perform their work properly. When they breach that duty, they are liable for the damage they cause to their patients. These are some examples of dental malpractice:
- Extracting or damaging healthy teeth;
- Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a dental disease;
- Cosmetic damage to teeth, lips, jaws, and/or face;
- Improper use of anesthesia;
- Surgical errors;
- Infections and other complications.
When Should I Speak to A California Dental Malpractice Attorney?
It’s best to speak to a California dental malpractice attorney as soon as you suspect that something was done wrong. Filing deadlines and statutes of limitations can bar late claims, and as time passes evidence may be destroyed in the ordinary course of business. The statue of limitation for suing for dental malpractice in California is three years or within a year of discovering the problem. If you miss these deadlines, there are exceptions that may still allow you to file a claims such as:
- Malicious intent by the dental practitioner to conceal malpractice;
- The presence of a foreign body with no medical purpose that was left inside a patient during a surgical procedure.
That said, your case is strongest if it’s investigated right after the dental treatment that caused your injury. That’s why it’s important to speak to an experienced California dental malpractice attorney as soon as possible.