New Jersey Dental Negligence Lawyers

When a dentist makes an error that another dentist would not have made in the same situation, he or she may be liable for dental negligence.  If a dental error has caused you to suffer more than just short-term pain and discomfort, you may be able to recover money damages to compensate you for your injury.

In some cases, a patient may know immediately that they are the victim of a dentist’s negligence, such as when a dentist causes a traumatic injury to the nerves, gums, teeth, or mouth while carrying out a procedure.  However, in other cases, the injury may not be readily apparent, such as when improper treatment results in an infection, bone loss, tooth loss, or misalignment.

If you suspect that you are a victim of dental negligence, speak to a knowledgeable New Jersey dental negligence lawyer at Shebell & Shebell as soon as possible.  We can provide you with our thoughts, based on handling similar claims, and may begin an investigation into the cause of your injury. If we suspect that the facts warrant further investigation, we will refer the matter to an expert witness in the same dental area of expertise for evaluation.  If the expert concludes that the dental practitioner’s treatment fell below accepted standards of care and that permanent injury resulted to you, we will proceed with a case against the dental practitioner.

How Negligent Dentists Cause Injuries

There are many ways in which a dentist can fall below the accepted standards of care, including:

  • Dental delay: some dental procedures must be completed over a series of visits. When treatment is delayed, it can cause unnecessary discomfort and lead to further complications.
  • Failure to diagnose: if a dentist fails to diagnose an infection, severed nerve, sinus perforation, periodontal disease, oral cancer or other condition, this can lead to serious complications including hospitalization, loss of bone, and in some cases, death. The experienced dental negligence lawyers at Shebell & Shebell know how to identify this type of negligence based on your dental records, for example, if a dentist failed to take routine X-rays or record periodontal probings.
  • Failure to refer for further treatment: a dentist may recognize that an injury occurred, such as a perforated sinus or lingual nerve injury, but fail to refer the patient for timely, appropriate treatment.
  • Pulling or filling the wrong tooth
  • Dental anesthesia errors and adverse drug reactions: these errors can occur when a dentist fails to conduct a proper medical history prior to administering a drug, or accidentally administers an incorrect dosage.
  • Injury to nerve during tooth extraction: this can affect the lingual nerve or the inferior alveolar nerve, and cause severe facial trauma, including slurred speech, loss of sensation, and pain.
  • Endontic negligence: when performing a root canal, many things can go wrong, including leaving an instrument in the canal, air embolisms, and life-threatening infections. These infections can result in brain abscesses leading to brain damage, or even death.
  • Negligent TMJ and orthognathic surgeries: if you underwent a procedure and required follow-up corrective surgery, you may have a claim for malpractice.

Dental negligence also includes fraud—when a dentist deliberately misleads a patient into thinking that they have non-existent dental problems in order to charge them for more services than they actually need.

Responsible Parties

In addition to dentists and oral surgeons, staff may also be liable for any errors they commit during your treatment.  The owners of the dental office may also be liable if they employed the dentist and his or her staff.  Manufacturers and designers of faulty dental devices or products may also be held liable under product liability law.

Common Injuries

In order to prevail on a claim for dental negligence, generally a patient must suffer from more than just short-term pain and discomfort.  Typical injuries associated with malpractice include:

  • Numbness and nerve damage to the face, lip, chin, jaw or tongue (this may be permanent or temporary)
  • Chronic pain
  • Loss of teeth and bone support
  • Oral infections
  • Loss of taste
  • Gum disease
  • Traumatic injury caused by the misuse of dental tools
  • Infection caused by improperly sterilized tools
  • Disfigurement

We Fight For Victims of Dental Malpractice

When we take on dental negligence cases, our singular goal is to obtain the most favorable results possible for our client. We hold dentists accountable for their negligence and will work to obtain full and complete compensation for your dental injuries. Dentists are often represented by professional liability insurance companies who hire lawyers experienced in handling these types of claims. In order to level the playing field, look to the experienced New Jersey dental malpractice attorneys at Shebell & Shebell. Call us for a free consultation at 866-957-5237 or contact us online.

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