How To Sue A Dentist

Written by J. Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

Dentistry is an important profession performing a very important role in society. Dentists would like their patients to see them every six months for teeth inspection. Here is how to sue a dentist if he or she has injured you.

“Malpractice Standard of Care”

Patients see the dentist for a checkup, cleaning or for work on their teeth. There is an inherent trust that the dentist will take good care of the patient. During more complicated procedures, the dentist might need to you use local anesthesia to numb your gums or cheeks.

As a professional doctor, the dentist is ruled under the “standard of care” concept. He must carefully take care of you while working on your teeth. He must follow standard operating procedures established by the dental profession. In order to qualify as malpractice, the dentist must have performed a procedure in an unprofessional way or engaged in negligence while working on your teeth.

If you have problems with your teeth, you should first document the issues. What was your “normal” condition before you saw the dentist. Can you prove this?

If you believe the dentist injured you, talk to him. Maybe he can offer a remedy. The dentist’s reputation is very important. A professional dentist will listen to your concerns.

“Tough to Win Case Against Dentist”

Patients with a tooth ache are already feeling pain and suffering. To consider a lawsuit against a dentist, you must have incurred a real injury due to his negligence. In order to win a dental suit, the patient must prove these four things: 1) duty to provide professional care, 2) breach of said standard of care, 3) injury and 4) causal link between dentist’s actions and damages.

Save any dental literature to see if there is a promise of care. The website might make a promise. The dentist-patient relationship basically assumes professional care.

Dentists have their own schools, publications and organizations. They agree on generally-accepted practices for dental care. Read about your procedure and what the standard techniques and recommendation are for your procedure. Did the dentist follow these?

Injury might be the easiest to prove. This is why you started the lawsuit.

Can you prove the dentist caused your injury? Can you prove you were healthy “before” the dentist visit? The burden of proof is on the patient who must show that the preponderance of evidence supports his malpractice claim.

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