My son's dentist was not able to properly extract his tooth. My son's gums is still swelling 4 days after the extraction. What should I do to ensure that the dentist will answer to this? Can I file for a personal injury case or should it be a medical malpractice? Please advise as I would like to take the best course of action. Thanks.
I think there is a basis for medical malpractice claim. Please advise if you choose to pursue a claim.
Assuming tht the dentist was negligent and the negligence was the cause of your injury your son would have a dental malpractice claim.
First, I am not a dentist or doctor so I cannot give you any advice as to what you should do about your son's gums or anything else related to the tooth extraction. I would suggest having him seen by either the original dentist or another dentist if it is still causing him problems. Second, I do not know what you mean by your question, "What should I do to ensure that the dentist will answer to this?" I do not know if you mean what should you do to get the dentist to help your son, to get the dentist to pay for your son to see another dentist and/or to money for additional dental expenses and your son's pain and suffering. Depending on what you want, you can always just ask the dentist. If he/she refuses, then you have to consider the alternatives, including possibly filing suit. Third to clarify, a "medical malpractice" or "dental malpractice" case is a "personal injury" case. The only difference between malpractice cases and other injury cases, such as car accidents, is what is required to prove fault. Just because you son is having complications following the tooth extraction does not necessarily mean the dentist did anything wrong. There are known complications for all dental procedures. Generally, to establish dental malpractice you must prove: (1) The generally recognized standard of care for dentist doing tooth extractions; (2) That the dentist deviated from this recognized standard of care doctor; and (3) That the deviation was the proximate cause of your son's injuries. In most cases, another dentist or dental expert must establish (usually through his or her testimony) what the "generally recognized dental standard of care" is, which is what a reasonably careful dentist would or would not do under similar circumstances. A "deviation" is basically what the dentist did or did not do that he/she should have done differently that violates the standard of care. In your son's case, it can include failing to remove the tooth properly, not removing it completely, or a number of different things. As to the third factor, the type of injury suffered usually determines whether an expert is necessary to establish causation. In your particular situation, I cannot answer whether you have adequate grounds to be successful in a lawsuit against the dentist as there is insufficient information to make this determination. I believe an expert would be necessary to establish that the dentist deviated from the recognized.
Swelling is not unusual after 4 days. From a practical standpoint, there isn't really much you can do. You will spend THOUSANDS of dollars trying to bring a medical malpractice claim, and the injuries are not severe enough to warrant the expense and time. The best suggestion I can give is to write a letter to the dentist expressing your frustration with the results of the procedure.
To recover under a theory of medical malpractice, you will need to prove that the dentist deviated from the standard of care in the area. In other words, if the dentist followed normal procedures in the attempted extraction and was simply unsuccessful, you will not recover. If, on the other hand, he did not follow normal procedures, and you have a dental expert testify to that fact, you may be able to recover. One import aspect of your case is the amount of damage. If your son has a permanent injury those damages could be significant. However, if the extraction was later completed and all he had was a bit of extra pain for a short time the damages will not be great and accordingly your potential recovery will be much less.
You will need an opinion of another dentist indicating that your son's treatment failed to meet the standard of care in your geographic area. So, first get him treated and find out what the first dentist did wrong. Then get it fixed and find out if your son needs or will potentially need any other treatment. Every personal injury case requires that you prove both liability and damages, which can include pain and suffering. Proof of damages requires medical treatment and bills.
Swelling may mean infection, so immediately go to your medical doctor. Your son may need antibiotic IV. Infections are an accepted risk of dental extractions, so malpractice doesn't sound likely here. Your son has many years to file a case so the primary focus should be on the infection.
The first thing I would do is get my son to another dentist. Make sure your son is ok before you start thinking about lawsuits. It is possible this is just a normal complication of the extraction. It's also possible that the dentist made a departure from accepted dentistry practice. Either way, you need to get your son fixed up first, then consider your options. Most likely, this is not a question that can be answered absent expert review by another dentist. Get your son better, then go see an attorney.
You can only recover if the dentist acted outside the scope of ordinary dental care. You will need a medical expert to verify that.
To sue a dentist for malpractice, you need another dentist to testify that the first dentist didn't perform in accordance with the standards in the field. As a practical matter, you need an attorney. The rules of pleading don't require calling such a case any particular thing, they merely require a short, plain statement of why you think the defendant was negligent.
Dentists can be sued for professional malfeasance. You should seek advice from an attorney in your area about your specific case. Injury cases are commonly handled on a contingency fee basis meaning that if there is no recovery no legal fee is paid.
Consult with a plaintiff's medical malpractice attorney for specific legal advice and direction.
First of all, see a proper dentist and find out what went wrong if anything. If the dentist made a mistake the new dentist will have to so testify. The fact that there was difficulty or there is swelling is not neccssarily evidence of anything wrong. Talk to dentist 1 and dentist 2 and find out what the problem is./was
First, get proper dental treatment to fix the problem. It may resolve on its own. Follow whatever dental advice you are getting. As to a suit, Dental Malpractice is a form of medical malpractice. That would be the proper suit. However, unless your son has a permanent problem as a result of this incident, it is not worth pursuing as it would cost you much more in expert witness fees and deposition costs than you would ever get. Also, you would have to prove the dentist was negligent. A bad outcome, in of itself does not establish malpractice. I am not saying there was no malpractice, but that is a dental question, not a legal question, that only a dentist can answer after reviewing the dental record of your son.
Dental/medical malpractice cases are always difficult to prove, as well as expensive and time consuming. Extractions necessarily include a possibility of complications, including damage to surrounding tissues, so it is possible that some of the injuries were unavoidable. It is possible that there may have been a failure to adhere to accepted practice, and resulting injury as well, but in order to be able to pursue it, you would have to get expert testimony that the dentist did not follow correct procedure.
It would be dental malpractice.
Get a second opinion from a Board Certified Dentist who actively practices in the same field of dentistry. He'll have to certify that your son received less than the normal standard of care and describe the damages which resulted therefrom.
You have a potential dental malpractice case only if the dentist violated the standard of care for extracting teeth.
This is a medical malpractice case. You must hire an expert in order to pursue it.
If a dentist is involved in failing to provide proper care, and is negligent in performing his duties, this would be a dental malpractice case. Because the dentist could not properly extract the tooth does not necessarily mean you have a dental malpractice case. You should contact a lawyer to discuss this matter further.
It would be medical malpractice but if your son's injuries are only temporary swelling, you'll never get anywhere. I'm not aware of any dentist being able to extract teeth without leaving some swelling for at least a few days.
If a lawyer settles this case without a lawsuit, great. No med mal lawyer will take the case. The reward is not worth the expense of a med mal lawsuit.
If your allegation is that the dentist was negligent in his professional work which appears to be your position then it is a malpractice claim that is very similar to a claim against a doctor.
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