Many people fear the dentist. Between the Novocaine shots, the sound of the drill, and bad memories of childhood braces, a day at the dentist is not exactly a day at the beach. But most people go and most of the time it works out perfectly fine. Unfortunately, some people are not so lucky. Some people find themselves victims of dental malpractice. Dental malpractice may not be the most commonly thought of type of medical malpractice, but it can have serious consequences for the patients who experience it.
Aurora Dentist Accused of Malpractice
Wheaton Patch reports that an Aurora dentist is facing allegations of malpractice in DuPage County. The patient in this case claims that his long-term dentist did not inform him that he had gum disease and it was getting worse. The patient went to this dentist from 1980 up through part of 2013. Throughout the over three decades of treatment the dentist provided the patient with general dental care, diagnostic and restorative care, and treatment planning. In 1999 the dentist told the patient that he noticed periodontal disease, but allegedly did not tell the patient about any particular problem area. Allegedly the dentist did not bring up the condition of the patients gums again until 2012. The patient then went to a different dentist, who diagnosed him with periodontal disease. The patient returned to the original dentist, who at that point, in 2013, finally referred the patient to a periodontal specialist. The patient claims as a result of the delay in his treatment he now suffers from a moderate to advanced form of the disease which has required surgery including bone grafting.
Downstate Dentist Accused of Dental Malpractice
The Telegraph reports that a Madison County dentist also stands accused of malpractice. In this case the patient claims that, despite visiting the dentist on nineteen (19) separate occasions, the dentist failed to diagnose a lesion under her tooth and that the dentist prescribed antibiotics that caused a bowel infection. According to the lawsuit one of the dentists involved also caused her nerve damage during a procedure. Eventually the patient learned that the nerve damages was caused by an improperly extracted tooth.
When the patient complained of pain initially, the dentists performed x-rays that did not reveal the lesion. The patient argues that this is because the x-rays done were inadequate. Then, when the pain did not improve, one of the dentists performed a “sedative filling” on a premolar. A month later the pain drove the patient to call the dentists again. Rather than having her come in the dentist prescribed antibiotics and a pain reliever. The next day she called again to say the pain was unbearable. She was eventually seen that day. The dentist she saw at that time erroneously believed that the problem was being caused by the “sedative filling,” so that doctor extracted the tooth, allegedly causing nerve damage in the process.
The patient kept reporting pain and the dentists kept giving her more of the antibiotics. One of the dentists eventually performed a root canal and gave the patient dental tools to use at home. The dentists prescribed more antibiotics. Finally, after months of pain, a hospital CT scan showed a dental abscess that led to even more antibiotics being prescribed. The following month the patient finally learned the that a lesion was the cause of the problem. In the process she wound up with a colon infection that is alleged to have been caused by the over-prescription of antibiotics.
If you believe you are not receiving proper dental care, you may not be. You may want to seek a second opinion. If you have been injured by a dentist’s malpractice, you may be entitled to financial compensation.