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Dentists Can Make Mistakes

Although dental patients trust that their providers are both well-trained and highly competent professionals, dentists are still humans and thus, they are definitely capable of making mistakes. When dental treatments go awry, people can experience a host of problems ranging from moderate, aesthetic shortcomings to life-threatening infections and even death. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a botched dental treatment, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you obtain the settlement you deserve for your pain, suffering and loss.

By helping clients hold dental professionals accountable for their oversight and negligence, it is also possible to inspire more conscientious dental care and to make essential and elective procedures far safer for everyone. Here are the five most common dental malpractice claims along with their effects according to an experienced DC medical malpractice lawyer.

Botched Tooth Extractions

The extraction of a badly damaged or severely infected tooth can have numerous outcomes. Tooth roots can extend into the sinuses in some patients, making these procedures extremely challenging and complex. Among some of the most common dental malpractice claims involving tooth extractions include torn or perforated sinuses, severed nerves and severe infections that require hospitalization. Failure on the part of dentists to follow up when infections arise and a failure to refer patients out when sinuses are perforated or nerves are severed are all sign of negligence that further compound the effects of professional errors.

Failure To Identify And Treat Periodontal Disease

One of the most common dental malpractice claims is a failure to identify and treat periodontal disease. Patients who make these claims often follow structured, preventative maintenance plans and yet experience significant tooth decay, serious bone infections and tooth loss. Cases like these cite both oversight and negligence; and in many instances, patients are qualified to receive compensation for their losses, pain and suffering. Professional oversight pertaining to periodontal disease can be especially egregious in instances in which metal braces or other dental appliances are used.

Substandard Bridge And Crown Treatments

Substandard bridge and crown treatments can lead to loss of these appliances, natural tooth loss, gum and bone infections and severe, systemic infections that result in hospitalization and even death. Severed nerves, nerve pain and perforated sinuses are among a few of the many developments that can occur when these procedures are poorly performed and treatment outcomes are poorly managed. If you have lost an implant or suffer from severe nerve pain or recurring infections as the result of these treatments, our firm may be able to supply the help and guidance you need to get the compensation you deserve.

Complications With Dental Anesthesia

Overuse or unnecessary use of dental anesthesia is fast-becoming a special concern among young patients. Sedation dentistry is routinely used on very small children who need multiple cavities filled or multiple tooth extractions. The extreme nature of these treatments has recently led to serious problems such as death and severe brain damage. If your child has suffered serious harm as the result of a sedation dentistry procedure, we can help you successfully navigate the claims process for an acceptable outcome. We’ll help you get the compensation that you require for any special, long-term care needs that your child might have. Working with an experienced attorney may be one of the best ways to affect necessary change for ensuring that devastating developments like these don’t happen again.


There are countless problems that can arise over the course of orthodontic treatments to straighten and realign the teeth. These run the gamut from simple, aesthetic issues such as widespread tooth discoloration to actual tooth loss and infection. Failure to take regular radiographs and ensure that patients fully understand the need for altered or special oral care practices can greatly undermine the health, integrity and longevity of the natural teeth.

When dental care causes more problems than it corrects, seeking experienced legal guidance can be a vital part of holding the treating professional accountable. With the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney, you may be able to get financial compensation for covering the costs of restorative procedures along with the satisfaction of knowing that greater care will hopefully be taken by the responsible provider in future treatments.

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Thanks to our friends and co-contributors at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their added insight into dental malpractice.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.