Negligence and mistakes committed by orthodontists can lead to many problems and injuries to patients. If you or someone you love has endured a dental error because of an orthodontist, then it is advisable that you speak with a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer, today about whether you have a case for malpractice. Patients who became victims due to orthodontic treatment may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering, costs for another orthodontist to fix the damage, and other losses.
Improperly Sterilized Equipment
An orthodontist must properly clean all equipment in between patients. If the tools are not sterilized thoroughly, the patient may contract an illness, infection, or another kind of adverse impact. While most of us assume that our orthodontist is responsible enough to only use sterilized equipment, this may not always be the case. If you developed an odd infection or newly developed illness that could have been caused by dirty tools, then you must contact an attorney immediately for help.
Issues with Medications or Anesthesia
An orthodontist may have to use anesthesia for certain procedures, to help reduce pain and ensure patient comfortability. The orthodontist may also prescribe medication prior to the procedure to help them relax. An orthodontist that fails to notify their patient of risks with the medical treatment or anesthesia could face a lawsuit for malpractice.
Not Obtaining Consent Prior to the Procedure
As with all other medical treatments, the patient must be informed of the risks and benefits so they can make a confident choice based on the information provided. If an orthodontist schedules you for a tooth removal before getting braces put on, then they must not only tell you about the risks, but also are obligated to only remove that one tooth, unless agreed to by the patient.
Elements of a Malpractice Claim
It is worth noting that an undesired outcome after an orthodontic treatment doesn’t automatically qualify that patient for a malpractice lawsuit. Additionally, you may want to review any documents your orthodontist had you sign before treatment began, as you may have unknowingly waived your right to take legal action against them if something were to go wrong. There are certain elements that must apply to the situation in order for the patient to be eligible for a monetary award, including:
- The patient and orthodontist had a patient-doctor relationship. This can be proven through showing receipts that the orthodontist had evaluated the patient and recommended a treatment plan.
- The orthodontist had a duty of care to that patient to provide them with a standard of care expected within the medical community.
- The orthodontist had breached that duty of care by committing a mistake or oversight that another qualified orthodontist would not have in similar circumstances.
- Because of this breach in duty, the patient suffered injury and damages.
If you sustained injury or financial loss because of a negligent orthodontist, then it is recommended that you meet with an attorney as soon as possible for assistance.