Dental Malpractice

Dental malpractice, much like medical malpractice, is negligence by a dental healthcare provider such as a general dentist, oral surgeon, orthodontist, periodontist, prosthodontist, endodontist or dental hygienist. Dental malpractice is a subspeciality within the field of medical malpractice, usually involving some injury to a person's mouth, dentition, jaw and or head as a result of negligence in dental care.

• Nerve injuries • Wisdom tooth extraction injuries
   • Lingual Nerve injuries • Orbital Injuries
   • Inferior Alveolar Nerve Injuries • Dental implants incorrectly placed
   • Trigeminal Nerve Injuries • Root canal injuries
   • Facial Nerve Injuries • Sodium Hypochlorite injuries
• Crowns and bridges errors • Anesthesia injuries
• Tooth extractions mishaps • Hyperextension of jaw
• Failure to refer to Specialist • Failure to diagnose
• Periodontal disease untreated • Orthodontics malpractice
• Wrongful death • Infections untreated
• Oral cancer • TMJ damage
• Drill injuries • Septocaine injuries

A dental healthcare provider is not negligent simply because the desired result was not achieved or the procedure resulted in some injury. It must be shown that the provider actually acted negligently under the circumstances. In a dental malpractice claim it must be shown that the dental healthcare provider fell below what we call "the standard of care." That is, the provider failed to act as a reasonable and prudent dental healthcare provider would under the circumstances. This can only be proven in court through the testimony of dental or medical experts – other providers who do the same or similar procedures.

In a dental malpractice action the victim can seek compensation not only for the dental and medical expenses (both past and future) incurred, but also for all pain and suffering caused by the injury. This is especially relevant in the case of injuries for which there is little to no likelihood of full recovery. Such an injury may involve damage to nerves innervating the mouth (the lingual nerve provides sensation to the tongue and part of the gumline and the inferior alveolar nerve provides sensation to the lip, chin and cheeks). Such injury can also include untreated infection, unnecessary damage to or loss of teeth, orthodontic issues and jaw pain or mobility issues.

In a situation involving potential dental malpractice the victim, by law, has a limited amount of time in which to file a complaint. In Virginia this time is two (2) years from either the date of the incident or from the last date of treatment with the target dental healthcare provider. In Washington, DC it is three (3) years from the date of the injury. In Maryland a complaint for dental malpractice must be filed within either five (5) years from the time of the injury or three (3) years of the date the injury was discovered.

Dental negligence cases are complex and often involve the integration of law, medicine and science. Bartoli Cain Law specializes in treating victims with dignity while helping them understand and navigate the legal process. In partnership with each client we evaluate the client's situation and then determine a course of action. Ms. Bartoli Cain has developed an extensive network of dentists and experts who assist in reviewing cases to determine whether malpractice or negligence truly has occurred and whether the claim can be effectively litigated. Dental negligence cases are among the most difficult to litigate successfully, but our clients have enjoyed great success in the cases we have chosen to pursue. This success is a product of Bartoli Cain Law's meticulous initial evaluation of each client's unique situation.