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Understanding dental malpractice claims

Many people go to the dentist for routine procedures like a cleaning or filing a cavity as well as for more serious treatment like broken teeth, extractions or dental surgery. These visits may be unpleasant, but most dental patients don’t consider that the visit could harm them.

However, this can happen when the dentist deviates from the standard of care required by their profession and as a result, it causes the patient’s injury.

If a dental patient is injured during dental treatment or received treatment that he or she did not authorize, he or she may want to consider filing a dental malpractice claim. There are several elements the patient must demonstrate for it to be successful.

Elements of the claim

Dental patients have a right to receive their treatment records and before starting the claims process, it is helpful to have them. The records may contain notes that support the patient’s claim.

The patient will need to demonstrate that there was a dentist and patient relationship. If the patient has appointment texts or emails or insurance benefits statements, those are useful and show that the dentist had a duty of care. Next, the patient will need to show that the dentist breached his or her duty and that he or she suffered an injury.

The patient can explain the damages that he or she wants to recover, which could include compensation for physical pain, medical bills and lost wages, for example. He or she must also be able to show that the dentist caused the injury.

It’s important for the injured patient to file a claim in a timely manner. An experienced attorney can provide guidance about next steps and pursue compensation on the patient’s behalf.