How to Deal with Dental Negligence

Posted 07-04-2022
Written by admin 101
Category Compensation

Most people don’t enjoy going to the dentist on a good day, let alone after suffering an injury during the course of their dental treatment. However, as The RMB Compensation Division explains, you can claim compensation for dental negligence.

Dental negligence describes a breach of duty of care by a dental professional such as orthodontist, dental surgeon, dental nurse or dentist, which has caused either a physical or psychological injury.  

The negligent act or omission may come in the form of a practitioner failing to advise the patient of the risks of the procedure and/or failing to obtain informed consent; failure to diagnose a condition altogether or misdiagnosing; aggravating or exacerbating an already present condition; performing an incorrect or unnecessary technique or procedure; or; as in a recent case successfully pursued by RMB Lawyers, the practitioner may extract the wrong tooth during what was supposed to be a routine procedure.

In this example, our patient suffered injury when a healthy tooth was erroneously extracted by a dental surgeon during what was thought to be a relatively simply procedure.

Our client had consented to having three specific teeth extracted. However when our client awoke from the procedure, one of the troublesome teeth was still in situ and a different tooth had been removed. Our client had to point out the mistake himself, before enduring the second extraction surgery whilst remaining conscious.

RMB Lawyers successfully secured compensation for our client, specifically for the pain, suffering and medical expenses associated with having an implant inserted to rectify the damage.

The specific damages available for patients injured due to dental negligence will depend on a case-by-case analysis, and can include compensation associated with:

  1. Income loss, associated with lost wages and missed superannuation due to the patient’s total incapacity or restricted capacity for employment;
  2. The treatment expenses to fix the damage caused by the negligent act, including future hospital expenses, costs of consulting specialists and even psychological services depending on the nature of the injuries sustained. 
  3. Domestic care and assistance, where the injured patient has relied on others to perform these activities over a specific period of time;
  4. Pain and suffering.

Any injured patient should consider seeking legal advice as soon as possible after the event takes place, and especially within three years of the injury, due to a statute of limitations applying after that period, the compensation team at RMB Lawyers would be pleased to provide you with advice about your potential claim.

Your first step should be to contact our office to arrange a free consultation. You can contact us by by phone or our 'Ask a Question' tool on our website.