A dentist, like any other medical professional, has a duty to provide you with a certain standard of care. If that standard of care is not upheld, or is violated, you may have a case for medical malpractice. To have a case, you must satisfy four requirements: Duty, breach (or negligence), causation (why did it happen?) and injury or damages (what was the result?).
The duty of your dentist, and every other dentist, is to provide you with a standard of care. That standard is the level at which any other typical dentist with a similar education and experiential background would perform. It is an easy way for legal professionals to say that your dentist is held to the same standard as local dentists, but not to dentists in other states or countries.
Next, you must prove that the dentist failed to provide you with competent care. But how did they breach their duty? In order to prove that a dentist has breached their duty, your attorney may call another dentist to testify. The expert witness can offer testimony as to the appropriate standard of care and how your dentist fell short.
There must be a link between your dentist’s failure to perform their duty properly and the injury that you sustained. When asked if your injury would have occurred whether or not you had visited the dentist and you can answer “yes,” you don’t have a case because you have not proven causation.
Finally, it is not enough that a dentist made an error. You must have suffered some type of damage as a result of that error. Damages may include broken teeth, nerve damage or even financial costs associated with the need to repair the damage. You have to prove that you have been injured or had resultant damages as a result of your dentist’s negligence in order to prove a successful medical malpractice case.
If you believe that you have been harmed at the hands of a dentist, call our offices today. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys will discuss the details of your case with you at no cost. Let us help you determine if you are due compensation under the law.