Can You Sue a Dentist for Nerve Damage?
If you have gone through a dental procedure that involved extractions, implants, or root canals and are suffering lasting numbness, paralysis, loss of sensation,loss of taste or diminished function, you may be able to sue for dental malpractice.
Any alteration to feeling, sensation, taste or function in your mouth in the weeks and months following a dental procedure can be the result of a dental nerve injury. If you have suffered a dental nerve injury, there is most likely damage to one or all of these nerves:
- Lingual nerve — Trauma to the lingual nerve, which runs across the tongue, is a common dental nerve injury. It causes loss of sensation or altered sensation, numb tongue, pain, and loss of taste. Damage to the tongue and lower jaw or teeth is often temporary, but damage lasting longer than six months is usually permanent.
- Inferior alveolar nerve — The inferior alveolar nerve runs in a bony canal below the bottom teeth and controls sensation in the lower teeth, gums, chin, and lower lip. If your dental procedure involves your lower jaw, it is possible this nerve is involved. For root canals, implants, and extractions involving lower molars, injury may occur to these nerves.
How do you know if you have a case?
A dental malpractice attorney can examine the facts of your case to determine if there are grounds to sue the doctor or the dental practice. Here are some indications that you have a case:
- You underwent a routine extraction, implant procedure or RCT and have pain and numbness that you never had before.
- The symptoms of injury are considered long-term or permanent.
- Your injury significantly impairs your oral function, affecting feeling, taste, or your ability to eat, drink or speak.
- The condition arose and remained only after your procedure.
A dentist or other dental care professionals can violate the standard of care they owe to patients in a variety of ways. This can occur prior to the procedure if they don’t check on allergies or other medical history, during the operation or administration of anesthesia, or afterward if proper post-operation care is not addressed. Dental professionals can commit negligence toward the patient in any of the following actions:
- Obtaining informed consent
- Reviewing medical history including drug interactions, MRIs, and CT scans
- Extracting lower wisdom teeth or molars
- Placing an implant
- Placing a bridge — RCT
- Injecting anesthesia
- Extracting a tooth without tearing or trauma
- Failing to refer to a specialist
Experienced personal injury attorneys at Rich & Rich, P.C. can advise you on your claim. Call our law firm today at 347.696.7707 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.