Ohio Dental Malpractice Lawyers | Kisling, Nestico & Redick
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Dental Malpractice Attorneys in Ohio

Dental care is a significant source of anxiety for many. Unfortunately, dental malpractice is a possibility every time you visit the dentist. If a dental provider delivers substandard care and you are injured, you could be entitled to compensation. But proving malpractice is more challenging than most think. Working with an attorney with extensive dental malpractice experience is often essential to get the maximum possible. Call Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free consultation. KNR will explain your rights and all your options.

What is Dental Malpractice?

Dental malpractice occurs when a dentist, dental assistant, hygienist, or another dental professional fails to meet a reasonable standard of care and, in doing so, injures a patient. While there are numerous ways this can occur, some of the most common include:

Objects Left Behind

Packed gauze, chipped instruments, and impression material can all be left in the mouth. A range of issues may follow, and surgical treatment is generally required.

Extraction Issues

Numerous issues may arise when extracting a tooth. A dentist may pull the wrong teeth, sever a nerve, break the jawbone, or cause excessive bleeding by mismanaging an extraction. This type of malpractice generally leaves you needing significant follow-up care.

Oral Infections

Infection is a severe risk with dental work, as the mouth is the ideal place for bacteria to grow. Dentists must adequately identify and treat abscesses, infections, and similar health concerns.

Anesthesia Errors

Dental mistakes with anesthesia can be fatal. Examples include unidentified cardiopulmonary compromise, giving too much anesthesia, failing to intubate a patient with respiratory failure, or failing to monitor a patient after anesthesia is administered.

Failure to Diagnose

Recovery from a medical concern often relies on early identification and treatment. Dentists failing to identify conditions like gum disease or oral cancer can harm their patients.

Dental Surgical Errors

Failure to exercise caution when performing dental surgery is another type of malpractice. Errors in this category include damaging the affected tooth or neighboring teeth, damaging a nerve, or breaking into the sinus cavity during surgery.

Equipment Negligence

Dentists can cause serious or fatal health issues in patients when they use unsterilized dental equipment or use improper tools for a task.

Dental Malpractice Injuries

Injuries vary between dental patients, but  the possible outcomes of dental negligence include:

  • Systemic infections
  • Nerve damage leading to paralysis
  • Embedded bone or tooth fragments
  • Unnecessary loss of teeth
  • Dental concerns progressing beyond a point where they can be effectively treated
  • Chronic pain
  • Air embolisms
  • Permanent jawbone damage
  • Death

Understanding the Standard of Dental Care

Part of proving negligence in a dental malpractice claim shows that the dentist breached their standard of care. This typically means that the dentist didn’t do something or failed to act in a way that another dentist would reasonably do under similar circumstances. Proving this generally involves bringing in expert witnesses who can attest to how dentists are trained and what other dentists have done in similar situations.

How to File a Dental Malpractice Claim

What are the Requirements?

Under Ohio law, you must also submit an Affidavit of Merit when you file your complaint for dental malpractice. Your Affidavit of Merit must come from an expert witness who certifies that they have reviewed the medical records with the plaintiff, that they are familiar with the standard of care, and that they believe the standard of care was breached subsequently caused injury to the plaintiff.

Dental Malpractice Insurance Claims

In most cases, a plaintiff seeks compensation from a dentist’s malpractice insurance policy, not from the dentist. Most dentists carry substantial insurance policies, as one successful malpractice claim could easily bankrupt a dental practice.

However, in Ohio, there is no law requiring dentists or doctors to carry malpractice or professional liability insurance. In that case, you would need to pursue compensation via other means. Your attorney will help you if this is the case since it depends mainly on whether or not the provider has enough assets to make a claim worth your time.

Proving Dental Negligence

Before you can receive compensation for a dentist pulling the wrong tooth, missing a critical diagnosis, or otherwise failing to provide proper care, you must be able to prove negligence. This involves showing:

  • There was a duty from the dentist to the patient. There must be a care provider-patient relationship between you and the dentist. This relationship would require them to provide adequate, evidence-based care.
  • The dentist breached the standard of care. As discussed above, the dentist must have acted in a way another care provider would not have.
  • The patient suffered injuries. You must have measurable damages to file a claim. Some patients believe they can file a malpractice claim simply because the care provider made an egregious error. This may be worthy of reporting to the Ohio State Dental Board, but you do not have a claim unless you were injured.
  • The injuries can be linked to the breach. You must be able to prove that your injuries are a result of the dentist’s breach of the standard of care.

Damages and Compensation for Dental Mistakes

In Ohio, a dental malpractice plaintiff can seek economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that are easy to calculate, such as your medical and dental bills, lost wages, and other direct expenses related to dental malpractice. This may include time spent off work to repair or recover from the issue and the costs of getting the dental mistake fixed.

Non-economic damages are those losses that are harder to quantify. They include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, mental anguish, and other types of non-financial losses. Ohio caps non-economic damages at either $250,000 or three times your economic damages with a maximum of $350,000, whichever is greater.

Your lawyer can represent you in pursuit of compensation for all your physical, emotional, and financial losses. Through an insurance claim or lawsuit, KNR will fight hard for you to recover your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium

Why Work With Our Dental Malpractice Attorneys

If you have been injured by a dental mistake, Kisling, Nestico & Redick is committed to helping victims get fair treatment from insurance companies and max compensation for their losses. We know that the costs associated with dental malpractice can be staggering, so we work quickly and try to remove as much stress as possible.

During your free consultation, we’ll discuss your dental malpractice claim and better understand what happened. We will provide our initial advice and guidance about moving forward. If we decide to pursue a claim, we will focus on building the strongest case possible to prove the dentist’s negligence. Let KNR gather the evidence and show the parties involved how your injuries have affected you and your life.

KNR’s Legal Team Will:

  • Investigate, collect evidence, and find those at fault.
  • Interview witnesses, medical professionals, and experts to show how your life was impacted.
  • Communicate with the insurer, clarify liability, and pursue max compensation.
  • Determine the full and fair value for your dental injury– what you lost and deserve.
  • Keep you informed and involved. KNR is available by phone, text, email, or Zoom.
  • Protect your rights and, if necessary, take your case to court.
  • Never charge you upfront. If there’s no recovery, there’s no cost.

We use every available resource so you can recover physically and financially.

Dental Malpractice FAQs

How much time do I have to file?

Ohio has a one-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice, including dental errors. This generally starts when the injury occurs. If you did not find out about the injury immediately, you have one year from the date of discovery to start your dental malpractice claim.

What if a hygienist or assistant caused my injury?

Dental hygienists and assistants do a substantial portion of a patient’s care in many offices. You could still seek compensation if your dental hygienist or assistant were negligent. They are considered medical professionals and are obligated to provide reasonable care.

What should if I think I’m the victim of dental malpractice?

You should get copies of all your dental reports and contact an Ohio dental malpractice attorney. When suing for dental malpractice, the clock starts ticking as soon as the injury occurs. We can help you navigate your claim.

Don’t Wait Any Longer—Contact KNR

A reckless or negligent dentist’s mistakes can leave you in financial distress. But only if you don’t take action. The Ohio dental malpractice lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick are ready to talk to you and learn more about your claim.

Get your free, no-risk consultation. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW today.