Dental malpractice is similar to medical malpractice in that your provider failed to do something or did something wrong that resulted in injury. While there are many reasons for dental malpractice, one of the most common is infection. There are typically two ways in which infection can lead to malpractice.
Undiagnosed or Poorly Treated Infection
Infection is a common dental condition and sometimes accompanies tooth extraction. An abscess can have several causes, but should be treated quickly and appropriately to minimize discomfort and prevent further complications. The treatment will depend on the cause and location of the problem.
Symptoms of a tooth abscess include throbbing pain, sensitivity to temperature, pain with pressure on the tooth, fever, swelling and even a foul taste. However, some infections may have more mild symptoms, and an alert dentist will notice them during an exam. When a condition is likely to accompany or cause an infection, a dentist may prescribe antibiotics even if there are no other signs.
The potential risks of an undiagnosed or poorly treated tooth infection are pretty severe and can include sepsis in the most extreme cases. Because of this, it is vital that a dentist properly diagnose and treat, or proactively treat, an abscess.
Improper or Lack of Sterilization
Just as with any other medical facility, dental offices are held to high standards of cleanliness and sterilization. Many dental practices have turned to single-use devices for many pieces of equipment to make decontamination easier, but this doesn’t remove the need altogether.
Surgical instruments must be sterilized with high heat between uses, and semi-critical items such as mouth mirrors need to be “high level disinfected” to remove all microorganisms. Even surfaces need to be thoroughly cleaned to prevent the spread of infection.
Dental practices that are lax in their sanitization procedures may contribute to infection. Not only inadvertently causing an abscess but also increasing the risk of Hepatitis and HIV to their patients.
Have You Been Affected by a Dental Infection?
If you had an abscess develop after a dental procedure that worsened to cause severe illness, or have contracted a serious infection such as Hepatitis or HIV with no other known causes, contact our office to schedule an appointment. Daniel J. Moriarty of Moriarty Injury Lawyer is ready to discuss your case.
Posted on behalf of Moriarty Injury Lawyer
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