Although dental healthcare professionals are different from doctors and medical professionals, they are held to many of the same standards under New York law. Dentists and their staff have a duty to treat patients according to standards of care.

If they fail to do so and harm results, you may want to retain an Albany dental malpractice lawyer. A seasoned medical malpractice attorney could help you pursue compensation for your damages through civil litigation.

What Is Dental Malpractice?

Just as a patient in New York can hold a medical doctor liable for injuries they suffer from medical malpractice, a dental patient can hold a dentist liable for dental malpractice. When a dental practitioner has failed to uphold the acceptable standard of care in dentistry, or if they have provided treatment that exceeded the scope of the patient’s informed consent, dental malpractice might have occurred.

Dental malpractice could lead to permanent or temporary injuries of the nerves of the teeth, lips, chin, jaw, and tongue, as well as a loss of taste or difficulty speaking. Common examples of dental malpractice include:

  • Failure to diagnose a condition
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failing to inform the patient of their dental problems
  • Providing treatment to the wrong teeth
  • Performing unnecessary treatments
  • Causing severe dental injuries during the course of treatment
  • Using unsterilized dental equipment
  • Incorrect administration of anesthesia

This is not a comprehensive list, so dental patients who suspect something is not right with their dental care and treatment should discuss their concerns with an Albany dental malpractice attorney.

Proving a Dental Malpractice Claim in Albany

For a dental malpractice case to be successful, a plaintiff and any lawyer they choose to retain would need to prove that the dentist had a duty to the plaintiff to treat them according to an applicable standard of care. If the dentist violated that duty when treating the patient, it may establish civil liability for resulting injuries.

The plaintiff must specifically prove that they suffered harm directly because of the dentist’s breach of duty. Furthermore, the harm that the plaintiff suffered must lead to physical injury, the compensable consequences of which may include losses such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, additional medical or dental expenses, or lost wages.

Filing an Albany Dental Malpractice Case

Perhaps the most important part of filing a dental malpractice case is being aware of the statute of limitations. If a case is not filed within the mandatory time frame, a malpractice victim may lose their legal right to seek compensation.

As per New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 214-a, dental malpractice plaintiffs have only two years and six months in which to file their case. Hiring a dental malpractice lawyer in Albany sooner rather than later could allow for more timely and effective evidence collection, which may facilitate a positive outcome.

Get in Touch with a Albany Dental Malpractice Attorney Today

If you are a victim of dental malpractice, it may be essential that you contact a qualified Albany dental malpractice lawyer familiar with what types of conduct would fall under the definition of dental malpractice. By seeking legal advice right away, you could more effectively work to preserve your legal rights and maximize any compensation that the dentist may owe you for your damages. Call today to learn more.