When a 28-year-old woman had a cracked tooth, she sought treatment at a South Carolina dental clinic. The dentists did not only address the issue with the cracked tooth, they decided that all 16 of her upper teeth should be extracted (there was no medical reason to remove 13 of her teeth). The woman also alleged that the dentists falsified their medical records for her in an attempt to justify all of the extractions.
By the time of the 2009 medical malpractice jury trial in Florence County, South Carolina, the young women had been without her upper teeth for three years. The cost of restorative dental surgery will be about $80,000.00. The jury returned with a verdict in favor of the woman in the amount of $2 million. This may seem like a large amount at first blush, until you realize how the loss of so many teeth affects the physical and mental well-being of people.
Extracting so many teeth (especially when not medically necessary) can cause many medical and appearance problems. Without teeth, the woman would be unable to properly chew her food (which can lead to nutritional difficulties affecting general well-being). The lack of teeth will dissolve away the jaw bone (chewing pressure stimulates the jaw bone), leading to a loss of support for the face and causing an increased appearance of aging (facial sagging and shrinkage) and increased wrinkles.
When teeth are missing, the opposing teeth do not act as a counter-force and will erupt into the mouth. When the upper teeth are missing, the lower teeth expand into the mouth and will traumatize the upper gum tissue and the sinus will expand and cause the bone to be destroyed from the inside out (the upper teeth help to keep the sinus in its proper position).
Dental malpractice is a type of medical malpractice claims. Many medical malpractice attorneys also handle dental malpractice cases if the injuries and damages are severe enough to justify the expenses and time commitment in bringing a dental malpractice claim against a negligent dentist.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of dental malpractice, click here to visit our website so that we may attempt to connect you with medical malpractice lawyers in your local area who may be able to represent you in your dental malpractice case. Or call us toll free at 800-295-3959.
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