Dentist Negligence

The principles associated with dental negligence are the same as the area of law associated with medical negligence.

Key criteria when looking at all the facts provided by a client about potential medical negligence would cover the following issues:

  • Whether or not the dentist has acted in accordance with standards that other dentists, not necessarily a majority, would have utilised.
  • Was the patient provided with informed consent in other words provided with all the options, alternatives and given details of the reasonable risks involved in each procedure?
  • Was the investigation and treatment reasonably necessary?
  • Are the damages sustained by the claimant/ injured person sufficiently serious to justify bringing a complex and expensive medical negligence action?
  • Was the treatment provided causative on the balance of probabilities of the negligence or is it related to other factors?
  • Did the dentist failed to adequately diagnose and treat a problem that escalated causing significant damage to the injured person?
  • Did the dentist fail to use reasonable skill and care by failing to refer the patient for specialist treatment?
  • Did the dentist delay in treating an obvious problem and thus cause significant aggravation and damage?
  • Look at whether or not the dentist would have a Defence to a medical negligence action based on section 51 of the Civil Liability Act – a person is not liable in negligence for harm suffered by another person as a result of the materialisation of an inherent risk – this is something that cannot be avoided by the exercise of reasonable care.

Obviously you need an expert lawyer who will engage highly specialised medicolegal dental specialists to comment on the particular facts of a case to assist with investigations regarding the liability of the dentist. At Gerard Malouf and Partners we have run hundreds of cases successfully against dentists over many years and have found significant support being provided by responsible members of the dental profession who are prepared to go up against other defendants and major insurance companies notwithstanding that they are colleagues of the dentists.

You might find it rather strange but based on statistics that have been compiled by the HCCC known as the Health Care Complaints Commission, there are far more claims generally of a minor nature against dentists as compared to medical practitioners.

Unfortunately we often can’t help a lot of people with genuine cases against dentists because of the extensive costs associated with litigation however we will endeavor to do our best every time by giving complimentary advice to a new client about the best avenue to take whether it be trying to negotiate a result directly with the dentist in question, or initiate formal legal proceedings where the claim is sufficiently large or refer the matter to the health care complaints commission for investigation.

All dentists must have up-to-date professional indemnity insurance and accordingly can be sued even if the dentist has no personal assets or becomes bankrupt.

Areas of dental negligence Gerard Malouf and partners can handle on your behalf include the following: –

  • Problems with dental implants involving cosmetic issues, infection, failed bone grafts, substandard quality implants, failure to warn of complications;
  • Cosmetic dentistry issues – often dentists advertise incredible results and in reality the patient is dissatisfied with their cosmetic appearance due to changes in their jawline or problems with eating and speaking, burns to the exterior of the face nerve damage;
  • Nerve damage can be caused due to excessive force, failure to insert instruments in the correct location et cetera;
  • Periodontal disease and restorative dentistry – dentists may fail to adequately assess and diagnose treatment that should be provided within a reasonable time frame and due to neglect and delay the dental problem is exacerbated resulting in gum disease tooth loss jaw damage with associated problems eating speaking drinking.

At Gerard Malouf and Partners our team of over 10 specialised medical negligence lawyers have much experience in assisting you achieving maximum justice in the minimum time with the added bonus of ensuring that our cost agreements are simple and biased in your favour.  No other firm will offer you the expertise, cover all medical expenses and disbursements for medical reports up-front, provide a 90 day risk-free guarantee trial of our expert legal services and offer at the conclusion of a matter to reduce our professional fees if you are genuinely dissatisfied.

We do this because your interests in achieving justice are our paramount aim. Phone us now on 1800 004 878 to book your free consultation to discuss your dentist negligence case.