I have represented patients in medical malpractice (now called health care liability) cases in Tennessee or over 31 years. I have represented patients against a wide variety of health care providers, from pathologists to neurosurgeons, hospitals to nursing homes, dialysis centers to public health clinics. I have had relatively few cases against dentists, and relatively few dental malpractice cases are filed in Tennessee. Why are there so few dental malpractice cases?
Because most "errors" by dentists result in problems that do not give rise to a major medical issue that justifies the time and expense of litigation. Most cases involve a single lost tooth, nerve damage that is uncomfortable but not disfiguring or has a significant impact on life, or similar issues. I am not minimizing these injuries – I am simply saying that this type of injury frequently does not rise to the level that justifies the time and expense of a professional liability lawsuit.
Professional liability lawsuits are aggressively defended. Expensive experts are required in virtually every case. These factors impact the ability and willingness of lawyers to accept cases with minor injuries.
That is not to say that all dental cases result in minor injuries. About one decade ago we had a case where a dentist caused the death of a patient because he failed to give the patient (who had prior heart valve replacement) antibiotics before doing dental work. The patient died on an infection. We are preparing to file a case against a dentist who we alleged caused the death of a patient who was getting a tooth pulled. But we are simply unable to help to help most people who call us with dental malpractice cases because of the nature of the injuries.
So what should you do if you think you were injured as a result of an error made by a dentist? Feel free to give us a call and we will be happy to tell you if we can investigate your case. There is no charge for this service. Our number is 866-812-8787. Alternatively, you can also fill out our Contract Form and we will call you.