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Malpractice Risk Shadows Cosmetic Dentistry Boom

America’s quest for that beautiful smile will continue to keep people flocking to their dentist for tooth whitening and implants, according to a recent survey of cosmetic dentists.

But as with any medical procedure, there is a risk of injury.

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Our dental malpractice attorneys have a keen grasp of the complex issues relating to dental negligence.

Dentists forecast increases in the demand for crown and bridge work, implants and veneers in 2014, according to a new survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

The November 2013 survey asked dentists to forecast whether certain procedures at their practices would increase, decrease or remain at current levels in 2014.

Of those dentists who responded to the survey, 47 percent said they expected to perform more veneer procedures and 60 percent forecasted an increase in implant procedures. In addition, 48 percent said they expected more crown and bridge work.

Based on the results of the survey, the demand for teeth whitening – one of the most popular cosmetic procedures – will likely remain flat. Only 33 percent of respondents anticipated a growth in whitening demand, while 60 percent expected demand to remain the same.

“2014 will be a very promising year for cosmetic dentists,” said AACD President Dr. Jack Ringer in statement announcing the results of the survey.

Unfortunately, dental patients like other patients are exposed to a risk of injury. It has been estimated that 15 percent of all medical malpractice cases involve a claim of dental negligence.

In a study of dental malpractice claims between 2005 and 2008, the insurance company CNA found that cases involving crowns accounted for 14.2 percent of all claims paid. The insurance company also found that surgical extractions (13.7 percent), root canal therapy (13.6 percent) and simple extractions (12.1 percent) accounted for similar percentages of claims.

Under Florida law, dentists have a duty to provide treatment in accordance with the prevailing professional standard of care. Dentists may be liable for negligence when injury results from a breach of that duty. In addition, your dentist must obtain your informed consent before performing any treatment.

Some of the most common grounds for dental malpractice relate to cosmetic procedures, including complications relating to crown and bridge work and implantation.

Other common grounds for dental malpractice include:

1. Failure to refer to a specialist;
2. Failure to properly treat complications from infection;
3. Failure to diagnose conditions like infection, periodontal disease, tumors and cancer;
4. Failure to properly treat periodontal disease;
5. Failure to render appropriate endodontic care;
6. Improper extraction of teeth;
7. Failure to appropriately treat with orthodontics;
8. Failure to diagnose or treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders;
9. Failure to properly supervise dental assistants;
10. Slips, falls, burns, or cuts in the course of obtaining dental treatment; and 11. Anesthesia mishaps.

If you have been injured as a result of receiving cosmetic dental treatment and need an attorney in Southwest Florida, contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner toll free at 800.646.1210.