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Dental malpractice and the removal of wisdom teeth

Whether it is a routine checkup or for the treatment of ailments, it is not uncommon for Pennsylvania residents to see a medical professional. When it comes to medical negligence and the possibility of being harmed by a medical professional, many consider this risk when seeing a general practitioner, specialist or a surgeon. However, patients could become a medical malpractice victim anytime a professional provides medical care. This even includes visits to the dentist.

While individuals do not often equate a teeth cleaning or a cavity check as an event that could lead to harm or injury, dental malpractice could occur anytime a person's mouth is treated or cared for. This is especially true when it comes to oral surgery. The removal of wisdom teeth is a very common surgery to undergo, but it is also a procedure that could seriously harm a patient.

Much focus has been placed on whether there is always a justification to get these teeth removed. Because it is rare for these extra teeth to emerge safely and properly, most decide to have them removed in their late teens and early 20's in order to avoid pain, infections and other related mouth problems. However, it is argued that roughly only 30 percent of patients have valid justification for their removal. If monitored yearly, some patients may never require an extraction or might be able to postpone their removal.

Despite this perspective, the decision to keep wisdom teeth is just as risky as having them removed. Moreover, keeping these commonly removed teeth could pose even more serious dental issues. When a dentist or oral surgeon fails to properly diagnose and treat a patient, it could mean that the dentist is liable for negligence. Furthermore, this information could be used to prove fault when a patient is harmed by the decisions and actions taken by a dental professional.

When a patient has been injured or harmed by dental malpractice, they should learn more about their situation and options. They might be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice suit, and should learn more about his or her legal rights and remedies.

Source: USA Today, "Wisdom teeth: Should they stay or go?," Kim Painter, accessed April 30, 2015.

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