Dentists are medical professionals who provide oral health care. Many people visit their dentist for routine checkups. Others may see a dentist for emergency dental care after a slip and fall or another accident damaging their teeth or gums. As of 2021, over 146,000 licensed dentists practiced in the United States. 

Unfortunately, patients can experience pain and incur additional medical expenses when dentists make medical errors. If you’ve experienced medical malpractice from a dentist, you can get legal help from our Tampa medical malpractice attorneys.

What is dental malpractice?

All medical professionals, including dentists, must provide patients with a reasonable standard of care. Malpractice occurs when a dentist fails to take typical actions when providing medical care. An example would be using dirty equipment after dropping it on the floor instead of replacing it with sterilized equipment. Malpractice can also occur if the dentist takes unwarranted actions, such as removing a healthy tooth without consent.

Dental Malpractice

Can you sue a dentist?

You can sue a dentist for medical malpractice. Patients who receive substandard dental care may have legal grounds to seek compensation from their dentist.

Reasons for Pursuing a Dental Malpractice Case

Any substandard dental care is grounds to pursue a medical malpractice case. These are some of the common reasons for dental malpractice claims:

  • Causing nerve injuries
  • Causing puncture wounds
  • Failing to diagnose dental issues
  • Failing to prevent or treat infections
  • Not recommending necessary treatments
  • Poor hygiene causing complications
  • Reactions to anesthetic
  • Treating the wrong tooth
  • Unnecessary treatments
  • Wrongful death

Filing a Lawsuit

To pursue a medical malpractice case against your dentist, you must take these steps:

  • File a claim with the court
  • Serve a copy of the paperwork to the defendant

Some states may require you to take additional steps. For example, anyone pursuing a Florida medical malpractice case must provide a pre-lawsuit notice of intent informing the defendant of their intent to sue. This notification provides the dentist with an opportunity to settle your claim before you file with the court. You must deliver the following to your dentist to comply with this legal requirement:

  • Notice of intent to sue
  • Affidavit from a medical professional verifying grounds for a medical malpractice case

You can proceed with a court filing if you didn’t negotiate a settlement. Your filing should declare the following:

  • That you’re filing a medical malpractice case
  • That the court has jurisdiction over this matter
  • How you suffered medical malpractice

To establish medical malpractice, you must explain:

  • The reasonable standard of care for your condition
  • How the dentist’s actions or inactions differed from the reasonable standard of care
  • How the dentist’s actions or inactions caused harm

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the time victims have to pursue legal action. These statutes apply to criminal and civil matters. Once the statute expires, it’s often impossible to seek compensation. 

You must file a claim with the court before the statute of limitations expires. The statute of limitations is determined by the state where the malpractice occurred. For example, Florida gives victims two years to pursue personal injury claims. This means you must file your claim with the court within 730 days from the date of the malpractice. 

After filing, you can take as long as required to resolve your case if you filed before the statute of limitations elapsed. Many medical malpractice cases take two years or more to resolve in court.

Supporting Your Claim in Court

Proving your claim involves presenting evidence in court that persuades a judge or jury that the dentist committed medical malpractice. You may need the following to establish your claim:

  • Expert testimony from medical professionals
  • X-rays and other dental test results
  • Patient files
  • Documentation about standard treatment
  • Dental care policy information
  • Video footage
  • Photographs
  • Witness testimony

How can a Florida medical malpractice lawyer help?

Navigating the legal system can be overwhelming. Most people have limited knowledge about the legal system and how the courts operate. Consequently, if you try to prepare a legal claim yourself, you may struggle to learn about the law and gather evidence while recovering from your injuries. Medical malpractice lawyers use their expertise to prepare your case. They gather evidence, depose witnesses, and secure expert testimony to support your claims.

Dental Malpractice Lawyer

A dental malpractice lawyer represents you to ensure that your case is handled correctly. They apply their training and expertise to ensure that you get the best possible result in court. You have the right to have the attorney of your choice represent you in your dental malpractice case. Your attorney advises you of the law, takes legal action on your behalf, and speaks to the court and the other party for you. With the help of your dental malpractice lawyer, you can ensure that you recover top dollar for your dental malpractice claim.

Contact Our Tampa Dental Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys bring more than 30 years of experience to your case. These attorneys know the law and will pursue compensation for costs stemming from your injuries, such as medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. 

Jack Bernstein personally oversees all medical malpractice cases. With 36 years of legal experience, Jack Bernstein ensures your legal team pursues every legal option available as they fight to ensure you receive justice. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.


Occupational Outlook Handbook: Dentists. (2022). 

Osherow, M. (2003). Florida Medical Malpractice and The Statute of Limitations.

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