Tom over at OralAnswers has previously written a post on how to win a dental malpractice suit http://www.oralanswers.com/2010/07/sue-your-dentist-and-win-malpractice-lawsuit/
I also discuss on my U.S. Legal System and Medical Malpractice page http://www.teethremoval.com/legal_system_medical_malpractice the 4 elements you must prove to have a chance at winning a malpractice suit.
(1) the doctor to provide a standard of care to patients in the locality where the treatment occured (legal duty)
(2) the doctor breached that standard of care
(3) an injury causing damages
(4) the breach of the standard of care was the proximate cause of the injury.
Now as is quite clear on my site I disagree with the current ‘standard of care’ of removing healthy wisdom teeth in young healthy patients in the U.S. This is not the standard of care in the U.K.
I wanted to touch on an additional element in this post to help improve your chances of winning a dental malpractice lawsuit due to the aggressive tactics employed by dentists, oral surgeons, and their staff to prevent lawsuits.
As indicated on my complications page, my personal experience, and doing additional research on Yelp of wisdom teeth extraction oral surgeon reviews, it is quite clear that patients who experience symptoms and complications after having wisdom teeth extracted are sometimes told things to the effect of:
The condition was not related to the surgery, or the problems were not related to the oral surgery, or send us your follow up results/testing from a medical doctor so we can determine IF your problems are related to the oral surgery as we have not heard of that complication happening before.
Remember that dentists and oral surgeons are in the business of pulling out teeth and are hence after profit and protecting themselves from liability which all too often is at the expense of making the patient receiving fair compensation.
When I discussed my complication of a 24/7 headache that started roughly 2 days after having 4 healthy wisdom teeth extracted with a lawyer it was suggested to me that there WAS NO WAY TO PROVE I DIDN’T HIT MY HEAD ON THE WAY OUT OF THE OFFICE OR SOMETHING ELSE HAPPENED BETWEEN THE ORAL SURGERY AND THE ONSET OF THE HEADACHE. I was unable to receive any compensation for my injuries and continue to have a 24/7 headache and my surgery occurred over 5 years ago.
The only feasible way I see to get around a lot of these issues is to VIDEO TAPE THE ORAL SURGERY AND ALL EVENTS AFTERWARDS FOR AT LEAST SEVERAL DAYS.
I would personally recommend bringing in multiple friends and family members to the oral surgery and video tape the extractions from multiple angles. You will also need to ensure you have at least 1 video camera on you at all times for like I said at least a few days after the surgery.
Now let’s be honest some dentists and oral surgeons will not be welcoming to having multiple people video taping the surgery but this is really the only way within the current confines of the law to help protect yourself and increase your chances of winning a potential suit if a complication were to occur.
Look if your dentist or oral surgeon won’t let you video tape the surgery then I would find a different one or maybe feed them some BS excuse for taping the surgery such as for a class project or something. Otherwise I would resort to possibly bugging the oral surgeons or dentists office or hiding cameras or something in your clothes.
Current scientific evidence doesn’t support or refute having healthy wisdom teeth extracted http://www.teethremoval.com/controversy.html and this is an elective procedure. If you are going to have it done at least provide yourself the additional evidence of video tape of the event and events following the surgery to help increase your chances of a successful lawsuit if things don’t go as you would hope.