Four and half million settlement in wisdom teeth extraction death

The family of a 31 year old woman who died later on the same day after having wisdom teeth removed in September 2011 was awarded a $4.5 million settlement. The woman had her wisdom teeth removed at a hospital in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She presented for surgery after an infection in her lower left wisdom tooth. The woman had known issues, including a narrow airway due to a congenital vascular malformation on the right side of her mouth and both she and her father told doctors she could not be intubated for that reason. Depsite being provided this information the hospital staff did not note it in her her pre-operative file and made an initial incision that caused significant bleeding. After this was done, doctors attempted to intubate the woman with the use of a laryngoscope blade which led to … Read more

The Importance of Reputation Management for Dentists

The dental malpractice law field is alive with some companies encouraging patients to sue dentists. It is possible for dentists to have as many as three or more complaints lodged against them at a single time. This causes stress to dentists and dampens the quality of care provided for patients. Whilst we can’t, unfortunately, change the culture that allows this to occur dentists can take steps to try and manage their reputation and reduce the risk to have a suit. These techniques can be used to improve customer interactions and try to mitigate any negative feelings or resentments patients may feel . So how can dentists manage their reputation more effectively? Patient Interactions The most important place to start is with patient care. With often heinously busy schedules dentists can skip over some of the niceties of patient interactions. However, when it comes to the perception of … Read more

Dental Malpractice and Inflation Adjusted Updates

I wanted to alert readers that several pages on this site have been updated lately regarding dental malpractice as it relates to wisdom teeth removal. I updated the inflation adjusted calculations and figures on the dental malpractice page http://www.teethremoval.com/dental_malpractice.html.The calculations using up to the latest CPI-U from September 2013 have been updated. Interestingly I have calculated an annual return of around 4.25% needed to keep up with inflation since 1970. This is higher than any risk-free investment vehicle (bond, CD, savings) currently being offered. In addition, to this page I have added a few comments (reworded) recently provided by Lewis N. Estabrooks who is chairman of the board of OMSNIC. He has recently said the following (OMSNIC. Lewis N. Estabrooks, DMD, MS. Board Message. Monitor, vol. 24, no. 5, October 2013.) “Our statistics show approximately 78% of the claims are … Read more

How to Improve Your Chances to Win a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit

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 … Read more