What Counts As Dental Malpractice?

If you're worried that you might have to talk with a dental malpractice lawyer about something you've suffered through, you may also wonder whether your case represents an instance of malpractice. People can file claims and suits based on actions that amount to anything from dental negligence to outright malice. Let's look at 6 ways the conduct of a professional might constitute dental malpractice.

Failing to Meet a Standard of Care

For a dental negligence lawyer, the central feature of a claim usually involves what's known as the standard of care. This is the notion that whatever actions the dentist might have taken would not have led another dentist to stop the procedure had they been in the room at the moment. In other words, the dentist's decisions have to be broadly acceptable within their field of practice to fall within the standard of care.

Not Seeking Consent for a Procedure

Another issue a dental injury lawyer might be asked to think about is a lack of consent in a case. If a practitioner conducted a procedure without your consent, such as removing several teeth, that may be malpractice. A dental negligence attorney will review the treatment plans you signed off on to see what you consented to and how the dentist might have gone too far.


Overprescribing drugs is another form of dental negligence. A dental malpractice attorney may also look at cases where drugs were prescribed or administered to individuals without learning if they have substance use disorders.


While most of dental malpractice law focuses on negligence, malicious conduct also gives rise to claims. Doctors have committed assaults, usually of a sexual nature, against drugged patients. If you believe you were the victim of such behavior, you have the right to hire a dental injury attorney to pursue a claim.

Wrong Tooth

A dental practitioner needs to pay close attention to charts and X-rays so they don't accidentally work on the wrong tooth. This may include things like removing the wrong tooth or drilling into the wrong one. Procedures involving crowns, fillings, root canals, and veneers all fall in this category. From the loss of a tooth to increased pain, these problems are often compensable.

Incorrect Fitting

Bridges, partials, dentures, and implants exist to correct chewing and bite alignment issues. If a doctor doesn't properly fit them, though, they can damage surrounding teeth, cause wear in the jaw, and prevent your bite from aligning.  

To learn if you have a dental malpractice case, contact a lawyer.