One of the scariest things we hear on the phone when people call in is this: My dentist broke my jaw during extraction. If you've experienced the unfortunate situation where a dentist broke your jaw during extraction, you're likely dealing with immense pain and potentially serious complications. This article will explore various aspects of dental negligence related to tooth extractions that lead to broken jaws, nerve damage, and other serious issues.
When wisdom teeth are removed, there is a possibility of damaging the inferior alveolar or lingual nerves. The impact of these nerve injuries will be discussed along with various factors that increase the risk of jaw fractures such as mandibular atrophy and deeply impacted teeth.
In addition, we will delve into dental malpractice lawsuits for broken jaws after tooth extraction. You'll learn about proving dental negligence in such cases and compensation claims related to fractured jaws caused by surrounding bone damage.
Lastly, this post will cover treatment options for fractured jaws following extractions – both non-surgical treatments for mild fractures and surgical interventions for severe cases – along with long-term issues associated with broken jaws like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) consequences and ongoing medical care requirements.
What if My Dentist Broke My Jaw During Extraction and Caused Permanent Nerve Damage?
A broken jaw during an extraction can cause permanent nerve damage to both the inferior alveolar nerve and the lingual nerve. The severity of these injuries depends on the nature of the fracture itself. Patients may experience symptoms such as pain, numbness, swelling, bruising, difficulty chewing, or opening/closing their mouth and loose or damaged teeth. In some cases, this type of injury could be a result of dental negligence during procedures like tooth extractions or wisdom teeth removal.
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Damage Consequences
The inferior alveolar nerve is responsible for providing sensation to your lower lip, chin, gums, and surrounding bone. When this nerve is damaged due to a fractured jaw sustained during dental treatment like tooth extraction or wisdom teeth removal, it can lead to long-lasting complications such as:
- Persistent numbness in affected areas;
- Tingling sensations;
- Painful electric shock-like feelings;
- Drooping mouth corner (due to muscle weakness);
- And other potential issues related to sensory impairment.
Lingual Nerve Damage Consequences
The lingual nerve provides sensation to your tongue's surface area along with taste perception at its anterior two-thirds portion. If this vital structure becomes compromised after sustaining trauma from a broken jaw caused by dental negligence while extracting impacted teeth or performing other oral surgeries, then you might face challenges including:
- Loss of taste sensation;
- Numbness or tingling in the tongue;
- Painful sensations (burning, stabbing, etc.);
- Difficulty speaking and swallowing.
In cases where dental negligence is suspected to have caused a broken jaw during extraction resulting in nerve damage, it's crucial for patients to seek legal advice from experienced lawyers like those at Spetsas Buist PLLC who can help navigate the complexities of filing a dental malpractice lawsuit.
The consequences of nerve damage due to a broken jaw during extraction can be severe and require extensive medical attention. Therefore, it is important to understand the various treatment options available for fractured jaws after dental procedures.
If a dentist breaks your jaw during an extraction, it can cause permanent nerve damage to the inferior alveolar and lingual nerves. This may result in symptoms such as pain, numbness, swelling, bruising, difficulty chewing or opening/closing your mouth and loose or damaged teeth. Seeking legal advice from experienced lawyers like those at Spetsas Buist PLLC is crucial if dental negligence is suspected to have caused a broken jaw during extraction resulting in nerve damage.
Treatment for Fractured Jaws After Dental Procedures
A broken jaw during a tooth extraction or other dental procedure requires immediate medical attention to prevent life-threatening complications such as obstructed breathing, heavy bleeding, aspiration of food into the lungs, and serious infections. The severity of the injury determines the treatment options for fractured jaws.
Non-surgical Treatment Options
In cases where fractures are mild enough, they might heal on their own with proper pain management medications alongside soft food diets. Non-surgical treatments may include:
- Pain medication: Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers can help manage discomfort during the healing process.
- Cold therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area can reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Dietary modifications: Consuming soft foods that require minimal chewing will minimize stress on the injured jawbone while it heals.
- Mouthguards or splints: Custom-made devices may be used to stabilize teeth, surrounding bone, and promote proper alignment during the recovery period.
Surgical Interventions for Severe Fractures
Moderate-to-severe breaks often necessitate surgical intervention using wires attached across opposite jaws ensuring stability throughout the healing process. Surgical procedures commonly performed in these situations include:
- Rigid internal fixation (RIF): This technique involves placing small plates and screws directly onto the fracture site, providing support and stabilization necessary for optimal healing.
- Intermaxillary fixation (IMF): This method involves wiring the upper and lower jaw together, temporarily restricting movement and allowing bones to heal properly.
- Bone grafting: In cases where significant bone loss has occurred, a surgeon may use bone from another part of the patient's body or synthetic materials to rebuild damaged areas.
The choice of treatment depends on factors such as the location and severity of the fracture, the overall health status of the patient, and any underlying medical conditions that might affect healing. It is crucial for individuals who have experienced a broken jaw during wisdom teeth extraction or other dental procedures due to dental negligence to seek appropriate care promptly in order to minimize long-term complications.
Treatment of jaw fractures after dental treatments can differ in intensity depending on the seriousness of the fracture and should be discussed with a medical practitioner. Risk factors contributing to jaw fractures in dentistry are complex, but understanding them is key to preventing further injury or trauma.
If a person suffers from a broken jaw during dental procedures, immediate medical attention is necessary to avoid life-threatening complications. Treatment options for mild fractures include pain medication, cold therapy, dietary modifications and mouthguards or splints while moderate-to-severe breaks require surgical intervention such as Rigid internal fixation (RIF), Intermaxillary fixation (IMF) and bone grafting depending on the severity of the injury.
Risk Factors Contributing to Jaw Fractures in Dentistry
The incidence rate for actual upper and lower jaw fractures following minor oral surgery ranges between 0.0049% - 0.29%. Although these fractures are rare, they remain the most feared complications among dental professionals. There are several factors that can contribute to a higher risk of jaw fracture during procedures like wisdom teeth extraction or other dental surgeries.
Mandibular Atrophy Risks
Mandibular atrophy refers to the thinning and weakening of the mandible (lower jaw) bone due to age, tooth loss, or other underlying conditions such as osteoporosis. This weakened state makes it more susceptible to fractures during dental procedures involving forceful manipulation of surrounding bone and tissue. Patients with significant mandibular atrophy should be carefully evaluated by their dentist before undergoing any invasive procedure.
Impacted Tooth Extraction Challenges
- Deeply impacted teeth: Teeth that have not fully erupted from the gum line may require additional surgical intervention for removal, increasing the likelihood of injury during extraction.
- Extensive dentulous regions: Areas with multiple missing teeth can lead to increased pressure on remaining structures when extracting adjacent teeth, making them more prone to damage.
- Ankylosed teeth: These are fused directly onto surrounding bone without periodontal ligament space separating them; this fusion makes extraction difficult without causing potential harm to nearby bones, nerves, vessels, etc. It also increases the chances of fracturing jaws while attempting to remove tooth root fragments left behind during the post-operative healing process if done improperly.
- Osteoporosis and associated pathology: Patients with osteoporosis or other bone-related diseases may have weakened jawbones, making them more susceptible to fractures during dental procedures.
In order to reduce the possibility of a fractured jaw when removing teeth, it is necessary for dental practitioners to consider potential risks and provide suitable care. This includes proper preoperative evaluation, use of appropriate surgical techniques, and post-operative monitoring for any signs of injury or distress in their patients.
Dentists must be cognizant of the potential hazards that could cause jaw fractures while performing dental operations in order to diminish the risk of such a serious incident. Proving dental malpractice in broken jaw cases requires gathering evidence and enlisting legal representation who has experience with these types of claims.
Jaw fractures during dental procedures like wisdom teeth extraction are rare but can be caused by factors such as mandibular atrophy, impacted tooth extraction challenges, and osteoporosis. Dental professionals should carefully evaluate patients with these risk factors before performing any invasive procedure to minimize the chances of complications.
Proving Dental Malpractice in Broken Jaw Cases
A successful dental negligence claim for a jaw fracture caused by tooth extraction or other procedures requires proving that the dentist was negligent in their actions. This can be done regardless of whether you complained about your injury at the time it occurred. Dental malpractice cases can be difficult, so it is essential for those seeking compensation to enlist professional legal help from firms with successful litigation experience in this field of law.
Gathering Evidence for a Dental Negligence Claim
To build a strong case, you need to gather evidence supporting your claim that the dentist's actions were negligent and directly led to your injury. Some key pieces of evidence include:
- Medical records detailing the extent of your injuries and treatments received as a result.
- Dental records showing any previous issues related to tooth extractions or wisdom teeth removals.
- Expert opinions from qualified dentists who can testify on proper standards of care during such procedures and how they may have been breached in your case.
- Photographs or videos documenting the damage sustained due to dental negligence, if available.
Enlisting the Right Legal Representation
Finding an experienced attorney who regularly handles dental malpractice cases is crucial when pursuing compensation for damages resulting from broken jaws during extractions. A skilled lawyer will not only help you navigate through complex legal processes but also ensure that all necessary documentation is gathered and presented effectively while negotiating settlements on behalf of their clients.
In addition, working with an attorney well-versed in handling these types of claims increases chances of success as they have access to networks of experts who can provide valuable insights into your case, ultimately strengthening your argument against negligent dental professionals responsible for causing harm.
Remember that time is of the essence when filing a dental malpractice claim. Each state has its own statute of limitations, which dictates how long you have to file a lawsuit after sustaining an injury due to negligence. It is essential to consult a qualified legal professional quickly in order to guarantee you don't miss any vital timeframes and forfeit your opportunity of getting justice and recompense for the harm sustained.
If you or someone close to you has endured dental malpractice causing a fractured jaw, it is essential to acquire proof and secure the appropriate legal assistance for your lawsuit. With proper compensation claims, victims of dental negligence can be fairly compensated for their losses.
To prove dental malpractice in cases of broken jaws during extractions, it is crucial to gather evidence such as medical and dental records, expert opinions, and photographic proof. Enlisting the help of an experienced attorney who specializes in dental malpractice cases can increase chances of success while ensuring that all necessary documentation is gathered within the state's statute of limitations. Time is critical when filing a claim for compensation against negligent dental professionals responsible for causing harm.
Compensation Claims for Dental Malpractice Victims
Victims of dental malpractice should be aware of their rights and the potential compensation available to them, especially if they have sustained a broken jaw or nerve damage due to an extraction. Compensation claims should cover financial losses incurred by victims, including costs associated with treatment, recovery periods, lost wages, emotional distress, and long-term physical impairments resulting from the injury sustained at the hands of negligent dental practitioners.
Types of Damages Covered in Compensation Claims
- Economic damages: These include medical expenses (both past and future), lost income due to missed work or reduced earning capacity as a result of permanent disability caused by the injury.
- Non-economic damages: These encompass pain and suffering experienced by the victim as well as any loss of enjoyment in life due to their injuries. This can also include mental anguish and emotional distress caused by the incident.
- Punitive damages: In some cases where negligence was particularly egregious or reckless on the part of dental professionals, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future. However, these are rare and not applicable in every case.
Successful Dental Malpractice Lawsuit Examples
An example case involves a Sydney-based client who had his wisdom tooth extracted but received inadequate care leading up to fracturing his lower mandible. As a consequence, he suffered weight loss, persistent discomfort, and sensation impairment in the chin and lip areas. Upon approaching Gerard Malouf & Partners Medical Negligence Lawyer, Keegan Behrens took charge of gathering evidence supporting the claim and eventually settled in favor of the plaintiff. The successful outcome highlights the importance of enlisting the right legal representation when pursuing a dental malpractice lawsuit, especially those involving complex issues surrounding bone fractures and nerve damage.
At Spetsas Buist PLLC, our experienced attorneys understand the complexities of dental negligence cases and are committed to helping injured patients receive the compensation they deserve. If you believe your broken jaw or nerve damage was caused by a negligent dentist during a tooth extraction, contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you navigate through this challenging process.
If a person suffers from broken jaw or nerve damage during tooth extraction, they have the right to file for compensation claims. These claims should cover all financial losses incurred by victims such as medical expenses, lost income due to missed work and emotional distress caused by negligent dental practitioners.
FAQs in Relation to Dentist Broke My Jaw During Extraction
What if my dentist broke my jaw during extraction?
If your dentist broke your jaw during a tooth extraction, you may have a case for dental malpractice. Consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in dental negligence cases to discuss the specifics of your situation and determine whether pursuing legal action is appropriate. You could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
Can a dentist break your jaw pulling a tooth?
Yes, although rare, it is possible for a dentist to break or fracture your jaw while extracting a tooth. This can occur due to excessive force applied during the procedure or because of underlying factors such as weakened bone structure or impacted teeth that increase the risk of complications.
Can the dentist break your jaw pulling a wisdom tooth?
A broken jaw from wisdom tooth extraction is uncommon but can happen under certain circumstances. Factors like deeply impacted teeth or inadequate surgical technique might contribute to this complication. If you suspect that improper care led to this outcome, consult with an attorney specializing in dental malpractice cases.
What is the risk of jaw fracture after tooth extraction?
The overall risk of experiencing a fractured jaw after having any type of tooth extracted remains low; however, specific factors like age (older patients), mandibular atrophy (bone loss), deeply impacted teeth, or poor surgical techniques may increase this likelihood. It's crucial for dentists performing extractions to carefully assess each patient's individual risks before proceeding with treatment.