What are Dental Implant Injuries?
Dental implants are surgical fixtures that are placed into the jawbone and allowed to fuse with the bone. The dental implant acts as a manufactured replacement for the root of a missing tooth. Dental implants are an ideal option for replacing missing teeth because they provide a strong foundation for permanent replacement teeth (often crowns or other restorations such as bridges or dentures).
Dental implant injuries can occur during the surgical procedure to place the implant, or afterwards during the healing and restoration process. Infections can occur, or the implants could be placed in such a way that they cause nerve injury or other issues with dentition.
What Injuries are Associated with Poorly Placed Dental Implants?
Some common injuries associated with dental implants include:
- Infection: An infected implant site can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty swallowing. Especially if not adequately treated, infection can also cause infection in the bone (osteomyelitis) — a serious condition that can threaten the viability of other teeth.
- Nerve damage: If the nerves that control feeling in the lips, mouth, face or tongue are damaged during the implant surgery, the result can be numbness, tingling, burning or other painful and abnormal sensation in these areas. Lingual Nerve injuries and Inferior Alveolar Nerve Injuries are two injuries associated with dental implants.
- Sinus problems: If the implant device placed in the upper jaw is too long or is placed too high in the jaw, it can puncture the sinus cavity, causing sinus problems including fistula, and symptoms such as congestion, draining sinus infections, and difficulty breathing.
As an attorney with a long record of representing victims of dental malpractice, Wallace B. Wason, Jr. has evaluated hundreds of these cases and can advise on your best course of action.
Are Dental Implant Nerve Injuries Considered Malpractice?
Not every implant injury is the dentist or oral surgeon’s fault, but when it is the result of dental malpractice, the patient may be able to pursue a legal claim for damages. To succeed in a dental malpractice claim, the patient must be able to show that the injury was caused by the dental care provider’s deviation from the standard of care, and that the dental implant related nerve injury resulted in damages. Additional treatment necessitated by the faulty treatment may qualify for reimbursement. These determinations require both legal and medical experts to evaluate the circumstances of and prospects for of the case.
The experienced dental malpractice attorneys at Wallace Wason, PLLC are adept at working with medical experts and showing connections between substandard care and dental nerve injury. We can help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case and will serve as strong advocates for you if you pursue a legal claim.