The ability to chew and eat solid food is something that leads many New Jersey residents to seek regular dental treatment. Even just one tooth hurting can cause one to not even want to attempt to chew their favorite foods. Thus, when one is suffering from dental problems, the obvious solution is to visit the dentist office. During this visit and the subsequent necessary procedures, it is generally assumed that the problem will be taken care of and that the failure to diagnose other dental problems will not be a factor.
In 2011, a woman underwent a dental procedure in which 19 of her teeth were extracted to allow dentures to be worn. Dentures were made, placed in her mouth and her jaw was wired shut for approximately seven weeks. Throughout this process, the dentist saw the 69-year-old woman numerous times. However, after repeated examinations, he failed to notice that her jaw had been dislocated when the original teeth were removed.
In 2013, this woman and her husband filed suit against the dentist and the denture company that he worked for. In their claim, they indicated that she is still unable to wear lower dentures and that for approximately five years she has been unable to eat solid food because of her inability to chew. A jury has now agreed with the couple and awarded them $750,000 for the dentist's failure to diagnose the dislocated jaw.
The failure to diagnose a problem that a patient is suffering from can cause unnecessary pain and suffering. When this happens, there may be legal remedies available through the New Jersey civil court system. Consultation with an attorney experienced in these matters is the first step in seeking legal satisfaction.
Source: tribtown.com, "$750,000 awarded in dental trial", Nov. 25, 2016