Detroit Dental Medical History Negligence Lawyers
Reviewing a patient’s medical history is one of the first things a dentist should do when treating a patient. If a dentist fails to consult a patient’s medical records, they could miss important information about a patient that can jeopardize their oral health or even endanger their life.
At the law firm of Sommers Schwartz, P.C., our team of highly experienced dental malpractice lawyers represents patients who have suffered severe and preventable injuries due to a dentist ignoring their medical history. We can help you understand your rights and effectively pursue a claim for compensation.
What Does a Patient’s Medical History Include?
When you visit a new dental practice, the receptionist should ask for your prior medical and dental records. The dentist should review them before examining your teeth or investigating a dental issue.
While it may seem like your medical and dental records are separate and unrelated, that isn’t the case. Your medical history contains information that can inform a dentist’s decisions about proposed treatment options.
Your medical records can include information about:
- Any current medical conditions you are experiencing, such as infections, blood disorders, or diseases that may indicate compromised organ function (diabetes, asthma, osteoarthritis, heart disease, or kidney disease).
- Past medical conditions that you no longer suffer from but may still be relevant to the dentist’s treatment recommendations.
- Any known allergies.
- Any medications you currently take.
- Any recent illnesses and treatment.
- Whether you have recently undergone any surgical procedure.
While not all the information in your medical record is relevant, a dentist must access and review your complete medical history before beginning any examination or treatment. Otherwise, they may decide on a course of treatment that exposes you to a serious (and unnecessary) risk of harm.
What Can Go Wrong if a Dentist Doesn’t Review Your Medical History
An undisputed link exists between a patient’s oral health and overall health. If a dentist fails to consult a patient’s medical record, they may not know about specific allergies, medical conditions, or potential drug interactions that could cause injury or death.
Some adverse outcomes that could occur if a dentist ignores your medical history include:
- Anesthesia error.
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.
- Delayed treatment.
- Severe allergic reaction to a particular medication.
- Adverse drug interactions.
- Worsening of existing medical conditions.
- Broken teeth.
- Gum damage.
- Excessive bleeding.
- Termination of pregnancy.
At Sommers Schwartz, P.C., we’ve helped countless patients recover compensation after suffering preventable injuries from dental malpractice.
The Importance of Consent and Its Relationship to Your Medical History
Patients have the right to receive information and ask questions about recommended treatments, which helps them make well-considered decisions about care. Whenever any healthcare provider sees a patient, the patient must give them informed consent before the provider begins any course of treatment.
Obtaining informed consent involves ensuring a patient understands the risks, benefits, and options before beginning treatment. The way a dentist ensures a patient can honestly give informed consent varies, but a typical situation may include:
- A detailed discussion of the oral health issue for which the patient needs treatment.
- A description of the dentist’s suggested treatment.
- An explanation of how the treatment or procedure is performed.
- An honest discussion of the possible risks and benefits of the proposed course of treatment.
- Disclosing the risks of not following the recommended course of treatment.
- The results that the dentist hopes to achieve.
- A discussion of any other available treatments.
Many of these are impossible to discuss accurately without a review of a patient’s complete medical history. Failure to obtain informed consent may constitute malpractice and form the basis for a dental malpractice lawsuit.
Have You Experienced Traumatic Injuries Due to a Dentist’s Failure To Consult Your Medical History?
If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries due to a dentist’s malpractice, contact Sommers Schwartz, P.C. for immediate assistance. We have the medical expertise and resources to thoroughly and accurately evaluate your claim. Our experienced, dedicated legal team can litigate your case and secure the compensation you deserve.
To learn more and schedule a free consultation with one of our Michigan anesthesia injury lawyers, call 800-783-0989 or complete our online form. We accept all cases on a contingency basis, so you will not be responsible for any legal fees unless we can obtain compensation for you.