Final Verdict: Consent to Dental Treatment

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Final Verdict: Consent to Dental Treatment

Dentophobia, or fear of dentists, affects five to ten percent of Americans. There is something inherently frightening about someone who is paid to put tools, needles, or drills anywhere close to your mouth. Additionally, mouth and facial pain just seem to hurt worse than other kinds of pain. A possible reason for this perception is that the nerves surrounding teeth cannot sense heat, cold, and many other sensations; any stimulus at all registers as pain. Final Verdict: Consent to Dental Treatment

Dental pain is an unavoidable part of receiving any dental work. However, more significant dental procedures, like bridges, extractions, implants, and crowns carry additional risks that dental patients need to discuss with their medical providers. If a patient is at increased risk for medical injury, either due to another condition or to prior dental work, their dentist should take care to go over all the possible complications and side effects so they can decide together on the best course of action. A dentist should never recommend oral surgery or other major interventions just because it produces greater income. 

After a dental procedure results in increased pain and complications, the question is clear: was this dental malpractice? A dental malpractice attorney like Cohen & Cohen can review the circumstances of a case and help an injured patient decide whether it is a good idea to bring a lawsuit for dental malpractice or medical malpractice. Factors to consider include whether the complication is common for the procedure, whether the dentist made mistakes during treatment, and whether the patient was adequately informed of the risks prior to consenting to the treatment.

57-year-old Yvonne Nesmith of Rockville, Maryland believed her dentist hadn’t performed a dental extraction up to the standards of ordinary dental care. Her dentist, Dr. Rochelle Hackley, had extracted her lower third right molar on April 3, 2014. Yvonne complained that Hackley had damaged her lingual nerve — the nerve leading to the tongue — during the procedure because of a lapse of professional standards of care. As a result, Yvonne lost sensation in her tongue and experienced an altered sense of taste and difficulty chewing. She said that Dr. Hackley had not disclosed these risks to her before the extraction took place. Sadly, lingual nerve damage is irreparable and has no available treatment.

Prior to the five-day trial, the court ruled that Yvonne’s claim of breached standard of care was invalid. As a result, the jury was only able to evaluate the question of whether Dr. Hackley had provided enough information for Yvonne to make an informed decision. Experts brought by Yvonne’s dental malpractice attorney pointed out that Dr. Hackley had never provided her with any written informed consent form. However, Dr. Hackley produced experts who argued that a written form was not necessary as long as the patient was made aware of the risks. Additionally, she testified that she had provided Yvonne with all the information available about the extraction procedure. 

To Yvonne’s disappointment, the Montgomery County jury only deliberated for three hours on October 4, 2018, before returning a verdict finding no dental malpractice on the part of Dr. Hackley.

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Cohen & Cohen has an  impeccable Client Satisfaction Rating with hundreds of
5 STAR Reviews. We are among the best-rated firms in the areas we serve.

L Proctor
August 30, 2022.
My experience with Cohen &Cohen was beyond my expectations. Jill did an amazing job with negotiating on my behalf and got me way more money than I anticipated. Thank you for having my back.
Ebony Stoutmiles
June 23, 2022.
To say that I am happy with the outcome of my case is the understatement of the century! Jill Stanley is a BEAST at what she does. That is the only way to explain it. She takes no prisoners. She and her team are very skilled and knowledgeable. I am so happy I trusted them to do their job and rolled with Jill's suggestions. I would choose Jill again 100 times. She settled my case for more than I imagined I would receive. I was literally in tears. It is the best feeling to know my pain isn't for naught. Wayne Cohen and Kristopher Yorke were nothing short of amazing. They have the patience of saints. I'm 100% certain that I got on their last nerves with my frustration and tears at every other call I had with them. Being in pain and wanting to just be able to heal was all I could focus on, but they helped me realize that I also had to focus on the bigger picture (the case) so I could put this piece behind me. As a high-strung individual with anxiety, it was hard for me to not worry and let them do their jobs, but they reassured me all of the time that they had this. To be injured before the start of the pandemic and have to receive regular, weekly treatment while others are able to stay home is anxiety inducing. I was in pain, I was anxious, and I was just hoping it all worked out. It more than worked out. I hope Jill, Siri, and Kris know how much their hard work and "hanging in there" meant to me. I am eternally grateful. I can't recommend you all enough. If you choose this law firm, you won't be sorry!
Beloved Temple
June 3, 2022.
I was very pleased with the handling of my case and settlement with Cohen& Cohen. I appreciate them, would highly recommend them.
willie howell
May 25, 2022.
COHEN & COHEN ARE THE BEST I WAS INVOLVED IN A REAR END CAR CRASH AND 2 YEARS LATER I HAVE RECEIVED MY SETTLEMENT I AM VERY EXCITED TO SAY BRYAN!!! IS THE MAN HE INSURED THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF ME AND THEY DID 100% ANY QUESTIONS I ASKED THEY WERE ANSWERED. Jill and SIRI WAS ALSO REMARKABLE AND SHOWED THEY REALLY CARED I RECOMMEND COHEN &COHEN TO ANYONE THEY ALSO MADE SURE I GOT MORE THAN EXPECTED WHICH WAS AMAZING I APPRECIATE YOU GUYS THANK U💯
Jose Rivera
May 25, 2022.
The legal team at cohen & cohen did a great job I really appreciate the hard work on gating my compensation in a fair amount of time. Special thanks to Kris for a wonderful job
Lea Harvey
May 25, 2022.
I had a great experience with the team at Cohen & Cohen. From my intake attorney, Adam, to the paralegal, Bryan, who worked with me regularly for months to document and prepare my case, to Jill, the attorney who secured my settlement, I feel fortunate to have had their representation and expertise on my side.
Cameron Galloway (HustleDaGod)
May 19, 2022.
Kris was phenomenal. Spectacular communication & knowledge in regards to my case. Would definitely return if I needed more legal services. 100% definitely recommend.

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