Wisdom Teeth Malpractice: How to Know Something Is Wrong

If you need to get your wisdom teeth extracted, or have gotten your wisdom teeth extracted, in order to preserve the look and health of your mouth, you’re not alone. In fact, many patients get their wisdom teeth pulled out. The commonality and frequency of the wisdom teeth extraction procedure have made it a fairly fast, routine procedure. The advent of local anesthesia and relaxants ensure a safe, pain-free wisdom teeth extraction procedure for the patient. The recovery time has also gotten shorter and involves less pain and discomfort than in the past.

Complications With Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Despite the fact that nearly every dentist is trained in performing this routine, frequent procedure, and administering the anesthesia and relaxing agents, things can still go wrong.

While accidents and improper practice and procedures in wisdom teeth extraction are rare, they can be serious, greatly affecting one’s quality of life.

How do you know whether your wisdom teeth extraction procedure has been botched? Mistakes made during the procedure often result in a longer than average healing time, infections, and other complications. The most common complications resulting in a poor wisdom tooth extraction include infections, dry sockets, and damage to the nerves of the lips and tongue.

Physical Symptoms

Specifically, if you experience excessive bleeding, blood or pus nasal discharge, prolonged numbness or loss of sensation, a persistent bad taste or smell in the mouth, severe pain that isn’t relieved with medication, fever, difficulty breathing and/or swelling that worsens after a few days following the extraction procedure. These symptoms can be an indication that an infection or complication has occurred and you should schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. If the pain and discomfort are severe and impact your ability to eat and speak and it lowers your quality of life, visit your closest emergency room. In some cases of wisdom teeth extraction complications, additional surgery may be required to address the pain and repair the damage or to prevent further damage.

Nerve Damage

The temporary numbness and loss of feeling in the days following a wisdom tooth extraction are common. However, the persistent numbness and lack of feeling that last longer than three months can be an indication that you have permanent nerve damage. The maxillary, mandibular and lingual nerves are the ones that are most likely to be affected. These nerves in turn affect the tongue, lips, chin,  jaws, and the soft tissues of the mouth. you may experience a tingling or numbing sensation in the lower lip, chin, or tongue. The ability to eat, taste, speak, breathe and smell may be impacted, leading to a lower quality of life as well as be a catalyst to other oral health conditions and infections.

Wisdom teeth extraction does involve risks. However, if your dentist doesn’t disclose these risks to you, perform additional procedures other than the extraction of wisdom teeth that cause severe, permanent complications or the dentist ignores and fails to identify and treat the post-op complications, you may be able to sue your dentist.

Wisdom teeth extraction surgery shouldn’t be complicated nor should it result in severe, painful, permanent side effects that negatively affect the patient’s quality of life. If you or a loved one suffered injuries or complications from a wisdom tooth extraction, contact us at Chianese & Reilly Law for a consultation. You may have a dental malpractice case.