Dental Malpractice, 5 Signs That You May Have Been Abused During a Dental Procedure

The very worst kind of dental malpractice is sexual abuse that occurs while the patient is under anesthesia, and this can be reason for file a malpractice lawsuit immediately.

In this Malpractice Guide article, we will discuss the key signs that you may have been abused while undergoing a dental procedure.

1. The Dentist is Alone

Most dentists use assistants to help with dental procedures and in part, to protect themselves against claims of abuse. Dentists working alone, especially those in a closed room with their patients, are unwise and might possibly be suspect. Working without an assistant makes abuse possible. This sign alone isn’t enough to act on, but if there are other signs, this one helps to confirm suspicions.

2. You Feel Inappropriate Contact

While under sedation from nitrous oxide gas, you might still have enough consciousness to feel someone or something touching you in inappropriate places.

3. You Awake to Find the Dentist in an Unusual Position

Patients sometimes come to while under sedation because it affects everyone differently. If you awake to find the dentist out of normal position, in a position you consider inappropriate, this might be a sign of abuse taking place.

4. Your Clothes or the Dentists Clothes are Disheveled

Disheveled clothing might include your shirt being unbuttoned, miss-buttoned or untucked, your pants unbuttoned or unzipped, your shoes untied or your undergarments out of position or obviously tampered with. If the dentist’s pants are unbuttoned or the zipper is down, this might also be a sign of abuse.

5. You Remember Something Later

If you are under sedation and abused, you might not remember it immediately. The memory might not come back to you until sometime later, but it should not be dismissed as “just the effects of anesthesia.”  It might spring to mind on the way home or a week later or the next time you walk into the dental office.

For evidence of abuse, you don’t necessarily need DNA evidence, though if you find any evidence like that, you should immediately contact the police. If you suspect any type of abuse, even if your memories are the only evidence you have, contact the police. Unless they have received other complaints, they probably won’t get a prosecutor to file charges. But it might be that they have had other complaints and your evidence would lead to prosecution.

Whether or not criminal prosecution is an option, you might also want to discuss your concerns with a malpractice attorney. Most malpractice lawyers will do a free case evaluation and will let you know if they believe you have a case that can be won. There will be times that you could be offered a settlement and not have to go to court. This is something that your attorney will discuss with you and decide if this is a good option. You owe it to yourself and to any other potential victims to take what action you can.