Visits to the dentist are rarely fun. These healthcare providers inspire more fear in more people than most other professionals.
But how much worse would the anxiety and stress associated with dentistry be if you had suffered from negligence when visiting the dentist?
Consequences of dental negligence
Dental negligence is rare. But when it does happen, it can be highly damaging. Teeth can be a real cause for concern. If they suffer any harm, it can have a resulting impact on general oral health.
Gum disease can lead to periodontal disease – for which there is no cure. Teeth can end up falling out, while the surrounding tissue can become infected, causing further problems in the mouth. This makes early diagnosis and treatment essential to preventing the problem getting any worse.
When oral health declines, it can then then have a significant effect on a person’s overall health. The NHS has explained that gum disease can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and even rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been linked to dementia and problems during pregnancy.
Therefore, if gum disease is not diagnosed or treated effectively, it is not a stretch to say that it is putting someone’s health at great risk.
Risk of delayed diagnosis
Dentists are trained to look for problems. Other healthcare providers will usually be presented with a problem and have to offer a solution. Dentists, on the other hands, use check-ups to search for existing problems and issues with the potential to turn into problems.
If they do not recognise a tooth or other oral issue, it could be left to cause huge complications. A timely diagnosis is essential to a treatment plan working. Having this diagnosis delayed simply presents problems to everyone involved.
The patient has to suffer more severe problems – likely causing higher levels of pain – while other dentists then have to somehow mitigate the situation. And the more complicated the problem, the more extensive the work necessary to try to resolve it.
Mental effects of poor care
Physical health problems are not the only repercussion of substandard dental treatment. People are sensitive about their teeth. If their smiles are marred, they could end up suffering from mental and emotional troubles.
A drop in self-esteem and confidence is likely to be one of the most common of the intangible after-effects of poor dentistry. This is the sort of experience that can take a long period of time to get over.
It is also likely to exacerbate any uneasiness about dental care. When a great deal of people are already anxious and afraid of dental treatment, an experience of negligence like delayed diagnosis can make people very nervous about further dental work. It has the potential to put people off seeking out treatment, therefore causing even more problems.
This serves to highlight how important it is to find the right dentist and to take action against those who can’t provide the necessary level of care for their patients.
Image copyright: Jaromir Chalabala