Visitor Question

Facial scar from chemical burn during dental procedure…

Submitted By: Mom (Naperville, IL)

I took my daughter to a dentist who put cotton swabs on the outside of my daughters mouth during her dental procedures. The chemicals that she drooled out absorbed in the cotton swab, rested on her face for the 45 minute appointment, and resulted in a chemical burn on her face!

Is her doctor responsible for this and the scarring that will occur? How do I go about handling something like this? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Mom,

From the facts you present, the dentist should be liable for the chemical burns and related damages. Damages may include plastic surgery, if necessary, out of pocket expenses for medications, lost wages during treatment and recovery, and pain and suffering.

Before taking any action, take your daughter to a physician, possibly a plastic surgeon. It’s important to know if your daughter’s burns will cause permanent scarring or other lasting medical problems. If your daughter’s injuries are permanent, she would be well-advised to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

In the alternative, if your daughter’s injuries are transient, and her damages are minimal, it might be best to notify the dentist directly and ask for compensation in the form of returned fees or similar financial compensation.

Your daughter also has the right to file a complaint with the State of Illinois Dental Board. The Board will likely review the matter and determine if any sanctions should be taken against the dentist.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 16, 2014

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