Securing Legal Representation following a Failure to Diagnose Oral Cancer

A dentist exams a patient's mouth Of the more than 35,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year, many patients are diagnosed late into the third or fourth stage, when the disease can be extremely difficult - or impossible - to treat. If a dentist or other medical professional fails to notice apparent symptoms, this is considered malpractice. Failure to diagnose oral cancer is far too common, and Michigan's Robert Gittleman Law Firm, PLC is here to fight for the compensation you and your loved ones deserve and need in order to cope with the aftermath of malpractice. If you feel you have been a victim of dental malpractice, contact Mr. Gittleman as soon as possible for legal advice.

Early Cancer Detection is Essential

Oral cancer can begin and worsen as the result of poor health, smoking, genetics, and a variety of other factors. The Oral Cancer Foundation recognizes that oral cancer has an unfortunately high death rate, not because it is hard to detect, but because there is a trend of late-stage detection. Patients who regularly visit their dentist’s office should not have to worry about this trend since standard dental examinations include a screening for oral cancer.

Advanced treatment options are making oral cancer easier to detect and treat. Even with modern advances, these treatments are far more effective when applied in early stages, making proper oral cancer identification essential. If you are a regular patient at your dentist’s office, and it can be proven that he or she was negligent in proper oral cancer screening, or blatantly ignored signs of cancer, he or she can be charged with malpractice.

What Should Happen at the Dental Office

Your dentist should recommend routine cleanings and checkups every six months. These routine visits must be comprehensive in examining the mouth for oral health issues, and the exam should include the use of detection methods for disease, infection, and cancer. If any of these conditions are suspected or detected, it is the dentist’s responsibility to take appropriate action in preventing the worsening of conditions. This typically begins with alerting you about the condition and may include follow-up examinations or referrals to other medical professionals who can provide an accurate and thorough diagnosis.

Having litigated in more than 35 states, including Michigan, California, Florida, and Nevada, attorney Robert Gittleman has insight into how these cases differ from state to state. 

It is also the dentist’s responsibility to examine your mouth for cancer and other conditions during dental treatments, procedures, and surgeries. To ensure successful treatment, dentists are obligated to ensure your mouth is healthy before performing any dental work. During any of these visits to the dentist’s office, your dentist should look for a variety of signs that indicate cancer, including:

  • Sores
  • Inflammation
  • Tissue redness
  • Painful areas
  • Whitish-looking tissue
  • Lesions
  • Canker sores

While these symptoms may indicate a number of oral health conditions, they are all clinically observable and characteristic of cancer. As such, these symptoms must be immediately assumed to be cancer until proven otherwise.

Untreated oral cancer usually results in death, and the gravity of this risk requires urgent and continuous attention. Standards of care require your dentist to perform a comprehensive cancer screening every time your teeth are cleaned. Patients must be checked for signs of cancer and immediately informed of possible issues or complications.

If a suspicious lesion is detected, your dentist must observe it for approximately 15 days. If it has not healed by that time, you should be referred to an oral surgeon for a consultation, evaluation, and a biopsy. Biopsythe removal and examination of tissueis the most effective method for detecting cancer. Once the tissue is removed, it is sent to a pathologist who examines it under a microscope to determine whether cancer is present.

When detected early, cancerous lesions can be excised, or cut out. Cancer still encapsulated in sores or lesions can be removed during a relatively simple procedure that often leaves patients cancer-free. If cancerous lesions are not removed, the cancer will likely infiltrate deep into your tissue and metastasize, or spread, to other parts of your body.

If Your Dentist Fails to Diagnose Oral Cancer

Due to the catastrophic effects of cancer, some patients feel overwhelmed by the thought of pursuing legal action against their healthcare providers while facing potentially aggressive cancer treatments. Mr. Gittleman handles every case with compassion and care, and he can assist clients and their loved ones through the process. He has helped many victims of dental malpractice obtain the compensation needed to cope with the losses that result from this type of negligence. Additionally, the cost of treating late-stage cancer can be devastating, and a cancer diagnosis affects not only the patient but also his or her loved ones. Mr. Gittleman is prepared to help protect your family's best interests during this difficult time.

Those affected by a dentist's negligence are encouraged to act quickly.

Those affected by a dentist's negligence are encouraged to act quickly. First, you should consult Mr. Gittleman and discuss the details of your doctor's actions or inactions and their repercussions. You will have the opportunity to consult with Mr. Gittleman about your rights, the legal process, what constitutes dental malpractice, standards of care violations, and suggested action. As Mr. Gittleman's client, you can expect to be fully informed about all your options, and to have a thorough understanding of your case at every stage.

Following your consultation, Mr. Gittleman will begin gathering evidence and filing your case, allowing you to focus on the pursuit of competent medical care and other necessities. Dental malpractice cases can be complicated, but Mr. Gittleman and his team have the resources and advanced understanding of proper dental procedures to hold responsible parties accountable.

Contact Robert Gittleman

Was your oral cancer undiagnosed, untreated, or not referred to an oral surgeon? If so, contact Robert Gittleman about investigating dental malpractice. Having litigated in more than 35 states, including Michigan, California, Florida, and Nevada, the firm also has insight into how these cases differ from state to state. Contact Robert Gittleman Law Firm, PLC, to start discussing your case today.

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