Yes. Dental malpractice exists here in California and everywhere else in the country. A dentist is considered a medical professional who must meet certain standards of care just as medical doctors do.
Just as a medical doctor can fail to properly diagnose a condition or take too long to diagnose a condition, so can a dentist. This could delay the proper diagnosis of serious oral conditions such as periodontal disease or mouth cancer. Dentists perform procedures during which they can make mistakes that could cause harm to their patients. If a patient fails to receive the proper after care, he or she could contract a dangerous infection.
Dentists administer anesthesia as well, and it can be easy to make mistakes and harm a patient. Improperly performing a procedure could result in a broken or fractured jaw. If a dentist is not careful with injections, nerve damage could occur.
If a dentist is not careful, a patient could end up losing sensation or taste, temporarily or permanently. A dentist is negligent is he or she removes the wrong tooth or too many teeth, improperly installs a bridge or fails to properly complete a crown. Before performing any procedures or work on a patient, a dentist ought to take the time to review and consider the patient's medical history. If he or she fails to do so, the patient could suffer harm.
It may be easier to see now how a dentist could be held accountable for dental malpractice. However, proving it is no easier than it is with a medical doctor, but it does not mean that it is impossible. Victims need to provide evidence to a California civil court proving that the dentist failed to meet the standard of care whether through negligence or an intentional act.