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Patients pay the price for non-compliance with dental guidelines

Many people have a fear of going to the dentist due to the pain that can accompany even the simplest dental procedures. In many cases, the pain is manageable and patients leave the dentist's office feeling as if the worst is over.

Unfortunately, the pain of a dental procedure may not strike until after the appointment is completed. This can be the case when a dentist fails to follow basic hygienic guidelines, which can lead to infections.

One of the more basic guidelines that protect patients is the use of eye protection during any dental procedure. This ensures that bacteria from the mouth do not spread into a patient's eyes. 

Unfortunately, according to one survey discussed in this article, as many as 20 percent of dentists never have their patients wear glasses; only 6 percent of dentists have patients wear eye protection most of the time.

These figures are upsetting for a couple reasons. First, not having patients wear protection goes against the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Dental Association. Both groups recommend the use of eye protection for all patients to prevent the spread of infection.

Another reason is that it that failing to have patients wear eye protection can lead to serious injury, including the loss of an eye at a dentist appointment. This was the case for one woman who developed an infection after bacteria got into her eye. The infection could not be treated with antibiotics and ultimately, surgeons had to remove her eye and replace it with a prosthetic one.

When a dentist fails to take even the most basic precautions to protect a patient's safety, he or she can and should be held accountable when that patient is injured.

While you as a patient may not recognize when a dentist fails to comply with industry requirements and guidelines, an attorney familiar with dental malpractice claims can help you identify instances of negligence or malpractice and build a case seeking compensation.

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