Can I file for malpractice if a dentist damaged my teeth? 19 Answers as of October 25, 2012

Back in June of this year I went in for a general cleaning, with that cleaning they found two teeth that needed to come out because they were bad. This was okay. The girl at the front desk said I will call you with an appointment so I waited. Several days passed and she called me with an appointment to go to another general Dentist. I should have seen a oral surgeon. Anyway that is not what happened, this general dentist attempted to pull these two teeth that ended up pulling three teeth. I was in major major pain for 14 days. I called back and suggested what I thought was going on. He told me I was crazy and delusional. What I saw were pieces of the teeth he had pulled. I could not eat or talk. He would not see me. I called a friend of mine that was a dentist. I could not see him on the beginning because one, he didn't take my insurance, and two he is too expensive, other than that he is a great guy. I called him up and asked him if he would just look at my teeth and what would he would charge. He made me an appointment and said he would charge $50.00, so I said good deal. I went for my appointment and to my amazement, he said my mouth was a wreck and I was not leaving. We will talk about the rest of this at another date.

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E. Ray Critchett, LLC
E. Ray Critchett, LLC | Ray Critchett
Generally, if your dentist committed acts which rise to the level of dental malpractice, you may have a claim against the dentist. You should be aware that you only have a one year statute of limitations to file a claim so it is best to investigate the matter as soon as you can.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 10/25/2012
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
Dental/medical malpractice cases are always difficult to prove, as well as expensive and time consuming. Extractions necessarily include a possibility of complications, including fracturing teeth, so it is possible that some of the injuries were unavoidable. General dentists are qualified to extract teeth, it does not have to be done by an oral surgeon. It is possible that the dentist failed to conform to accepted practice, but to determine that, you will need to get copies of all of your records and have them reviewed by another dentist.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/21/2011
Ford, Howard & Cornett, P.C. | Bradley Cornett
What you are describing is a potential malpractice claim against the dentist who worked on your teeth. Whether or not you have a valid claim depends on the professional standard of care for dentists in your community. Such cases require expert testimony. In Alabama, plaintiffs should have an expert ready to testify that the defendant violated the applicable standard of care before filing a lawsuit. Malpractice is a fairly unique area of law. Such a claim should be handled by an attorney with experience prosecuting medical malpractice cases. These types of cases are often dismissed on summary judgment; so it is especially important to have an experienced attorney on your side. The law limits the time in which you can file a lawsuit; so do not delay seeking competent legal advice.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 12/19/2011
Aaronson Law Firm
Aaronson Law Firm | Michael Aaronson
You can see a lawyer about filing a medical/dental malpractice case. As long as you can prove that the dentist deviated from applicable standards of care and that this is what caused her damages. Basically, you need to prove that he was negligent and that his negligence caused her damages. Texas now has very strict laws dealing with malpractice, making it very difficult to recover, even with cases that have a lot of merit.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 12/19/2011
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
There is not enough information for me to say for certain whether you have a case. To successfully sue for malpractice, you need three things: 1. Evidence that the doctor/nurse deviated from acceptable standards of due care, either by act or omission. This is also referred to as negligence. A bad outcome, in of itself, is not evidence of negligence. You need a dentist to testify that your dentist was negligent. 2. Evidence that the negligence cause some harm. 3. Significant damages. If the negligence caused minor damages, it would not be economically feasible to bring a ,malpractice case, because the cost in expert witness fees would exceed your damages. Some malpractice attorneys who require at least $500,000 in medical bills or lost wages caused by the negligence before they will consider the case. Once you know what the permanent damage is, you should consult a malpractice attorney.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 12/19/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    You need to consult with an attorney who handles dental malpractice cases; he will have to get all of your dental records and have them reviewed by another dentist. If that dentist says you have a case, then you have a case.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Yes. If a dentist negligently damages your mouth you can sue for dental malpractice, a claim similar to medical malpractice. You need a lawyer who is an expert in handling that type of case and there really aren't many who are good at it.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes, you can sue a dentist. But, there are not a lot of lawyers that do dental malpractice.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    You can sue, but you need a written statement from another dentist stating that malpractice has occurred and setting what constitutes the malpractice.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 12/16/2011
    McKell Christiansen
    McKell Christiansen | Michael McKell
    Sure you can sue the dentist that damaged your teeth. However, you will need to prove that he breached the standard of care meaning he did something that other qualified dentists would not do. Certainly, it is within the scope of general dentistry to perform root canals and extract teeth. You will need to find an expert to specifically state what the general dentist did wrong that falls outside the standard of care recognized in the dental community.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 12/16/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    If there is malpractice that can be proven, and the damages are significant, then yes you can file a dental malpractice lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 12/16/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    If your dentist says this is malpractice and is willing to testify for you, you may have a case. But you cant worry about $50 or any other sum the dentist needs. He wont work for free and you cant do anything without professional testimony.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 12/16/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    Dentists may be sued for malpractice in Louisiana for a breach of the standard of care in the locality in which they practice. There must be proof, from an expert witness, that the standard of care was breached.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 12/16/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    Medical malpractice cases in the great State of Washington are governed by statutes. RCW 7.70. (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=7.70). The main question is usually whether the health care provider failed to follow the accepted standard of care in the field. RCW 7.70.030. There can also be causes of action for health care providers making promises they didn't fulfil, or acting without the informed consent of the patient. These cases are extremely difficult and require the testimony of an expert witness.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/16/2011
    The Carlile Law Firm, LLP
    The Carlile Law Firm, LLP | D. Scott Carlile
    You might have a claim. What you must show is that the actions of the dentist "fall below the standard of care". Bad outcomes can always happen. You have to show that a normal, competent dentist would not have allowed this to happen under the same circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/16/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    If your friend the dentist can verify that the dentist who pulled your teeth failed to meet the professional standard of care for dentists in this area, then you probably have a good dental malpractice claim. You should consult with an attorney right away, before having any more dental work done.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/16/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    Sure. If you can prove that the first dentist's care of you was too far below the standard of care for dentists in your state, then you may be able to successfully sue. Your damages would include the cost of the remedial dentistry, plus damages for what you have and will suffer, lost wages and future expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/16/2011
    Law Office of Jason D. Baltz | Jason Daniel Baltz
    You may file for malpractice against a dentist and, based on what you have told me, you should. Like all professionals, the carry malpractice insurance and there are acceptable standards of care, to which they must adhere.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 12/16/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    You may have a claim for malpractice against this general dentist. You should retain a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case and determine if the dentist breached the standard of medical care in the manner in which he removed your teeth and the fact he removed a third tooth. You may claim for the cost of the procedure, any follow-up procedures, lost wages due to appointments to correct the situation, pain and suffering, punitive damages against the dentist, and other expenses. Make sure to continue to follow through with any corrective procedures necessary, documenting costs, inconvenience, and pain.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/16/2011
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