Can I sue for dental malpractice? 32 Answers as of July 12, 2013

My father is on Coumadin(a blood thinner). He went to a dentist who pulled his tooth and he had a major bleeding. He had to go to the ER and they had an Oral Surgeon sew his gums. They told us that no dentist was able to just pull his tooth that the dentist should have referred him to an oral surgeon. Do you think we might have a case?

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The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Vanessa Reed
There is a significant amount of information that is required before a determination can be made. I would advise that you schedule a free consultation with a lawyer to review and discuss your case. My office handles personal injury matters, if you are interested.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/16/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
You would need to consult with an attorney who has done dental malpractice in your area.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/16/2011
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
If the dentist knew he was on coumadin, and if oral surgeon or other qualified expert will testify that the dentist should have known that it was unsafe for an ordinary dentist to extract the tooth, you have a case in theory. Unfortunately, you must have catastrophic damages, in the neighborhood of $500,000.00 in medical bills and/or lost wages for a dental or medical malpractice case to be economically viable because they are so expensive to bring into court and the chances of losing even when you have a good case are so great.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 6/15/2011
Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
You may have a claim. It not clear as to liability and as to the injuries caused. Luckily he does not appear to have any long term problems. You should discuss with an lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Delaware
Replied: 6/15/2011
Patrick M Lamar Attorney
Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
Possibly but you would have to prove damage from the procedure.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/15/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Yes, he likely has a case, but it may not be worth enough for a dental malpractice lawyer to accept it. Remember, it takes a lot of money just to support any type of malpractice case and most attorneys won't take one unless there is a substantial payday at the end. However, it's worth consulting with various malpractice attorneys just to check. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    If the dentist knew about the coumadin, or for some reason should not have pulled the tooth, and you have another dentist to back up your position, then you may have a case. It is always a question of whether the dentist followed acceptable standards in the dental field.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Please consult with a medical malpractice attorney. In Indiana and other states, administrative procedures with state medical boards should be complied with before a law suit is brought.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I recommend you consult with personal injury attorneys in your community. One concern presented is whether or not you have sufficient damages to justify a medical malpractice lawsuit. But contact a lawyer ASAP. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Whether or not you have a dental malpractice case depends on if the dentists conduct was a departure from the applicable standard of care for dentists in you locale. Only another dentist can answer that for you. But, it seems that the dentist should have asked about Coumadin and maybe should have had the dose skipped or decreased in preparation for the extraction. However, I am not a dentist.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq.
    The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. | Bradley Kramer
    Too small of a case to sue for.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    I would concur. Most tooth removal is properly left to oral surgeons, who would, among other things, inquire as to the types of medication the patient is on, as a patient on blood thinning agents is highly likely to have complications resulting from any incision or exposing of blood vessels.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    It sounds like you may have a case, if the dentist knew or should have known that your father was taking Coumadin. However, unless there are significant long-term medical problems which is not clear from your question, it may not be cost effective. Suing any medical provider is very expensive, so it only makes sense to bring such a claim if you have fairly major injuries. Regardless of that, most lawyers will talk to you free of charge at an initial consultation. I suggest you find a local attorney who does medical/dental malpractice law (Law Q&A should be able to help), and discuss with him/her whether it is viable to bring a case. Even if you don't actually sue, it may be possible to obtain compensation from the doctor's insurance company for the resulting medical expenses. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    There is a potential case but you have to evaluate how serious the injury was past going to the emergency room. If there was additional injury past what is mentioned here it would be a better case.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Sorry to hear about your father. Well, certainly a dentist can pull teeth. Generally those cases are handled by endodontists and oral surgeons, however. The dentist should have been aware your father was on Coumadin and taken that into account. As for a case, it would depend on what the outcome might have been if an oral surgeon had done the procedure as opposed to a dentist. You should speak to an attorney so you can provide additional information.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Can you sue? Yes. Should you sue? I'm not sure. Unless you are in a jurisdiction where juries tend to award large settlements, my gut feeling is that it is not worth pursuing. From a liability standpoint, you have a so-so case at best. From a damages standpoint, it doesn't sound like your father suffered much more than if he had gone to the oral surgeon in the first place. It's not a case that I would take.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Maybe but probably not enough damages to take the case.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Cary J. Wintroub
    Possibly but it sounds like your damages are limited if your dad had no complications after the ER.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
    Yes, you may well.The question is whether the amount of damages involved justifies bringing the claim.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    Dental malpractice is very similar to medical malpractice. In Virginia, such actions are quite difficult for a number of reasons. In this case, the biggest impediment to proceeding is the apparent lack of damages. Are there any bills other than the one time visit to the ER? These cases are expensive and to go forward with hiring an expert, you need to be able to anticipate recovering more than the costs of the case. You should probably talk to a lawyer to see if this is a viable case.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    Sure sounds like it! Coumadin gives people all kinds of problems, and even laypersons know that it causes bleeding. My office gives free consultations on dental malpractice cases. If you want us to look at it a little closer, please feel free to contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    You definitely have a case if a dentist will testify that this dentist's actions fell below the standard of care in the community. Oral surgeons will always say that only they should do the surgery. Also, did your father's chart reflect that he was on Coumadin? That might change standard of care. The other issue is what were the medical expenses and pain and suffering. Case may be too small for an attorney to pursue on a contingency.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Well, the first question is did your dad inform the dentist that he was on Coumadin? I know that medication all to well because I've been on it for the past year and just got taken off of it and put back on 81mg aspirin. I, of course, informed not just my dentist but his dental hygienist of being on Coumadin, and he had some particular medication available in his office when they just cleaned my teeth! In Florida, you've got to jump through a lot of hoops before you can sue a health care provider (including dentists) and if you can find a dentist to say that it's a deviation from the standard of care for a dentist to pull a tooth when the patient is on Coumadin, and that the dentist should have referred your dad to an oral surgeon, then you may have a case but it will cost you as much to hire a dentist to be an expert as you could probably get by way of recovery.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    You may have a case, but it is likely a minor one for the expense, hassle and inconvenience of going to the ER. You might consider making a written demand to the dentist and submit the bills and ask for some amount over that for pain, suffering and inconvenience. If he blows you off, you may consider small claims where you can sue up to $7,500. This is likely not a big enough case where an attorney would be willing to take it on a contingency fee basis.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky | Mark Kotlarsky
    Yes, your father may have, although dental malpractice cases are expensive.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You may have a case. The first think you have to find out is whether your father told the dentist about his medicine and the dentist warned your father about the risk of excessive bleeding. You will need to get the dentist's chart notes to see if the warning was properly given.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    This case is essentially a medical malpractice case. Since I do not practice medical malpractice I would refer you to an attorney that does. Having said that, every case turns on its individual facts. In this type of case whether or not your father has a case depends on what a reasonable medical professional would do under these circumstances. Any good attorney would want to review the medical records and have another expert (dentist and an oral surgeon) review the records too.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    You might technically have a case as that was careless, but I would not take it as the damages are not anywhere near significant enough...nowhere near. And, I doubt you'd want to pay by the hour to pursue that.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
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