Can I sue my dentist for her bad dental work on me? 13 Answers as of September 23, 2014

I had my teeth pulled and dentures made. After a year my dentist was going to put a permament liner in. She took my dentures to a lab to get the liners. Three days later when they returned they were not my dentures. She has since made 3 more sets and she can`t get them to match the first ones. After I confronted her about these dentures not being mine she said "I think you may be right". As I was leaving she gave me a check for 1000.00 and said it was for gas and inconvenice I still have the check. Do I have grounds for a lawsuit?

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Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
The lab might be the one at fault for losing your dentures. Cash the check if you did not agree to it as a settlement for your potential claim. Find out how much it would cost for new dentures, add on some unknown amount for not having teeth for the period of time, travel expenses, time missed from work, etc., and make a demand to her and the lab for that amount. If they will not pay to your satisfaction, you will have to sue in Small Claims Court.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/23/2014
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Yes. Either the dentist or the lab screwed up, but it was on her watch.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/23/2014
Law Office of Linda K. Frieder
Law Office of Linda K. Frieder | Linda K. Frieder, Esq.
Yes. Unless you signed a waiver.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/23/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Of course you can sue. However (thanks to the doctor lobby) Med Mal cases are quite difficult. First, one must obtain a certification from an independent doctor that there was negligence. This is where the claim usually stops, as most lawyers will expect the client to cover the costs of this review/report. Next, most malpractice insurance policies have a provision for approval of any settlement by the insured doctor. That doctor, human nature being what it is, will often refuse to approve any settlement, as he doesn't think he did anything wrong. Finally, there is a cap on how much can be awarded for pain and suffering, thus making these cases unattractive to lawyers. There are lawyers who specialize in Med Mal your local bar association may be able to refer you to one.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/23/2014
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
You very well may have a case. It takes the opinion of another dentist to prove the case, though. Medical malpractice lawyers typically have such experts available.You may want to consider consulting a medical malpractice lawyer that does dental malpractice.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/22/2014
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Only if you can get another dentist to give you an affidavit saying this particular dentist deviated from and fell below the prevailing standard of care. If the latest dentures work & fit OK, then I'd cash the check and leave well enough alone.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/22/2014
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    Simply because your dentist gave you a check for $1,000.00 for gas and inconvenience does not mean that she is admitting that she did anything negligent . Neither does the check act as settlement of any claims that you might wish to file against her for professional negligence unless it contains specific language on the face of the check stating that the negotiation of the check is in consideration for and release of any claims you might have against her. Therefore, in the absence of any such language you would be free to cash the check. As for the merits of any claim at this point for professional negligence, you would have to prove two things. First you would have to convince a jury that the dentist's treatment of you fell below the standards of other dentists in the community with similar skills and training and, in doing so, increased the risk of harm to you. Assuming you could do that you would have to convince a jury to award you a sufficient amount of damages to make worthwhile the effort. This would mean, at a minimum, enough of a return to pay for the expenses involved and your attorney's fee. Under the facts as you have stated them, I would be hesitant to bring a claim. It seems that if there is negligence on anyone's part it would be the lab. It apparently lost or destroyed your original dentures . The fact that your dentist could not make the replacement set fit or fashion another set for you that did fit is not necessarily proof of negligence on her part, because lots of people have trouble getting a comfortable set of dentures to replace a set that have been lost or damaged.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/22/2014
    Pepicelli Youngs and Youngs
    Pepicelli Youngs and Youngs | Jeff Youngs
    I would need to know a bit more, including the total cost of the dentures, whether any documents were signed regarding the making of the dentures, etc. There may be grounds for a lawsuit, but also keep in mind that a lawsuit would cost thousands of dollars at minimum to adequately pursue. Depending on the cost of the dentures, it may not be financially worthwhile to pursue a lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/22/2014
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, but it would be necessary to review the medical records and see if there is a dentist that performed the work failed to meet the required standard of care required.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/22/2014
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Possibly. But, to even file a malpractice case, you need to hire an expert witness to review the records and certify that the dentist failed to conform to accepted standards of practice. Actually, from your description, it seems more like the lab's fault than the dentists, so you might have a cause of action against them. But even so, your damages are that you don't have your dentures and while this is certainly problematic for you, there is a question as to whether litigation would be cost prohibitive.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/22/2014
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    I don't know anything about the process or what permanent liners are. you need to take your dental chart to another dentist and tell him your story and ask him the question. sounds like you may have a case but you must have a dentist to agree with you before you can start.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 9/22/2014
    Shalvoy Law, LLC | Walter A. Shalvoy Jr.
    You might, talk to a dental malpractice attorney to see if you a certificate of good faith.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 9/22/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    It is unlikely and, if you did proceed it would be a small claims matter. The dentist has been working the matter to get it right. She is relying on a third-party vendor to make the dentures and place the liner. You will not find a lawyer to handle this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/22/2014
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