Is it considered malpractice if an oral surgeon pulls the wrong tooth ordered by the orthodontist? 8 Answers as of May 13, 2014

My son’s orthodontist ordered an oral surgeon to pull his tooth because of overcrowding. The oral surgeon was supposed to go into the gums and pull a tooth not already exposed. While there, the oral surgeon said he was just going to pull the exposed tooth and the one still in the gums above it would come down naturally. I, thinking he knew what was best said, OK. After the tooth was pulled, his orthodontist was upset that they pulled the wrong tooth. Meanwhile, my son lost a tooth behind the extracted tooth naturally and the adult tooth above it grew back in smack in the middle of the gap. Braces are now a must to move the tooth and guide the tooth that was supposed to be extracted down into place. It is now impacted. He already had phase 1 braces, so his teeth were fairly straight and together. Now, because of the gap where the wrong tooth was pulled, he has a gap between his front teeth. Can I sue for the cost of his phase 2 orthodontia care?

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
If you can find a dentist to testify for you then you can sue. It sounds like a valid case, but you need an expert to testify against an expert.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/13/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Medical and dental malpractice claims are, by their nature, very difficult. Under California law, it is necessary, before filing suit, to obtain an affidavit from another professional, verifying that he has reviewed the medical charts and has found that there was negligence. This can cost several thousand dollars, and most attorneys expect that the client will cover this cost. Negligence could be defined as the failure to use REASONABLE care; not all bad outcomes are the result of negligence. You should also be aware that there is a cap on the amount of recovery for ?pain and suffering?, thanks to the doctor lobby. Sometimes one has a good case theoretically, but the damages are too small to warrant a suit. For these reasons, not many lawyers handle malpractice cases. You should seek a specialist. You can contact your LOCAL bar association for a referral.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/6/2014
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
It takes the opinion of a dental expert to answer your question. Medical malpractice lawyers that handle dental malpractice cases typically have such experts available. Consider consulting one.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/6/2014
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
Yes, if you can prove everything as you have described it. You will need expert witnesses to testify that the oral surgeon was negligent.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/6/2014
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Let us see here. we have 2 dentists who disagree about treatment. How you going to win this case? why don't you ask the state dental board a and see what they say and perhaps ask if they can refer you to a 3d impartial dentist to review the situation.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 5/6/2014
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    While only a jury can give you the ultimate answer to that question, it does sound like a matter worth pursuing, at least preliminarily. You will have to engage a lawyer and an expert witness to testify that the decision of the oral surgeon was not a judgment call, in light of the determination of the orthodontist. These cases are always lengthy and expensive and do not settle easily, if at all.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/6/2014
    Michael E. Wasserman, Esq | Michael E. Wasserman
    The case would have to be reviewed to determine the costs and benefits of a bringing a claim and possible lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You would first file a claim against his liability insurance. If denied, retain a personal injury attorney. He is due more than just the extra braces costs.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/5/2014
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