Botched Dental Surgery...

by Kristiana
(Woodacre, CA, USA)

When I was 16 I had a root canal done. When I was 20 I had my tooth pulled. At 25 my dentist said I could have an implant put in because my bones had stopped shifting. He was going to do the implant but then he had 2 strokes. He then had to call on another dentist from out of state to come in and do the implant. He had to find someone who had worked with the material he was using for the implant and who was familiar with it.

I met with the dentist, not only was he rude but not comforting at all. I have a huge fear of the dentist and he knew it. I had a CT scan done, many molds taken as well as pictures and more. The dentist took a very long time to create a program for the implant, which I was told would be 98% successful because of the computer program they were using.

It came time for the implant. He did it. After he was finished, I told him, in front of my cousin that it felt like it was placed wrong. He said, "no it's not, just wait for it to heal." Six months later, I went my other dentist to place the crown, and what did he say?...the implant is in the wrong place!

With that said, I went to a new dentist who told me he could do a few things, one was completely removing the implant which the bone had grown around, or two, do a bone and gum graft. I did option two.

I am currently still healing and I want to know, how much should I ask for from the dentist who originally placed the implant? Also, can I get reimbursed for the emotional stress caused by this situation? I have missed a lot of work and have not been able to smile or be social due to the sutures in the front of my mouth. Please let me know what you think.

I had the implant surgery about a year ago and if it all went according to plan, I would already have a crown on. But instead I have stitches, a tooth on a retainer and bruised gums. Please help! Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Botched Dental Surgery...":

Kristiana (Woodacre, CA, USA):

The first hurdle you will need to get over is the Statutory Limitations period. That is a legal term for the "time period" in which a person has from the date of the incident to either settle a legal claim or file a lawsuit. If the second dentist's implant was performed within the last two years you will be within that legal period.

Presuming you are within the Statute of Limitations you have a couple of options...

Option 1: Send a certified letter to the dentist. Review your frustrations and explain to him the mistakes you believe he made. Add up all of the dental bills you have incurred since the work he performed on you. Add up all of the wages you lost during all of the times you have been in a dental chair, from the time you sat in his chair, through the time of the most recent dentist. Add to that all of your prescription and over the counter medications.

Once you have all of those amounts compiled you can demand about three to four times the amount of the dental bills. That amount will take into account your dental bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Then see if he responds. If he doesn't go to option two.

Option 2: This is the more realistic option. Visit with several personal injury attorneys. Most will not interview you on the telephone. That is to avoid what is sometimes referred to as "lawyer shopping". Instead make an appointment and go into their offices. They will not charge you for an initial office consultation.

From the facts you present it appears you have a strong case against the dentist. You can be confident a personal injury attorney will accept the case. If she does she will not charge you any fee until such time as she either settles the case, or wins the case at trial.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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Comments for Botched Dental Surgery...

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Whos at fault? Has it been to long?
by: Jenifer

I had a re-rootcanal done on tooth 9 but before he did the procedure the Endodontist did a root canal on the adjacent tooth thinking that it referred pain. This healthy tooth had a veneer on it.

The Endodontist and the dentist told me I needed a crown to cover the tooth after the root canal was performed, until way later when I went back to the dentist with grey along the gum line.

My dentist just said it sometimes happens and that a crown would hide the dark area. I got a crown and my tooth cracked off into it and my tooth felt sore. The same Endodontist looked at the fractured root and said my tooth can't be saved.

He also said he didn't remember doing that tooth and it upset me because I think he's the one that fractured the root and it got infected. Now I have to get an implant on a tooth that should never have even had a root canal.

If I'd been told that a crown being placed over the tooth right after the root canal would give the tooth a way better chance of surviving I'd have done it. Please tell me what this looks like...a malpractice case?

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