Daughter needs baby root canal because dentist didn't take x-rays...

by Anna
(Oklahoma City, OK)

We have been taking my daughter to a dentist since she first turned 3. They did the normal brushing of the teeth and exam at her first appointment. The dentist wanted to know if I thought she would allow them to do x-rays and I said yes. I said I would like for them to do it, as its covered under our insurance and there's no reason not to, but she said she would just do it next time.

My daughter just saw her for a second time last week (6 months later) and I was told she has small cavities on her rear molars that would need filled under general anesthesia. She still didn't take x-rays and recommended general anesthesia for my daughter.

I sought out the opinion of another dentist who had absolutely no issue taking x-rays. The second dentist said that my daughter would actually need a baby root canal and several other fillings the other dentist missed, simply because she didn't want to take x-rays the first visit.

I'm livid as I do everything I can to take good care of my daughter's teeth. Do we have a case against the first dentist? What can I do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Daughter needs baby root canal because dentist didn't take x-rays...":

Anna (Oklahoma City, OK):

The legal definition of dental malpractice can be summarized as follows:

Dental malpractice occurs when the actions or omissions of a dentist fall beneath the standards set in the dental community by other dentists under similar circumstances, and as a result of those actions or omissions a patient is unnecessarily injured.

From the facts you present, it appears you do not have a malpractice case against the dentist. To prove dental malpractice occurred would first require evidence showing the first dentist’s failure to take x-rays was an omission which fell beneath the standards set by other dentists in the community.

This means you would have to prove most, if not all other dentists in the area would have taken x-rays under similar circumstances. Then, if you could prove that, you would next have to show the failure to take x-rays was the direct and proximate cause of the baby root canal and several other fillings which would not have been required if the first dentist took x-rays.

From the facts you present, there is just not enough evidence to support a viable claim for dental malpractice.

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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