File Left in Tooth After Root Canal...

by Margo
(Fulton, NY)

About 10 years ago I had a root canal done. This tooth has been bothering me ever since with pain and discomfort. My new dentist sent me to see an endodontist today and they found that a file had been left in my canal!

Now I need to have a procedure done called an Apicoectomy (or a Root End Surgery) to remove the infection that's in there. I was also told, if the tooth is fractured they will have to remove it.

I live in New York and I don't know anything about the laws or statue of limitations. I'd like to know if I can do anything about this, if the original doctor should pay or if I'm stuck with it myself (even though I know it's caused from the file in my canal)? Any information you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "File Left in Tooth After Root Canal...":

Margo (Fulton, NY):

The statute of limitations period for a personal injury (dental) lawsuit is 3 years from the date of the injury, or from the date when the injury could have been reasonably discovered. In your case there's a very good possibility you still may be legally able to file a dental malpractice claim against the dentist, even though the infliction of the injury occurred about 10 years ago.

As long as you can prove there was no reasonable way you could have previously discovered the file inside your tooth, you should be able to succeed in your dental malpractice claim. Be sure to have the dentist who located the file in your tooth enter that information into your dental chart. Ask the dentist to verify the infection was caused by the file.

Contact a personal injury attorney with experience in dental or medical malpractice. You should not try and handle your own claim. There are some personal injury claims which can be handled without an attorney. This is not one of them.

Most personal injury attorneys do not charge a fee for an initial office consultation. Make appointments with several personal injury attorneys. Bring with you copies of your original dental records made at the time and by the dentist who left the file in your tooth, and from the most recent dentist.

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

P.S. Please help us out by sharing this site...

Click here to post comments

Return to Dental Malpractice Questions

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review:

TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION