Pediatric Dentist Filled Wrong Tooth...

by Megan
(Aurora, Illinois)

My daughter went to a pediatric dentist for two fillings. (They used "laughing gas" on her to perform the procedure.) They filled the wrong tooth and she had to return a week later to fill the correct tooth. They sent me a bill for the gas used in her procedure, which I stupidly paid.

Now a year later the incorrect filling has come out and needed to be refilled and the dentist believes there may be nerve damage to the permanent tooth. Before I thought I wasn't going to be vindictive, people make mistakes. Now I'm angry that I need to pay for another filling for a tooth that originally was fine, and she may possibly end up needing a root canal. She's only 10.

Do I have a dental malpractice case? And should I wait to see if she has further dental problems with this tooth?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Pediatric Dentist Filled Wrong Tooth...":

Megan (Aurora, Illinois):

Take your daughter to a separate dentist. Have her do a complete Diagnosis and Prognosis of your daughter’s dental problems. You still do not have to be vindictive. You are doing what is necessary to protect your daughter’s best interests. From the facts you present it doesn’t appear your daughter has suffered any substantial damage or injuries to her mouth. That’s the good news.

What you should be doing is attempting to set aside personal feelings of frustration. After your daughter’s new examination you should be able to tell what mistakes were made and what amount of additional dental work, and related costs will be necessary to remedy the problems.

It's doubtful you will need the services of an Attorney. Unless the injuries your daughter sustained at the hands of the first dentist turn out to be serious, a simple letter asking her to reimburse you for the additional dental costs your daughter will need to spend should be all you have to do.

In the event the first dentist refuses to pay the additional amounts, you may have to consider filing a claim in Small Claims Court. In the State of Illinois the maximum amount a person can sue for in Small Claims Court is $10,000 dollars. Hopefully the claim won’t go that far, but if the need arises you know you will have access to Small Claims Court and its benefits.

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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