Root canal caused cracked root?

by David
(Portage, Indiana)

I underwent a root canal and have had a dull aching pain ever since. I told the dentist about it after the procedure, and was told sometimes it takes time for the tooth to die. Eight months later, the pain is still present. On my follow up with the dentist I was told that it was probably a cracked root, but that an x-ray wouldn't show the crack.

The dentist offered to redo the root canal for free or refund half of what I paid out of pocket. My dental hygienist informed me during a cleaning and bitewing x-ray visit that there were three holes drilled in the tooth, something which was unusual. I saw the x-ray and there are two holes on one side drilled at slightly different angles.

If I have the tooth pulled, it would leave me with a gap on either side of another tooth as I have had my wisdom tooth removed. If this dentist caused a cracked root through the root canal, is that dental malpractice? What about the extra holes he apparently drilled into my tooth? Is there anything I can do about this? Thank you.

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 "Root canal caused cracked root?":

David (Portage, Indiana):

Whether or not you have been the victim of dental malpractice will have to be determined by one or more other dentists. You will need written dental narratives, additional x-rays, and further proof of the initial dentist's error.

Medical and dental malpractice claims are vigorously defended. It is highly likely the initial dentist will not admit to having committed malpractice. Moreover, because of the complexity of such claims, you will need an experienced medical (dental) malpractice attorney.

Dental experts will have to be consulted and retained, and certainly a lawsuit will have to be filed. Dental experts can be quite expensive.

Fortunately, most malpractice attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Make several appointments with different attorneys and bring your records with you. After visiting with several experienced attorneys, you will have a better idea of the viability of your dental malpractice claim.

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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