Visitor Question

Compensation for loss of a tooth?

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

I bit into a rice cake bought at a grocery store and was injured. I felt something hard between my top and bottom tooth and a sharp prick into my upper palate. I spit the contents of my mouth out and there was some blood and a piece of white plastic mixed in with the chewed rice cake.

I rinsed my mouth out with mouthwash and the bleeding subsided. The upper part of my mouth was sore for a few days and I felt that the tooth was a little loose. I visited the dentist and she said that the tooth was indeed loose and the only option was to have the tooth removed and either a bridge fitted or a dental implant.

I took the piece of plastic back to the grocery store and told them what had happened. The store agreed to pay for all my dental treatment. Should I expect the store to also compensate me for loss of my tooth? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

The food store certainly should be liable for the repair and possible replacement of your tooth.

You are fortunate they agreed to cooperate. Too often food restaurants resist responsibility for the injuries they cause through mistakes in the sale of their food.

Normally in these types of cases where the injuries are not very serious the cost of replacement of the tooth and associated dental expenses are all the store usually pays.

If though you had to take time off from work to visit the dentist, ask the store to pay for those costs as well.

Also consider any out of pocket expenses such as baby sitter fees, if necessary, bandages, antibiotics, over the counter medications, parking fees (if any), and in this day and age, even a prorated amount of the gasoline you had to use driving back and forth to the dentist.

Whether the store decides to pay you an additional amount for your “pain and suffering” will really be up to them and how they feel about you and the relationship they have with their customers. Even if they were to add an additional amount over the costs we enumerated above it isn’t likely to be very much.

Just make sure you receive the very best dental care available and that the dentist uses the best products available for your treatment.

Learn more here: Injuries from Contaminated Food

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

Best of luck,


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