What to do about dental malpractice?

A new dentist took over for my dentist, who retired (although his name still remains on the practice signage). I agreed to have a 3 tooth bridge replaced. In 7 months ago; the bridge was replaced. Within 2 weeks I had extreme pain and thumping under the bridge. I saw the new dentist who said everything was fine; he did not take an X-ray or use a dental probe. He said there was nothing he could do for me. The pain continued and I complained a month later. He walked away from me. The following month, I had an obvious infection – swollen gums, pus pockets, etc. I went to the dentist and now he told me to get a root canal. At this time I went to my trusted periodontist of 18 years. The total cost will be $9,000 to be made whole.

Asked on August 16, 2013 under Malpractice Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the dentist for malpractice, if he will not voluntarily offer compensation. If the care he provided you was not up to currently accepted standards of care--e.g, he was careless or negligent--he is potentially liable for your medical costs, pain and suffering, any lost wages (due to being out for medical care), etc. A malpractice suit can, however, be expensive; you should consult with a malpractice attorney to evaluate the strength of  your case, what it might be worth, and what it would cost to pursue it, so you can decide what to do. Good luck.


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