What to do if I was supposed to have had both of my bottom wisdom teeth removed 5 years ago but just found out that they were never removed?

Then last year, I had a full mouth X-ray done and found out that the bottom wisdom teeth were not removed 100%, in fact there was almost half of one of my wisdom tooth sitting under my gums. This year, I had a problem with one of those removed wisdom teeth. The gum started swelling. I went to another dentist, and learned that, the roots of my previous wisdom were infected. I called the previous dental office and requested that they explain to me why they never told me why they left the wisdom teeth. They denied the fact that they left the part of the teeth. I have my current X-rays and can show them that there’s in fact a tooth leftover. Is this a good case to look at?

Asked on March 10, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner (dentist) would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the dentist, it may be possible to settle the case with the dentist's malpractice insurance carrier.  Your claim filed with the dentist's malpractice insurance carrier should include your dental bills, dental reports (especially the report from the second dentist), and documentation of any wage loss.

Compensation for the dental bills is straight reimbursement.  The dental reports will document the nature and extent of your injury/condition and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the dental bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the dentist's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.

If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the dentist's malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the dentist.

If the case is NOT settled with the dentist's malpractice insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

MA has a three year statute of limitations in a medical/dental malpractice case, but this is three years from the time you discovered the injury/negligence.  Although the MA statute of limitations is three years from the time you discovered the negligence, the lawsuit cannot be filed more than seven years after the incident (negligence) occurred.


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