What constitutes a case for dental malpractice?

I recently went to a dentists office for a crown and asked the dentist her opinion on a tooth that had been bothering me for quite some time. I told her that another dentist I saw said that the tooth could not be fixed and would need to be extracted but she insisted that she could fix it. I have no dental insurance and she offered me a great price to fix it. About 10 minutes into the root canal she snapped the tooth off. I was charged (all out of pocket) $500 to surgically extract the root of the tooth, $400 for a partial and $1,800 for the implant. Do I have a court case?

Asked on November 19, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If either her medical advice or how she performed the procedure was negligent, or unreasonably careless (that is, did not meet generally accepted standards for dental care), then this may be malpractice. The problem for you is that malpractice claims are very expensive to bring; for a start, you would need to hire a dental expert. Therefore, while its worthwhile submitting a claim to the dentist and letting her know that you may sue if you need to, if she does not pay voluntarily, you need to bear in mind that suing her could cost you as much or more than the $2,700.00 you are trying to recover.

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