What could I sue for if my dentist broke a drill bit off inside my tooth?

My dentist broke a drill bit off inside my tooth could not remove the bit so he had to remove the entire tooth. My dentist will be paying for the oral surgery to replace the pulled tooth but could I sue him for my pain and suffering time lost at work, etc?

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Malpractice Law, California


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

When you complete your medical treatment (oral surgery, etc.) and are released by the oral surgeon, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Prior to filing a lawsuit against the dentist, it may be possible to settle the case with the dentist's malpractice insurance carrier.  Your personal injury claim filed with the dentist's malpractice insurance carrier will include your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the dentist's malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for neglgience against the dentist.  If the case is settled with the dentist's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the dentist prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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