If I went to get a crown but it fell out 3 weeks later, should they fix it for free?

On my top front tooth I had a root canal and then a crown was put on. This was a month ago. Yesterday my crown fell out with the tooth. I went back to dentist. They said that they can put a bridge for a extra $4,000 and won’t

charge me for the $1,200. I said I’m already paying $7,000 for other work I cannot afford anymore. So I couldn’t get the bridge but they didn’t put back my front tooth that was done 3 weeks ago. They won’t fix it unless I pay $4,000 more for a bridge. So I look horrible. I feel pain in my gums and from a sharp tooth still inside. Now the front

tooth missing. Can I make a case?

Asked on June 10, 2017 under Malpractice Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

They'd have to pay for the cost to correct this (fix it) IF you can show with medical evidence (such as the testimony of another dentist who examines you) that it fell out because they did an inappropriate procedure or did sloppy or careless work. But if they did an appropriate procedure and did the work within accepted standards but the crown fell out for other reasons, they would not be liable. The law does not assume they were at fault because a crown fell out within 3 weeks; you *must* have medical evidence of fault (which can be expensive; you'd have to pay the dentist or other dental expert for his/her time and work) to show fault in order to successfully sue. And even if they *should* fix it for free, the only way to force them to do so if they refuse is by suing and win: there is no other or mechanism to compel them to do this.

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