What to do if a dentist left a piece of cotton and other dental debris in my wife’s tooth when he installed a crown?

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What to do if a dentist left a piece of cotton and other dental debris in my wife’s tooth when he installed a crown?

Our new dentist discovered this and it cost $1500 to remove the debris and put in a new crown. Is it possible to recoup our dental bill from the previous dentist who made the errors? He just retired last year.

Asked on May 2, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Vermont

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is possible, but to do so, you would have to sue the old dentist (assuming he will not pay voluntarily if you first send him a demand or claim letter) and prove in court that it was malpractice, which will require you to have your own dental expert; the cost of that expert will almost certainly exceed what you could recover. Therefore, while it's wortwhile to make the demand of the old dentist, if he or his insurer will not pay, it's probably not worthwhile to go to the next step and actually sue.


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