Can I sue for dental malpractice?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue for dental malpractice?

I was seeing a dentist who was my employer, I am a dental hygienist, she started a full treatment plan and I did everything I was instructed to do so. I had a root canal done on a tooth by a specialist and was told there was still decay in the tooth. I was then told to have a specialist extract my front tooth, which I did on Christmas Eve, I had a temporary appliance placed to replace my missing tooth till my final bridge could be

done. The temporary appliance broke, I was fired soon after, I have been in pain, which she has given me pain meds and antibiotics in the past but now the office refuses to send me my dental records, I can’t apply for a job with no front tooth, I am a single mom that supports my son and my mom, I am ruly at my wits end, I can’t afford to fix the work that she has messed up and I can’t get a copy of my own dental records, which I know belong to me.

Asked on February 7, 2019 under Malpractice Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether the dental care was negligent, or unreasonably careless. That the treatment did not come out well for you is very unfortunate but does not automatically make this malpractice, since sometimes a dentist does everything she is supposed to and things don't work out--the law accepts that medicine and dentistry are not perfect and success is not guaranteed. So you would have to have some reason and some evidence to think the treatment was actually careless or not up to current accepted dental standards to know if you might have a malpractice case or not.
Even if you do, you can't sue for not being able to get a job. There is no reason you can't apply for a job with a missing tooth, and not being able to get a job is not a logical or foreseeable consequence of not having a tooth; therefore, the dentist would not be liable for any lost wages, etc. All you might recover would be the cost of dental treatment to correct the problem and *possibly* "pain and suffering" if you are experiencing some serious life impairment (e.g. constant severe pain affecting your ability to do day-to-day tasks; difficulty speaking; etc.).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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