Do I have any legal options against a dentist who put dentures in my mouth that I am allergic too?

UPDATED: Apr 11, 2012

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Do I have any legal options against a dentist who put dentures in my mouth that I am allergic too?

Last year I financed to have my mother get dentures. The process cost around $9,000. We have found out that the metal used in the dentures causes an allergic reaction in her mouth. They never tested for such allergies and are now saying it’s not their problem. Do they have any legal obligation to correct the problem? They have only offered to make the dentures out of different material but this would run us an additional 2000$. Is there anything legaly that I can do?

Asked on April 11, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Montana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

"Malpractice" is literally "bad practice"--it  is the provision of medical (or dental) care which does not meet then generally or currently accepted standards for such care. The fact that a patient had a bad outcome from treatment does not, by itself, establish malpractice--sometimes the doctor or dentist does everything right, but the patient still has a problem. Therefore, the issue is whether the dentist was careless in not testing for allergies to the metal used in the denture; that in turn is based on whether it is normal or standard procedure to test or not. If the dentist should have tested but failed to do so, he would likely have committed malpractice and you may have a legal claim for all medical and other costs, and possibly pain and suffering, if it had been significant. On the other hand, if it is not normal or standard procedure to test, and there was otherwise no reason to test for allergies in this particular case, then the dentist likely did nothing wrong. In that event, there would be no legal claim.

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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