Is my dentist financially reponsible for damage that he caused to my tooth?

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Is my dentist financially reponsible for damage that he caused to my tooth?

I had a crown on a good tooth 6 years ago. My current dentist said the crown has gaps and it needs to be replaced. So during the replacement of the crown, the dentist scratched too much of the tooth under the crown that he exposed the root inside the tooth. Now he says that a root canal needs to be done before the new crown is placed. He wants me to pay for it. Can I argue that I should not be paying for it?

Asked on January 4, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You seem to possibly have a valid argument: if the dentist was careless in how he performed the replacement (or even in saying there was a need for replacement in the first place) and, by his carelessness, caused you injury (scratching away too much enamel), then he may have committed malpractice and may be  liable for the costs and pain and suffering you incur. If he will not voluntarily pay, however,  you'd  have  to sue him, which could be problematic: medical and dental malpractice cases are expensive to bring, because you need a medical expert on your side. So legally, you may be entitled to have him pay; practically, it may be difficult or not cost-effective to enforce your rights.


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