Can I pursue a dental malpractice suit if I feel that my dentist was performing unecessary work

on my teeth and potentially botched it?

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Can I pursue a dental malpractice suit if I feel that my dentist was performing unecessary work

on my teeth and potentially botched it?

I saw a dentist for years when I was younger. Every time I saw him, I always had multiple deep cavities. If I ever had pain, he said I needed a root canal which he would perform himself. I have had extensive dental work done, including about 5 root canals and the removal of a tooth. I was told I had a cavity in my upper right area. I went to see him due to pain in my lower left area. He told me two teeth had deep fillings and I needed 2 root canals. I decided to get a second opinion. I had a loose filling which was fixed by replacing it. I did not need 2 root canals. The new dentist and any I have met since this which has been a few years have not found this alleged cavity that he had me scheduled to receive a filling. I have since had to have a tooth removed because he did not seal it properly after a root canal and it became infected. They tried to retreat it but due to material he used, it was not a success. I have another tooth me performed a root canal on that I have been told is not sealed correctly. I also have had root canals on teeth he did work on and I have noticed that the endodontists all have utilized a protective mask that he never did. At this point the corrective work I constantly need has been a financial and emotional struggle. I feel he was performing unecessary work on my teeth and potentially botched work. I am wondering if I should pursue this.

Asked on June 16, 2016 under Malpractice Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Dental malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dental practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
With regard to the unnecessary work that was done, you should file a complaint with the dental licensing board in your state.
With regard to the negligent work that was done, prior to filing a lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the dentist's malpractice insurance carrier.  Your claim filed with the malpractice insurance carrier should include your dental bills, dental reports (including those from the new dentist), and if applicable, documentation of wage loss.
Compensation for the dental bills is straight reimbursement.  The dental reports will document the nature and extent of your condition and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the dental bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the dentist.
If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence against the dentist must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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