What are our rights if my daughter went to the dentist to have a tooth pulled and they pulled the wrong tooth?

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What are our rights if my daughter went to the dentist to have a tooth pulled and they pulled the wrong tooth?

The orthodontist had ordered a tooth to be pulled but the dentist pulled the wrong tooth. It was clearly marked and at the time my daughter had braces on

except for the tooth that needed to be pulled and they pulled the one with a bracket on it. I actually have the tooth that was pulled. My wife works for the dentist’s office that pulled the tooth and they told us that they pull the wrong

teeth all the time and this was normal. Well I find that hard to believe. Anyway, I’m looking for an attorney and need some help. We really can’t afford one

but we need to know what we should do.

Asked on March 15, 2016 under Malpractice Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

What they did is malpractice--it was being professional negligent, or unreasonably careless. They are potentially liable for all the costs necessary to "fix" the problem, such as the cost to now pull the right tooth and do something like putting an implant in, in place of the incorrectly pulled tooth. If they won't voluntarily do the work or otherwise compensate (e.g. pay the cost for a different dentist to do this), you could sue. However, malpractice suits can be expensive, because you often need a certification from a medical (i.e. dental) expert about how this is malpractice, and such experts typically do not work inexpensively. A good first step is to get a sense for your out-of-pocket (not paid by insurance) costs to do the necessary dental work now; that will give you an idea of whether it would be ecnomically worthwhile to pursue a lawsuit, if necessary.


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