What constitutes dental malpractice?

UPDATED: Nov 27, 2013

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What constitutes dental malpractice?

My dentist thought I had a cavity, scheduled an 18 minute appointment. He kept drilling but found no cavity; it was a rare internal absorption however he drilled so far the tooth had to be pulled. Had he stopped, it could have been crowned. It is a front tooth and this has ruined my smile, self esteem and I have to wear a false tooth, as the other replacements will not work. An 18 minute appointment and I sat in the dentist’s chair for 2 hours. Not to mention that I had to pay for it, Would this be an error/malpractice on the dentist’s part?

Asked on November 27, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Montana


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Only another dentist who examined the X-rays and all the other dental records involved could say whether this dentist committed malpractice.  You mentioned that an internal absorption is rare, which may get him off the hook, but it is hard to say.  Malpractice, however, is more than error.  Everyone makes mistakes.  For an error to rise to the level of malpractice, it must involve a breach of the standard of care.  You need to get all your records, including X-Rays, to a malpractice attorney, who will send them to a medical expert to determine whether there was malpractice.  This should be at no cost to you.

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