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Can a dentist be held liable for a botched root canal in which the dentist failed to remove an entire root and failed to completely clean out the site

1 Answers. Asked on Jul 30th, 2012 on Medical Malpractice - Texas
More details to this question:
In 2010 I received a root canal. In 2012 I started feeling pain in the same tooth the procedure was performed on. The dentist completely missed a fourth root in that tooth and failed to completely clean out the three other roots causing a gum infection. This was discovered by a specialist that the office sent me to in order to have the procedure redone at a substantial cost to me and my insurance company.
Answers Showing 1 out of 1
Answered on Jul 30th, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Dental malpractice cases are difficult to prosecute for a malpractice attorney because they are usually not financially viable. Medical malpractice cases are very costly and time-consuming.  Therefore, in most circumstances a patient must have suffered a significant permanent injury as a result of the medical negligence for the case to be financially viable. Often, damage caused by dental malpractice can be remedied with additional care. Further, lasting damage is usually not significant enough to warrant the time and expense of a lawsuit. There are exceptions to this (for example trigeminal nerve injury cases). Additionally, since different offices have different standards for whether a case is worth prosecuting, if you are interested in pursuing this further you should contact a local medical malpractice attorney (one in your state).  They take these cases on a contingency basis which means you only have to pay if you succeed.  Additionally, initial consultations are usually free. You can use the "Find a Lawyer" service through this website to research medical malpractice attorneys.  Then, visit each attorney's website and look for a firm that has a record of successful verdicts. 

Below are some articles you may find helpful.  They are written for a New Jersey audience (where I practice) but the ideas discussed in these articles usually apply in most other jurisdictions as well.

Click here for an article that discusses the three main questions I ask when deciding whether to investigate a potential medical malpractice case. This discusses the issue of financial viability. 

Click here for an article that explains what you can expect when filing a medical malpractice case. 

Please note that by attempting to answer your question, I am not acting as your attorney. I will do nothing further to protect or preserve your interests in the absence of any additional discussion with you about this matter. John Ratkowitz, Esq. Starr, Gern, Davison & Rubin, P.C. 105 Eisenhower Parkway Roseland, NJ 07068 Office: (973) 830-8441 Cell: (732) 616-6278 Fax: (973) 226-0031 Email:  Skype: john_ratkowitz Web: 

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Medical Malpractice
Have you been injured as a result of a doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider's mistake, misdiagnosis or professional negligence? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries under your state's medical malpractice and personal injury laws. Medical malpractice claims can arise from a doctor's failure to diagnose a health condition, misdiagnosis, medication error, negligent behavior or mistake during childbirth that causes birth defects. Medical malpractice attorneys can review your medical records and help determine whether your have grounds for a lawsuit. If appropriate, your lawyers can file a lawsuit, attempt to negotiate a settlement on your behalf and represent you during trial, if a settlement can't be reached.
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