Skip to main content

A dentist knowingly used a large piece of file to fill canal during root canal and did not tell me, is there a claim?

Newport Beach, CA |

I have been in terrible pain for more than 3 months following incomplete root canal and was told by dentist there was no way i was still in pain. Saw another dentist who removed file without proper tools/specialty and immediately i have pain and numbness radiating down neck, shoulder, arm & hand along with loss of feeling in 1" section below tooth. 1st dentist reimbursed insurance so i could get care elsewhere, however, i have missed 8 days of work from severe pain/medication and paid out of pocket for doctor/neurologist visits to find cause of loss of full use of right hand. What do i do?

Attorney Answers 9


  1. See a local med mal dental mal lawyer to investigate claim before you do anything else.


  2. This seems to be an unusual injury but nevertheless may be a claim, although I don't think so.
    Hire a local dental mal lawyer.


  3. You need to find an experienced medical/dental malpractice attorney in your area to evaluate the case. You will need to show that the dentist(s) care fell below the standard of care for your local dental community and that the treatment was the legal cause of your injury.
    Also when you received treatment you may have signed an acknowlegement of attendant risks associated with your care? You need to make sure you get a complete copy of all your records and films for all your dental care over the last ten years and your lawyer will have a dental expert review the records to see if the dentist(s) that treated you are potentially liable to you? In the meantime you should prepare a written statement for your attorney only that sets out a timeline and facts of your symptoms and course of treatment.
    finally, I am not understanding why your medical insurance is not covering you for your continuing problems and treatment? Is there a large deductable or some other limitation?
    There are deadlines associated with your case so do not delay! Good Luck.

    Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.


  4. I am sorry to hear about the ordeal you went through. In order to properly evaluate your claim, an attorney would really need to review your records and consult with an expert in dental malpractice. My office handles these types of cases, and would be happy to offer you a free consultation. Be aware that you have one year from the date of the injury to file your claim.

    I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. Answers posted to Avvo are for general information only. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. Every case depends is fact dependent, and responses are limited to and is based on the information you posted. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.


  5. Try getting in touch with Edwin Zinman, DDS, JD. www.toothattorney.com who handles these matters and make sure you tell him I said "hello."


  6. I would consult a local attorney who does dental medical malpractice. Good luck!


  7. You will need a dental Malpractice attorney. Unfortunately, your damages may not be sufficient to justify the costs of pursuing what is one the most difficult of all personal injury cases. You may contact our office for referrals. 562-981-1010


  8. A local dental malpractice lawyer would need to order the records and send to an expert to review to ascertain whether there was a breach of the standard of care.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com


  9. Dental malpractice cases are somewhat difficult in that many attorneys are reluctant to take them due to the limited damages from tooth injury and the fact that whatever happens is usually fixable. However, a retained drill bit or file piece is something that would signal care provided that is below the standard of care. The amount of potential damages is what an attorney will ponder in deciding whether to take on such a case. One of the attorneys who responded in this thread mentioned a dentist/attorney - that sounds like a great place to start with an attorney search.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
    Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
    980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
    Corona, CA 92879
    (951)520-9684
    www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
    "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."

    * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.

    ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

Personal injury topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics