Is causing a cleft palate during dental surgery ( removal of all teeth) grounds for malpractice?

Asked about 2 years ago - Wilmington, DE

I am 29 yrs old and have had to have all of my teeth removed due to ameliogenisis imperfecta (brittle teeth) which runs strongly in my family. I happened to still have 2 baby teeth (canines). They removed my upper right side while I was awake but then about a month later I was put to sleep to remove the rest of them. While I was under, they were able to get the right side canine out without any problem since it had time to descend. For the left undescended canine they removed a large amount of my bone, leaving me with a severe cleft palate. I am now unable to get the implants that I had planned, my dentures fit poorly and it is just very upsetting. Would this be grounds for malpractice?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Robert Don Fink

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . Dental malpractice cases are difficult cases because the value on them is typically only the cost of correcting the issue. However, since you have a permanent injury (cleft lip); it may be more worthwhile. Whether or not you have a case is difficult to say. You need to speak to a local lawyer with experience in dental malpractice who can review your records and perform a proper investigation.

  2. Marc Edward Stewart

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . Talk to your current (different) dental provider. Ask them why the cleft palate happened and, more importantly, could it have been avoided. I cannot say with 100% surety, but I do believe that a cleft palate is a complication of multiple tooth extraction. This means it can sometimes happen even when the dental provider performs the procedure correctly. This would not help you build a claim, obviously. But I could be mistaken. Plus, it doesn't matter what a lawyer thinks; any claim you have would need to be supported with the testimony of a dentist anyway. Talk to your new provider and see where that leads you.

    I don't know anything about Delaware medical/dental malpractice law or the statute of limitations you may face. Speak to a local lawyer to get good advice on this. Good luck.

  3. Daniel Paul Buttafuoco

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    Answered . I agree with the other attorney

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. NY Attorney, Daniel Buttafuoco, has been voted... more

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