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

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. Best answer

    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. 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. I agree with the other attorney

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. NY Attorney, Daniel Buttafuoco, has been voted BEST LAWYER five years in a row and has represented clients all over the United States. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Daniel Buttafuoco strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in order to ensure proper advice is received. www.1800NowHurt.com

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