Is this a case of dental negligence or malpractice?

My daughter went to have her wisdom teeth removed and after two hours was released without having any removed. They stitched up the incision from the attempted removal. We were told that she kept waking up and they couldn't administer any more anesthesia. She was then referred to an oral surgeon and he examined her and took x-rays and asked what happened. He then asked for the original x-rays because the tooth now appears to be upside down. The original dentist sent them in a format they couldn't open and when asked to fax it to them they never complied. I haven't been back to the original dentist but they keep calling my daughter. She ended up being out of work for two weeks and still can't open her mouth fully. They also refunded the $900 immediately to my wife before she left.

Montgomery, TX -

Attorney Answers (5)

Elizabeth Taylor Herd

Elizabeth Taylor Herd

Medical Malpractice Attorney - Tampa, FL
Answered

Dental malpractice cases are very tough, however, I think first your daughter needs to seek subsequent treatment with an oral surgeon to determine what her damages may be and whether they can be treated. ONce you do that you can seek evaluation or seek evaluation at the same time with a local attorney.

Matthew C Simon

Matthew C Simon

Personal Injury Lawyer - Parsippany, NJ
Answered

Dental malpractice cases have a high standard to prove, and only another dentist/expert will know for sure. With that being said, get copies of the dental records and immediately bring them to a personal injury attorney who handles malpractice cases in your area. Good luck.

The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-... more
Christian K. Lassen II

Christian K. Lassen II

Medical Malpractice Attorney - Philadelphia, PA
Answered

Only a tiny handful of lawyers handle these cases, so Google "dental malpractice lawyer" to find one to investigate.

Marc Edward Stewart

Marc Edward Stewart

Medical Malpractice Attorney - Little Rock, AR
Answered

No, this would not be a viable dental malpractice claim in Texas. Texas has extremely strict regulations called "tort reform" that limits the types of cases that can be pursued. The plaintiff's damage model must be very, very large and heavily-weighted with economic damages (lost wages or extreme medical expenses). If a Texas med-mal plaintiff does not have economic damages that exceed $150,000 or so, there is no real economic way to pursue the case since these laws were passed in 2003.

I would also point out an issue with your venue (meaning the county). If this event happened near you in Montgomery County, then you'd really, really not be able to pursue a claim. Why? Montgomery County juries are some of the most conservative in the state. They tend to never award damages to a medical negligence victim. It's likely you could not find an attorney to take such a case in that county.

Don Karotkin

Don Karotkin

Medical Malpractice Attorney - Houston, TX
Answered

I am truly sorry that your daughter had this bad experience, but there are simply not enough damages here to warrant pursuing a dental malpractice lawsuit. These cases are expensive to prosecute. It sounds to me like the cost of pursuing this case might well equal or exceed any reasonable estimate of the recoverable damages, not to mention incurring the risk of losing and recovering nothing, which is always a possibility in any health care liability case.

I wish you and your daughter good luck.

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