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Can I sue for dental malpractice even if I signed a waiver?

Old Bridge, NJ |

I had 4 wisdom teeth pulled and have since suffered parasthesia experiencing minimal to no feeling in my lower teeth, gums, lips and chin. I cannot eat solids as when I try to bite down my tongue gets a sharp stabbing pain and the pain in unbearable. My teeth and gums are in constant pain and even talking feels like little needles are stabbing me in the lips and chin and tongue.

I work in a commission-based industry and am afraid to go back to work as speaking all day is required and is incredibly painful. I am told this is nerve damage and may or may not be permanent and only time will tell. I am also told it could last weeks, months, or even be permanent.

I signed a waiver prior to the operation that said parasthesia could be a risk. Did I sign away my right to sue?

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Attorney answers 3


You might be able to sue. The waiver cannot fully release the dentist from liability for the dentist's misconduct. Even though you acknowledged that the procedure was dangerous, you certainly did not agree to allow the dentist to "mess up". If you can show that the dentist was grossly negligent or that the dentist deviated from the standard procedure, you would be able to sue for malpractice.

It sounds as though your injuries and lost wages are very serious. I would suggest consulting with an attorney as soon as possible to review your medical records and to better examine your options for a possible suit.

I am sorry to hear about your continuing pain. I very much hope that you feel better. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information or help.

Please note that the information provided here is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice as to specific facts or circumstances. You should consult an attorney concerning your particular factual situation and regarding any specific legal questions you may have. No attorney-client relationship is created merely through the exchange of information via this web site. If you would like a legal consultation, feel free to contact me.


Signing a waiver will not necessarily take away your right to sue for medical malpractice. Nevertheless, injury to the trigeminal nerve due to wisdom tooth extraction is usually deemed an accepted complication of the procedure. That is to say, it is something that can happen in the absence of negligence on the part of the dentist.

Therefore, you probably do not have a viable malpractice case. To know for sure, you have to provide an attorney the pertinent medical records so that he could review them. If you're going to get the records on your own, make sure you get copies of any dental x-rays were performed.

If you have not seen a neurologist, you should to examine your treatment options. There is a limited window of time to attempt to repair the injury.

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 Skype: john_ratkowitz Web:


You need to get a free initial consultation with a personal injury attorney immediately. Use Avvo to locate one near you.

Good luck.

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