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Can I sue my old dentist for substandard work?

Vancouver, WA |

1 year ago I had 2 root canals and seven fillings done. I went to a new dentist today who informed me that 3 of the fillings that were done were done improperly and have since come loose and will have to be redone. Along with this several other fillings will have to be removed and redone. What is at issue to me is the previous work was done when I had insurance that paid 100% (also, insurance company paid this bad dentist in full already). My insurance now will only pay 80% with the other 20% having to come out of my own pocket. The new dentist says I need these replacement fillings and crowns on top of them. I just want the dentist who did the bad work to cover the cost of fixing his mistake. Please help.

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Attorney answers 1


The problem with just wanting the prior dentist to cover the cost of fixing the mistake is that the cost of litigating the case could far exceed any recovery.

You need a medical report indicating how, specifically, the work deviated below the average standard of care and how, precisely that deviation caused injury. This is an abbreviation of the legal standard applicable in such cases. The dental care practitioner who writes this report will need to be compensated and also you'll have court costs.

As a practical matter, see if your current dentist will write such a letter. Then send it to the old dentist with a demand for the cost of treatment.

This answer is provided for informational purposes only. True legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney in your jurisdiction with experience in the area in which your concern lies.

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