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  1. #1
    usagirl is offline Junior Member
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    Can I sue this dentist

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? FLorida

    Hello im an 18 year old who went to a dentist for wisdom tooth removal. Immediately after recieving local anesthesia I didnt feel right. After the procedure was done, I was left cross eyed, unable to see. I literally was seeing double. This lasted about an hour and a half. I called my local hospital, which has a nurse
    calling service, and asked a nurse about it. She ad no knowledge of this and told me to ask the dentist.

    I remember looking in the mirror and watching my eyes go out of focus, as one who shift to the left or right on its own. My mother was worried to the point that she called the paramedics. They advised me to go to the ER, which I decided not to, though now I wish I had. They told me he probably put too much.
    I was unable to look at anything directly.

    Right after the procedure when I mentioned this to the dentist, he looked at his staff with concern and said that everything was fine. But his worrisome look made me feel uneasy.

    Fast forward a week later I go back for a follow up. Come to find out, I now need root canals because my nerves were damaged. Mind you, just one week before my nerves were completely fine, and this was not on the X ray. I asked if the anesthesia could of caused that, and they said no. I figured it it really could cause that, they of course wouldn't tell me.


    Now because of this, I am not referred to yet ANOTHER dentist to have root canals.

    Can someone please tell me do I have a case? What should by my steps from here on?

    Thanks so much in advance.
  2. #2
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by usagirl View Post

    Immediately after recieving local anesthesia I didnt feel right. After the procedure was done, I was left cross eyed, unable to see. I literally was seeing double. This lasted about an hour and a half.
    90 minutes of discomfort and side effects due to anesthesia is not enough to be compensated. The damage generally must be permanent.


    I asked if the anesthesia could of caused that, and they said no.
    The most you could sue for would be the cost of the root canal, plus some amount for pain and suffering due to the need for the root canal. That's not going to be ten times the cost of the procedure, so my best guess is you could sue for a few thousand dollars at most. For argument's sake, we'll say $5000.

    Now, in order to prove to a court that the dentist caused the damage, you will require an expert witness to testify that (a) the dentist did the procedure improperly and (b) that the improperly performed procedure was the cause of the nerve damage. The burden of proof will be on you to prove these elements. If you cannot prove them with a preponderance of evidence, you will not win.

    The bottom line is that the cost of the expert witness would exceed any possible recovery. The million dollar pain and suffering awards you read of in the newspapers are awarded for disabling injuries causing years of pain and suffering.

    Your case does not appear to be worth fighting.

    Sorry about the root canal. I hope your insurance covers it.
  3. #3
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    anesthesia is anesthesia. It makes you loopy including a serious inability to focus your eyes. With anesthesia, you lose some muscle control. As long as there were no lasting effects, there is no issue here.


    as to the nerve damage causing a root canal. You will need to prove something the dentist did cause the nerve damage and that it was not a known complication that you were warned of. Once you get beyond the known complication issue, you would need to delve into what caused the damage. If it was the dentists negligence, you would likely have a claim but proving medical malpractice is generally quite expensive. Any award you might receive is most likely not worth the cost of mounting a case.
  4. #4
    usagirl is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice and to correct the other poster's info, it is 4 damaged teeth not 1. Yes my insurance covers it, but even if it did not my concern is not about the cost of the procedure, it is about the principal. Just because I have medical coverage doesn't give medical professionals the right to mess up, since insurance will cover it. I have never read about any million dollar malpractice suit nor do I have an interest in filing a suit simply for a payout, again, it was the principal. I felt that a medical professional had caused negligence, and due to that dentist's wrong doing, I would be forced to go through more procedures. At the very least the dentist should be reprimanded and other patients warned. You implying that my interest is money is wrong, like I said before it's the principle and the oath that dental students take when they graduate dental school.
    Thanks again for the advice.
    Last edited by usagirl; 05-08-2011 at 08:29 AM.
  5. #5
    barry1817 is offline Senior Member
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    dental malpractice

    Quote Originally Posted by usagirl View Post
    Thanks for the advice and to correct the other poster's info, it is 4 damaged teeth not 1. Yes my insurance covers it, but even if it did not my concern is not about the cost of the procedure, it is about the principal. Just because I have medical coverage doesn't give medical professionals the right to mess up, since insurance will cover it. I have never read about any million dollar malpractice suit nor do I have an interest in filing a suit simply for a payout, again, it was the principal. I felt that a medical professional had caused negligence, and due to that dentist's wrong doing, I would be forced to go through more procedures. At the very least the dentist should be reprimanded and other patients warned. You implying that my interest is money is wrong, like I said before it's the principle and the oath that dental students take when they graduate dental school.
    Thanks again for the advice.
    I have never heard nor read anything about local anesthesia creating the need for root canal procedures. To get a better understanding one would need to see the x-rays before the extractions, and to determine if there was decay that was missed on the initial diagnosis.

    As to vision problems from local anesthesia, that has happened and is a possible side effect from treatment.

    From where I sit, something is amiss in this narrative as to the cause and effect of the teeth needing the root canals.
  6. #6
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by barry1817 View Post

    From where I sit, something is amiss in this narrative as to the cause and effect of the teeth needing the root canals.
    barry, what about:

    due to the root structure, the roots to the adjacent teeth were injured when the wisdom teeth were extracted. I have seen people that had some roots that entwined other roots but for it to happen in all 4 quadrants sounds pretty unlikely. That too should have been seen on an X ray as well though.


    or; the dentist did not close the gums properly after the extraction and the nerves and/or roots of the adjacent teeth were damaged by continued exposure to the atmosphere. Again, in all 4 quadrants seems a bit unlikely though.
  7. #7
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    barry, what about:

    due to the root structure, the roots to the adjacent teeth were injured when the wisdom teeth were extracted. I have seen people that had some roots that entwined other roots but for it to happen in all 4 quadrants sounds pretty unlikely. That too should have been seen on an X ray as well though.


    or; the dentist did not close the gums properly after the extraction and the nerves and/or roots of the adjacent teeth were damaged by continued exposure to the atmosphere. Again, in all 4 quadrants seems a bit unlikely though.
    With all do respect:

    How about OP has/had other dental issues beside the WT removal? Perhaps OP was made more "aware" of these issue/s by having the WD removed?

    OP should have a COMPLETE Dental Hx given to a Qualified Dental Malpractice Attorney to review.
  8. #8
    barry1817 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    barry, what about:

    due to the root structure, the roots to the adjacent teeth were injured when the wisdom teeth were extracted.

    This is part of narrative that might have been missing, but if the roots were to have been damaged, it is highly unlikely that root canal therapy would be the treatment of the problem.

    I have seen people that had some roots that entwined other roots but for it to happen in all 4 quadrants sounds pretty unlikely. That too should have been seen on an X ray as well though.


    or; the dentist did not close the gums properly after the extraction and the nerves and/or roots of the adjacent teeth were damaged by continued exposure to the atmosphere. Again, in all 4 quadrants seems a bit unlikely though.
    Not properly closing the extraction site, would also be problematic to the narrative, as if the nerve was exposed, all teeth along the nerve pathway would probably be affected, and having the alveolar nerve exposed would have created such pain that the patient would have been in an ER immediately.

    As previously noted, this case needs a lot more in the way of documentation and records to more adequately address the problems.
  9. #9
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    thanks barry.
  10. #10
    barry1817 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    thanks barry.
    you are welcome.

    Barry

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