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Is This Considered Malpractice?

#1
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Alabama
I had a bone graft done 3 years ago, and have had nothing but trouble since that time. After it was done, the pain was horrific, but at first, I thought that was just part of the process. After enduring the pain as much as I could endure it, I called the dental office back 2 weeks later, telling them that something had to be wrong, as the pain was so bad. They had me come in, said I had an infection in the site, and gave me antibiotics. After finishing them, I went back for a recheck, again telling them how much pain I was in. They said the infection was gone, and it should get better soon. Since that day, I have had nothing but pain and suffering on that side of my mouth and face. It was so bad that the doctors thought I must have Trigeminal Neuralgia, so I was treated for it for 2 years. Throughout the 3 year period, there have been pieces of bone looking things coming out of the area, except they were not like bones in that when pressed, they would fall apart, which is very much unlike a bone. Several weeks ago, larger pieces of bonelike pieces started falling out of the site. When they did this, things changed dramatically for the worst. I started loosing pieces of gum tissue, pieces of rubbery meshlike material, and pieces of rubberband type pieces. This process kept on until my jaw bone was now exposed, along with the bone in my cheek, and 2 open holes into my sinus cavity. I called the office where this was done, and was told this particular oral surgeon no longer worked there, so I would need to call another oral surgeon. As I was screaming in pain, I found an oral surgeon who would see me that day. After doing x-rays and a CAT scan, he proved all the things I thought were happening, were truly the case. He said that I needed to call the original oral surgeon, even though he was now located in a city 2 1/2 hours away. So, I called the oral surgeon that did the bone graft 3 years earlier, and after speaking to his office manager, her relaying the message to him, and calling me back, I was told there was no way it could be the bone graft, as it had disintegrated years ago. I asked her if that were true, then what were the rubber band, mesh, and frame outlines of tooth shapes, that were coming out of my gums, along with my gum tissue. She agin said that it could not be the bone graft, after I asked her to please pass that information I gave her, along to the surgeon.

I then called the oral surgeon I had just seen, and he said he would call the original oral surgeon, telling him what he found was the bone graft material. As if today, he did that, called me and said the original oral surgeon wanted me to call him for an appointment to let him see what is happening. This dentist didn’t believe what I had said, but apparently did believe the new oral surgeon I saw.

Now, I am totally confused. Do I go back and see the oral surgeon who did not believe me, or do I need to see someone else? Do I have a negligence claim? I am really confused as to what to do, am in a lot of horrible pain, and am really scared. Can you please help me, or guide me in doing the right thing? Can you please help me quickly? I am in so much pain.
 


Zigner

Senior Member
#2
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Alabama
I had a bone graft done 3 years ago, and have had nothing but trouble since that time. After it was done, the pain was horrific, but at first, I thought that was just part of the process. After enduring the pain as much as I could endure it, I called the dental office back 2 weeks later, telling them that something had to be wrong, as the pain was so bad. They had me come in, said I had an infection in the site, and gave me antibiotics. After finishing them, I went back for a recheck, again telling them how much pain I was in. They said the infection was gone, and it should get better soon. Since that day, I have had nothing but pain and suffering on that side of my mouth and face. It was so bad that the doctors thought I must have Trigeminal Neuralgia, so I was treated for it for 2 years. Throughout the 3 year period, there have been pieces of bone looking things coming out of the area, except they were not like bones in that when pressed, they would fall apart, which is very much unlike a bone. Several weeks ago, larger pieces of bonelike pieces started falling out of the site. When they did this, things changed dramatically for the worst. I started loosing pieces of gum tissue, pieces of rubbery meshlike material, and pieces of rubberband type pieces. This process kept on until my jaw bone was now exposed, along with the bone in my cheek, and 2 open holes into my sinus cavity. I called the office where this was done, and was told this particular oral surgeon no longer worked there, so I would need to call another oral surgeon. As I was screaming in pain, I found an oral surgeon who would see me that day. After doing x-rays and a CAT scan, he proved all the things I thought were happening, were truly the case. He said that I needed to call the original oral surgeon, even though he was now located in a city 2 1/2 hours away. So, I called the oral surgeon that did the bone graft 3 years earlier, and after speaking to his office manager, her relaying the message to him, and calling me back, I was told there was no way it could be the bone graft, as it had disintegrated years ago. I asked her if that were true, then what were the rubber band, mesh, and frame outlines of tooth shapes, that were coming out of my gums, along with my gum tissue. She agin said that it could not be the bone graft, after I asked her to please pass that information I gave her, along to the surgeon.

I then called the oral surgeon I had just seen, and he said he would call the original oral surgeon, telling him what he found was the bone graft material. As if today, he did that, called me and said the original oral surgeon wanted me to call him for an appointment to let him see what is happening. This dentist didnÂ’t believe what I had said, but apparently did believe the new oral surgeon I saw.

Now, I am totally confused. Do I go back and see the oral surgeon who did not believe me, or do I need to see someone else? Do I have a negligence claim? I am really confused as to what to do, am in a lot of horrible pain, and am really scared. Can you please help me, or guide me in doing the right thing? Can you please help me quickly? I am in so much pain.
The statute of limitations for Medical Malpractice appears to be two years ( http://codes.findlaw.com/al/title-6-civil-practice/al-code-sect-6-5-482.html )

I would suggest that you find a new dentist to work with.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#3
Following is a link to Alabama's statute of limitations for medical-malpractice claims which, as Zigner notes, is 2 years from the time the alleged malpractice occurred.

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/6-5-482.htm

There IS s "discovery rule" which can extend the statute of limitations by 6 months from date of discovery of the malpractice, if the discovery is within 4 years of the date the malpractice occurred.

I cannot tell from what you have posted if you could be able to take advantage of this extension. You are getting awfully close to the 4 year limit if so.

I tend to agree with Zigner that returning to your first dentist might not be your smartest move. I would look for an oral surgeon in your area who can repair the damage potentially caused by the first dentist - although you also might want to discuss the bone graft with a medical-malpractice attorney to see if there is any legal action available to pursue. I suspect after this amount of time there is not.

Good luck.