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Possible Dental Malpractice - Quick Question

SmallChan

Junior Member
#1
Massachusetts, Hello, I am looking for some advice regarding possible dental malpractice. A few months ago, my wife went to a new dentist in a substantial amount of pain. They took an x-ray and claimed that the pain was due to her wisdom teeth needing to come out. They prescribed antibiotics and sent her home. The pain went away after the infection seemed to get better and we then scheduled the routine cleaning/first time appointment and to discuss the possibility of Wisdom teeth removal. They took another x-ray and besides the Wisdom teeth, did not notice anything else out of the ordinary. My wife had the two urgent wisdom teeth removed and they seemed to heal up fine. Three months later, she woke up in extreme pain around the same area that the wisdom teeth got pulled. The dentist that did the work was away on vacation and his admin suggested that we go elsewhere as an emergency. She sent us the three month old x-rays in preparation. We found another dentist in the area that was able to see her the next day. They took x-rays and immediately noticed that one of her rear teeth near the wisdom teeth area had a massive infection under it and the tooth was completely rotten. He compared both x-rays, the current one and the three month old one from the other dentist, and they looked virtually identical. The new dentist was not sure how the other dentist could have missed this as they looked very similar and he thinks that they pain may not have been from the Wisdom teeth at all. My wife ended up having to have an urgent 6000 implant and the tooth had to be completely removed. This may have been preventable if the other dentist had paid attention to the x-rays. It seems very obvious in both sets of x-rays that he really should have noticed this and because he did not, we ended up with a huge bill. This may have happened either way, but we could have possibly saved the tooth if he had caught it three months ago which is hard to believe that he did not. I am wondering if I have any legal ground to stand on.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Zigner

Senior Member
#2
Massachusetts, Hello, I am looking for some advice regarding possible dental malpractice. A few months ago, my wife went to a new dentist in a substantial amount of pain. They took an x-ray and claimed that the pain was due to her wisdom teeth needing to come out. They prescribed antibiotics and sent her home. The pain went away after the infection seemed to get better and we then scheduled the routine cleaning/first time appointment and to discuss the possibility of Wisdom teeth removal. They took another x-ray and besides the Wisdom teeth, did not notice anything else out of the ordinary. My wife had the two urgent wisdom teeth removed and they seemed to heal up fine. Three months later, she woke up in extreme pain around the same area that the wisdom teeth got pulled. The dentist that did the work was away on vacation and his admin suggested that we go elsewhere as an emergency. She sent us the three month old x-rays in preparation. We found another dentist in the area that was able to see her the next day. They took x-rays and immediately noticed that one of her rear teeth near the wisdom teeth area had a massive infection under it and the tooth was completely rotten. He compared both x-rays, the current one and the three month old one from the other dentist, and they looked virtually identical. The new dentist was not sure how the other dentist could have missed this as they looked very similar and he thinks that they pain may not have been from the Wisdom teeth at all. My wife ended up having to have an urgent 6000 implant and the tooth had to be completely removed. This may have been preventable if the other dentist had paid attention to the x-rays. It seems very obvious in both sets of x-rays that he really should have noticed this and because he did not, we ended up with a huge bill. This may have happened either way, but we could have possibly saved the tooth if he had caught it three months ago which is hard to believe that he did not. I am wondering if I have any legal ground to stand on.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
If the x-rays were virtually identical, then that means (financially speaking) that your wife is merely doing now exactly what she would have had done three months ago. She could have spent the money now or then, but it's the same money. There are no additional damages.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#3
Massachusetts, Hello, I am looking for some advice regarding possible dental malpractice. A few months ago, my wife went to a new dentist in a substantial amount of pain. They took an x-ray and claimed that the pain was due to her wisdom teeth needing to come out. They prescribed antibiotics and sent her home. The pain went away after the infection seemed to get better and we then scheduled the routine cleaning/first time appointment and to discuss the possibility of Wisdom teeth removal. They took another x-ray and besides the Wisdom teeth, did not notice anything else out of the ordinary. My wife had the two urgent wisdom teeth removed and they seemed to heal up fine. Three months later, she woke up in extreme pain around the same area that the wisdom teeth got pulled. The dentist that did the work was away on vacation and his admin suggested that we go elsewhere as an emergency. She sent us the three month old x-rays in preparation. We found another dentist in the area that was able to see her the next day. They took x-rays and immediately noticed that one of her rear teeth near the wisdom teeth area had a massive infection under it and the tooth was completely rotten. He compared both x-rays, the current one and the three month old one from the other dentist, and they looked virtually identical. The new dentist was not sure how the other dentist could have missed this as they looked very similar and he thinks that they pain may not have been from the Wisdom teeth at all. My wife ended up having to have an urgent 6000 implant and the tooth had to be completely removed. This may have been preventable if the other dentist had paid attention to the x-rays. It seems very obvious in both sets of x-rays that he really should have noticed this and because he did not, we ended up with a huge bill. This may have happened either way, but we could have possibly saved the tooth if he had caught it three months ago which is hard to believe that he did not. I am wondering if I have any legal ground to stand on.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
It does not appear you have a dental malpractice claim to pursue.

I agree with Zigner that, if there was no difference between the x-rays, any delay in removing the rotten tooth did not cause any harm. The tooth needed to come out and it was extracted as needed.

You can always consult with an attorney in your area to see what s/he thinks, though.
 

Stevef

Senior Member
#4
As usual, I'll be the lone dissenter and say that you may have a valid malpractice claim for a mis-diagnosis and for the pain and suffering caused by the needless extraction of the wisdom teeth.

A google search for "Massachusetts Dental Malpractice" will result in many responses with attorneys who practice in the area of dental malpractice.
 

Zigner

Senior Member
#5
As usual, I'll be the lone dissenter and say that you may have a valid malpractice claim for a mis-diagnosis and for the pain and suffering caused by the needless extraction of the wisdom teeth.

A google search for "Massachusetts Dental Malpractice" will result in many responses with attorneys who practice in the area of dental malpractice.
Steve - there was no change in the three months that elapsed. There was no "needless extraction", as the OP is saying that it the extraction should have happened three months ago. And there really was only a minor time-frame that the OP was in additional pain.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#6
As usual, I'll be the lone dissenter and say that you may have a valid malpractice claim for a mis-diagnosis and for the pain and suffering caused by the needless extraction of the wisdom teeth.

A google search for "Massachusetts Dental Malpractice" will result in many responses with attorneys who practice in the area of dental malpractice.
Once again, I agree with Zigner.

There is no indication that the wisdom teeth did not have to be removed after the antibiotics treatment. The X-rays showed no difference in the teeth during the 3 month time period between the wisdom tooth removal and the rotted tooth removal, indicating that the 3 month delay in the extraction did not increase the tooth damage.

As SmallChan said about the tooth extraction, "this may have happened either way."

SmallChan can see an attorney but, from what has been described, there is no good basis for a lawsuit.
 

Stevef

Senior Member
#7
There is no indication that the wisdom teeth did not have to be removed after the antibiotics treatment.
But OP wrote "The new dentist was not sure how the other dentist could have missed this as they looked very similar and he thinks that they pain may not have been from the Wisdom teeth at all. My wife ended up having to have an urgent 6000 implant and the tooth had to be completely removed. This may have been preventable if the other dentist had paid attention to the x-rays"

from what has been described, there is no good basis for a lawsuit.
I think it's premature to make that statement.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#8
But OP wrote "The new dentist was not sure how the other dentist could have missed this as they looked very similar and he thinks that they pain may not have been from the Wisdom teeth at all. My wife ended up having to have an urgent 6000 implant and the tooth had to be completely removed. This may have been preventable if the other dentist had paid attention to the x-rays"



I think it's premature to make that statement.
I don't think it is premature to say that "from what has been described, there is no good basis for a lawsuit." I see nothing in what has been described that supports a lawsuit.

There was no pain for 3 months after the wisdom teeth extraction. The other tooth did not cause pain for 3 months.