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Dental Malpractice - Pain During Treatment - Do I Have a Case?


A: A call comes in..."My dentist was doing a root canal on me and caused me terrible pain. The pain continued for days. Do I have a case?" The short answer is no. The longer answer is maybe. Here's what I mean. In any dental malpractice matter, as with any medical malpractice case, a New York attorney must be able to prove not only that there was wrongdoing, but the wrongdoing caused injury, and the injury must be significant and/or permanent. All of those elements must be confirmed by a dental expert who has either examined you, or by an expert who has reviewed all of your records and x-rays. If any one of those elements is missing, then there is no way to bring a successful case on your behalf. Dentists are often associated with pain. There's pain to get an injection to anesthetize part of your mouth. There's pain with a cavity and pain with infection. Pain is what usually leads us to the dentist in the first place. If you're having root canal treatment, it usually means that you had pain that didn't go away with filling your cavity. Your nerve needs to come out, and root canal may be the only way to do it. Sometimes the dentist is unable to get the entire nerve root, leaving a small piece in the canal. This may be the reason for your pain. Maybe you have a post-procedure infection causing you pain. Maybe the dentist didn't numb your entire mouth and you still feel the pain. This pain is either part of the initial problem, or part of the procedure, or a complication of the procedure. Unless your lawyer can prove that your pain was directly caused by something that was done improperly, it will be difficult, if not impossible to prove your case. If however, your lawyer can show that something was done wrong, like leaving a needle inside the canal and the dentist failed to recognize that, you might then be able to show liability. However, the next step is in proving the extent of your injuries. If you suffered minimal injury, again, it will be difficult to prove a long-lasting and permanent condition. If instead, you suffered permanent problems requiring ongoing and continued dental care and reconstruction, you might just have a basis for proceeding forward. To find out more, contact an experienced New York malpractice attorney who handles dental and medical malpractice cases- immediately.