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Can I sue my child's dentist?

My 4 year old daughter had two cavities. I took her to the dentist to get them filled. Everything seemed to go well. Two days later both fillings came out. I took her back to the dentist he said her teeth were so small that the fillings weren't adhereing to the tooth well. He replaced the fillings with out using any antisthetic. My daughter was screaming! 1 week later they came out again! I took her back to the dentist. he replaced them a third time with Novacaine and Nitrous oxide! She was screaming again! I was also in tears. 2 weeks later ! filli ng came out and she was saing that her tooth hurt. I couldn't get hold of the dentist or any dentist for that matter to fix it because it was a friday night. She had to wait until Monday morning in pain because Advil and Oragel weren't strong enough. On Monday I took her to a different dentist. Continued......

Answer Question
 
amydh

Asked by amydh at 7:44 PM on Dec. 5, 2008 in Kids' Health

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I think after the first set of fillings came out I would have gone to a different dentist.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:45 PM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • They did an X-ray and said that the tooth was infected and would have to be pulled before it became an abcess! She wasn't suppose to loose that tooth until she was 12! So now she also has to get mold for a space maintainer that she will have to have for 8 years!
    amydh

    Answer by amydh at 7:45 PM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • It all depends on if the infection came from the neglect of the first dentist concerning the cavity and filling problems. It would be hard to bring up a law suit just due to "pain and suffering".
    Southerncharmes

    Answer by Southerncharmes at 7:47 PM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • hopefully your insurance covered a lot (mine wouldn't, my dental sucks)

    I think suing will take a lot of money, I would switch dentists.
    charisma10

    Answer by charisma10 at 8:58 PM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • I would contact a lawyer they are the ones to bes advise you on sueing someone...but it sounds to me like you have a pretty strong case. Poor baby! Maybe the tooth fairy should bring her something extra special!
    salexander

    Answer by salexander at 9:00 PM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • It is my understanding that the issue must be willful neglect or harm, not just bad doctoring, so I don't think you could take this case very far.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:37 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

  • You would have to prove the dentist caused permanent damage. I find it hard to believe your child was screaming after given Lidocaine (Novacaine is no longer used) and Nitrous Oxide (used to calm and relax a patient)
    If the tooth is extracted and a space maintainer is placed there is no permanent damage. Another thing to be aware of is if a child's tooth has been become so infected at 4 years old that it needs extraction - the dental office can turn you into CPS for neglect.
    PrttyMstng

    Answer by PrttyMstng at 8:00 AM on Dec. 6, 2008

  • I'm a dentist and PrttyMstng is correct.  In a malpractice lawsuit, you would have to prove there has been permanent damage done to the child. During the investigation the court would also be looking at what caused the decay in the child's tooth to become so deep that a filling would not hold. Fillings are held in mechanically.  It is also very possible for the court to find you in neglect for not caring for your child's oral health sooner.

    momdentist

    Answer by momdentist at 3:31 PM on Dec. 6, 2008

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