Friday, June 14, 2024
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How to Really Win a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit

A few months ago, a dental malpractice insurance company came to my dental school and shared many different dental malpractice cases with us.

Winning a Lawsuit Against Your DentistOne that stuck out to me was of a young woman who went to the dentist to have a routine procedure performed.  After she left the dentist’s office, her tongue was permanently numb.  The dentist felt really bad that she could no longer feel anything with her tongue and offered her $10,000.  She refused the money the dentist offered her and decided to sue the dentist for somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million dollars.  She lost.

Why did she lose?  Did the malpractice insurance company simply have extraordinary lawyers?  No, the reason she lost was because she lacked one of the four necessary ingredients to winning a dental malpractice lawsuit.  I’ll now explain what those four requirements are and then I’ll explain what went wrong in this young woman’s lawsuit.

Below is an interesting paragraph that explains what those four magic elements are that you must have in order to win a malpractice lawsuit against your dentist:

In most malpractice cases the patient must prove all of the following four elements of a malpractice claim: (1) – the existence of a duty, usually implied by the doctor-patient relationship; (2) – a breach of the duty — in malpractice, a breach of the standard of care; (3) damages — in nonlegal terms, an injury; and (4) causation, a causal connection between the failure to meet the standard of care and the injury alleged.

The initial burden of proving malpractice lies with the plaintiff (patient).  The patient must prove by a preponderance of the evidence all four elements of the claim.

Source: Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery by James R. Hupp

If you didn’t understand all of that, don’t worry – I’m going to list out the requirements below and talk about each one of them.  After researching the topic of malpractice lawsuits, I found that these are the four standard elements you need in order to mount a successful lawsuit against your dentist.

The Four Necessary Ingredients to Successfully Sue Your Dentist

1. The Existence of a Duty – First, you have to prove that your dentist has a duty to care for you.  This is implied by the dentist-patient relationship.  All you need to show this is documentation that the dentist was actually treating you as a dentist.  This can be easily proven.

2. A Breach of the Standard of Care – Next, you have to prove that your dentist violated the standard of care.  The standard of care is roughly defined as what is clinically acceptable and recommended given the circumstances.

For example, if your dentist was performing a lingual frenectomy and cut back way too far, damaging a nerve in your tongue, then that would be a violation of the standard of care.  The standard of care when performing a lingual frenectomy would be to simply remove that portion of the frenum that is causing a person to be tongue-tied.  If a dentist continues cutting into the tongue, then that would be a violation of the standard of care.

3. The Dentist Injured You – Next, you must show that the dentist injured you.  This shouldn’t be too hard since the reason most people decide to sue their dentist is because of an injury.

4. Proof that The Violation of the Standard of Care Caused the Injury – You need to be able to prove that your injury occurred because of the dentist’s negligence.  For example, let’s say that a guy named Rufus goes to see Dr. Smiley.  Rufus hardly ever brushes and has lots of cavities, so he goes to get a few of them filled from Dr. Smiley.  While the dentist is drilling, she accidentally hits Rufus’ gums with the drill.  A few years later, Rufus has developed gum recession around all of his teeth.

In order to win a lawsuit claiming that Dr. Smiley caused his gum recession, Rufus would have to prove that it was the dentist’s mistake with the drill that caused the gum recession rather than his own poor oral hygiene – a case that would be hard to prove.

You need to be able to directly link your injury with the dentist’s violation of the standard of care.

You Can Lose a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit Even When You’ve Been Injured

You may find it hard to believe, but you can lose a dental malpractice lawsuit when the dentist has harmed you and the dentist can even admit to harming you!  It has to do with the second requirement above about proving a breach of the standard of care.  This is why the young woman in my opening story lost her lawsuit.  Even though the dentist had caused her tongue to be numb, he did what any other dentist would have done under the same circumstances.  The problem was that the young woman’s nerve was located in an abnormal spot.  It wasn’t the dentist’s fault that her nerve wasn’t where most people’s nerves are, it was simply a tragic event that occurred without anyone to blame.

Even if your dentist has caused harm, you need to make sure the your dentist has violated the standard of care before you file your lawsuit.  If your dentist was simply following normal procedure, you probably will have the cards stacked against you when you go to present your case at the courthouse.


It might be surprising to see an article written by a future dentist about how to win a lawsuit against your dentist.  However, I believe in justice.  If a patient has been harmed by a dental professional and it is the dentist’s fault, then the patient should be compensated in some way.  That doesn’t mean I’m a fan of frivolous lawsuits, but I do believe that certain lawsuits can help make the world a better place by revoking the license of those dentists who are truly negligent and harmful to their patients.



    • Hi Mike – Thank you for the comment. Thanks for sharing that informative site – It looks like the discussion board isn’t working at the moment, though.

      Unfortunately, there are inherent risks with getting dental treatment. Usually things go great, but once in a great while these tragic events occur. I’m glad that someone has taken their story public on the internet to share it with others. it really makes the risks of getting dental care seem more real.

      • hello
        I have question I went to the denturist he made me dentures partial one they seemed okay
        for a while until I was biting my lip while eating he tried to adjust it too loose too tight .
        he made it too loose that it would fall in my cup of water and when eating food spagetti dinner
        denture was moving around in my mouth had 17 adjustments until one dayhe tightened it so bad left jaw side was crushing my skull pain very bad went back he didnt even un loosen it was in tears
        xomplained to his wife had me come back again he said we are not going to loosen it alot .
        I said please loosen it was killing me .he refused 2 weeks later stoped wearring it.
        have tmj cant wear biting appliance that jaw spasams very bad .I feel he has injured me what to do.
        he has ruined my life please help .

        • Hi Gisele,
          I got full dentures about 9 years ago from my very excellent dentist. He advised me to have an annual reline which I did successfully for 7 years. When I went back for my next reline I was advised that my dentist, although it was still his practice, no longer worked in this office but a very capable replacement was taking his more complex cases. As I trusted my original dentist and the new dentist was very well spoken and confident about the procedure, that I had the reline. When my teeth were returned, they didn’t fit into my mouth. The lower denture that should have attached to four mini implants would not even engage. The new dentist made some adjustments until they engaged, but when I complained that the dentures still didn’t fit, that they were too big and thick, he said that give them a little time to settle. I tried that and within a week I went back to explain that I couldn’t bite or chew correctly. He made further adjustments and told me this was not unusual and that more adjustments might be needed. When I went back again, he adjusted more and told me to give the dentures more time to adjust, he said I needed to be more patient. Well, I did as instructed but it wasn’t the dentures that adjusted, my jaw did. Within months I was feeling poorly, but nothing specific. I developed right ear pain and saw an urgent care doctor who said he saw only a little redness and gave me antibiotic ear drops. Pain continued, controlled with Advil. Three days into treatment with drops, developed severe ear pain on left side. Saw a same day doctor who gave me oral antibiotics, but also indicated that an infection wasn’t obvious. More Advil, pain continued in both ears. At the same time, I had blood spots in both eyes which I attributed to the Advil (800mg every 4 hours). I saw my primary care doctor who examined both ears and found no infection. My doctor asked me several questions including dental work that I had recently had. She said I should see my dentist to be evaluated for TMJ. She also referred me to audiology as I had hearing loss and an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. I saw the same dentist who confirmed TMJ. He stated that he was responsible for the condition and would start treatment immediately at no cost to me. He put a permanent splint on my lower denture which would not allow my mouth to close on the missalligned bite. He also gave me prescriptions for Norco for the pain and a muscle relaxer. Audiology showed serious hearing impairment in both ears. The ENT agreed that TMJ could have caused my recent hearing loss, but needed to confirm that there wasn’t another reason. Had CT scan and no significant problem was found. She did see fluid build up behind my right ear drum, but was able to correct that by placing an ear tube. A few weeks after the splints, and a baby food diet, my ear pain diminished, but I was having skull pain, headaches and bloodshot eyes with shooting pains. I saw my primary doctor again, for my eyes. She gave me antibiotic eye drops and referred me to an opthalmologist. I was given an initial exam and told to return in a week as I had blurred and double vision. Upon return, I was further evaluated and multiple blood tests ordered. The day after blood work: Friday at 6, I got a call from the doctor who wanted me to pick up a prescription immediately. Found a ride, hadn’t driven since ear problems that came with hearing loss and vertigo, but now I couldn’t see well enough to drive. I felt better within days of taking the prednisone (80mg daily). Blood work had shown my SED rate to be 97 which was putting me at risk of permanent vision loss. Anyway, to make a long story longer… my love of prednisone has changed to a love. hate state. The side effects are awful: weight gain, can’t sleep, swelling in feet and legs (resulted in cracked skin on shins that became infected as well as fluid leaking from a small spot that leaks and runs down to my ankle and foot and drives me crazy), joint pain and intestinal problems. The opthalmologist ordered a temporal artery biopsy, negative, ordered MRIs with and without contrast to rule out any brain masses or other eye problems, also, nothing abnormal found. He referred me to a rheumatologist to help me reduce my use of prednisone. In the meantime, I’ve tracked down my original dentist because when I tried to see the one who was treating me at no cost… he had left. The office said they would email him that I needed to see him. He never responded. My original dentist saw what had happened to his original set of dentures and the really bad replacement dentures that were made after the splints (paid for by insurance and me). Replacements were very bad, small teeth that didn’t suit my face, but thick reline which again made them too big and continued to cause me harm. My original dentist made me a new set of dentures within 24-48 hours. They’re not as good as the ruined originals, but they fit well and do not feel as though they are causing further harm.
          I finally contacted a lawyer who is well versed in medical malpractice about 2 months ago. I’ve never been one to file a lawsuit, but, I’ve been harmed. My life as I was living it has stopped. This is not how I expected my first year of retirement. I don’t know how long this process takes, so I’m just in a holding pattern.
          I hope you’ll do everything you can to repair the harm done to you. Keep notes and good records as I just got a notice from my health carrier that I’ve incurred $16,500 in services for the 1st quarter of 2015. These include office and outpatient visiits, lab tests, prescriptions and other procedures. All medical treatments have been to alleviate my symptoms and try to determine a root cause. The only diagnosis I have came from the dentist who put me in this situation: Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD).
          I’m still in the process of getting better and hopefully putting a bad dentist in his place. Do I want compensation, you bet. I have pain almost everyday. I only leave the house for doctor visits, so far 3 this month and more labs and visits scheduled for July to help me get off the drug that saved my vision.
          Take care, I know that TMJ symptoms vary from person to person, but nobody expects a dentist to be responsible for causing a problem that they’ve been trained to diagnose and treat. Again, do all you can to get better because if you don’t your symptoms will only worsen and who knows where that can lead. I’ll pray for your recovery, I don’t wish this condition on anyone.

      • Hi, my name is Ryan and while searching the internet to look for possible long term prognosis I came across the website

        However that site is down and I eventually found this site, which is very helpful and informative

        I was hoping you could provide some insight, if not no biggie and I’d like to thank you for the information I gleaned from your site.

        Here is a brief primer on what has happened to me:

        1.) On Oct. 23rd 2014 , (Thurs) I went to a new Dentist for an evaluation on a failed crown and to have a cavity filled.

        2.) The assistant 1st swabbed my gum area with a q-tip with a numbing agent, leaving this in my mouth at rest against the left side of tongue and gum, for longer than I’ve experienced in the past.

        3.) Dentist came in, asked if area was numb (Yes), he stated I was going to feel a small pinch sensation as he injected a numbing agent into the tooth root were cavity repair was to be performed. I didn’t really feel anything all that unusual though I usually try to focus on anything other than the work being performed as I have a lot of dentistry anxiety.

        4.) Cavity repair was a bit longer than most as he stated it was deep ultimately it was successful. He also was able to remove loose crown and evaluate why it was failing repeatedly and we discussed implant options as the best remedy. He then temporarily glued crown back in, my next appt. is on Nov. 13th for tooth #19 Extraction and a Bone graft in prep for implant.

        5.) I woke up Friday Oct 24th and the left side of my tongue was numb, tingling sensation but I put it off to the assistant leaving the swab in longer than usual. I told myself I’ll give it another day or so.

        6.) Sat the 25th and Sun the 26th went by with no abating of the numbness; it didn’t get worse but was no better. Food seemed bland and I am having issues with identifying hot and colds. I can feel pressure applied to tongue, the issue is with a tingling numbness.

        7.) Called the Dentist on Mon. and he put me on Decadron, 2 pills the 1st day, 2 pills the 2nd day and 1 pill on the 3rd day, tomorrow Oct 29th I will take the final pill yet as of today I am still experiencing the same level of numbness.

        8.) I’ve read a lot or info on the net and it seems like this issue could potentially persist for months, years or be somewhat permanent, to me this is not acceptable. I have read were some have had issues like this during tooth/wisdom tooth extractions and that in the waivers they had signed, but as usual didn’t read, it waived responsibility of this as it does potentially occur. I signed no waiver to my knowledge as this was a very routine (Cavity Filling) repair and evaluation.

        9.) This is a new dentist to me, I like him a real lot, an he has professed that he probably nicked the nerve upon injecting me with the numbing agent, and while I am willing to deal with the minimal pain but huge discomfort and annoyance, I don’t think I am ready for this to take months or years to heal, let alone be permanent.

        10.) I know I am only a wekk into this issue, and have only been on meds for 2 days as of this writing but I’m wondering, do I have any legal recourse? How long should I wait? I know you are not a lawyer but I am sure you have been in contact with many who are suffering from this and that legal remedies may have been discussed?

        In closing, thanks for anytime you can spend answering some of my questions and or providing insight.

        Thanks Ryan Johnson.

        • Hi Ryan,
          After reading your experience and many others varying from almost exactly the same scenario as yours to both sides of the spectrum and nothing like your experience or any one else’s for that matter. In doing so, I’ve written many reviews and blogs about the subject. So with that said, first and foremost, anytime someone is caused unwanted pain, it doesn’t feel good. No pain is good pain. It’s pain. But some pains are inflicted in different ways under different premises. First we talk about the type of pain intentionally inflicted upon someone. It happened in which they had no knowledge of the persons probability of inflicting it, and weren’t under any previous dealings and had no way to gauge an incidence for pain that day. So they are, without a doubt, held 100% unaccountable and the one inflicting it is 100% responsible and should have to pay whatever a civil case could judge. Then obviously there is self inflicted pain. Regardless of the reason, whether to fake insurance claims, stay home from school, join a vampire club or just working out at the gym. It’s you doing it to yourself you are 100% responsible unless you’re using some equipment that is faulty that breaks and injures you, then partial liability goes to the manufacturer. And now this one, yours and many more others out there, some like yours, but most much more severe and permanent in the outcome. When you are going into an agreement with a medical professional to perform work on you, you are inherently agreeing that I know I don’t absolutely need this but I want it, I accept the possible risks since I do want It and you pay them and cross your fingers it all works out. I think I read you were on extraction #19. I know we feel like they should be able to get them all without error because they get trained and paid to do it right. But we are all human and humans make mistakes sometimes. That saying is thrown around a lot because it’s true but the real truth is that 99% of the time we get it right. But with everybody out to hurt another person because they got hurt to show that it’s wrong to hurt people is pure insanity. I’m going to financially sever his nerves because he was trying to repair me and made an accident. It’s pretty crazy when you think of it as a species that is somehow going to create a better world someday. Unfortunately one day they will probably have a robot to do every single job out there. Because if you program it to do it the same way every time, whenever there is an injury, the patient will never be able to say the Doctor was incompetent. But believe me errors with robots will still happen. We should all be more understanding of our fellow human. Don’t try and ruin someone’s life of yours isn’t ruined. If you can’t tell if your Mcgriddle is hot or cold would you be happier if you in turn had a doctor who was just as a humane person and recognized he made a mistake and admitted it to you and felt sorry or would you feel better eating that Mcgriddle knowing that doctor lost his wife and kids after he lost his business to one too many frivolous lawsuits. Just a tiny bit of love can go a long long way. Without being too cheesy I really mean that.

          • You seem to think dentist should have immunity from
            the damage they do to patients!
            You blog is misleading, giving self serving “advice to not sue a dentist”

            • I agree, if the Dentist is liable, then he should be sued. PERIOD. If the denists loses his wife and kids, that’s on him. That marriage was never stable to begin with and people understand that.

          • Are you trained to break surrounding bone of tooth to make removal quicker or easier ? I had 12 teeth removed in one visit and regent it . The woman who did it seemed to wiggle each tooth 2 times then force pressure outward until bone broke then pulled it after that all the teeth are in the front of my mouth . And I got dentures and horribly regret it and feel I was not informed of any options and now possibly may not be able to get implants because of bone loss . The only tools used to extract all my teeth was gum separator and forceps none of my teeth broke or anything in wich I was charged a surgical removal for each . And after looking into I have a lot of issues with the way things have now been perceived by me and feel very uncomfortable with this dental office but have already paid threw third party lenders for services in future as well . What is your thoughts on how to handle this issue ? Thanks
            James w

            • I’m am a dentis of 28 yrs. Partial dentures…especially on the mandible are very
              Difficult. Patients often have unrealistic expectations. I tell my patients that a partial denture is tantamount to having a hook … a pirate ……..for a hand.

              do you think your dentist didn’t want it to feel right ? do you think he didn’t want you to be happy? why do you need a partial in the first place? What happened to your teeth? I would submit that you lost some of your teeth due to your own negligence.. now you state that if it’s too loose it falls in your coffee and if it’s too tight it gives you headaches and sore tooth
              I’ve been around enough to know that your dentist did not refuse to do anything you asked but he suggested something to try and when it didn’t work you blame him.

              my suggestion… if you don’t want to have problems with your partial denture. go get some implants… now I’m mad ……how in the hell does a partial denture crush your skull.? You would have to have a vice like Uncle Fester from The Addams Family. Also your tooth loss may have caused your TMJ problem because it shifted your bite.

              or I’m sure your dentist is a child of hell and just enjoys making people mad and hurting them causing them headaches and jaw pain.

          • That is the most rediculous thing I have ever heard.
            To expect someone to not want reimbursement for the trouble caused by someone else’s negligence (with a probable cause of lack of understanding to what the patients trying to explain). You’re basically stating that the patient should just take a high road. But is that high rode filled with debt, irreparable damage and pain with no way out or hope of getting better?
            These people’s lives are fore ever changed. They stop living. Meanwhile the orthodontist just keeps trekking raking in doe, on to the next.
            In most cases I’ve read (over 80 hours I might add of tmj related injurys) the orthodontist didn’t LISTEN to their patients. The problems got worse. And kept getting worse with time.
            YES the orthodontist is responsible. It is their job to assist the patient as best they can. If they walk away from it I believe they are cowards. They deserve to be sued because they ruined another person’s well being.
            If not, then why must we punish criminals? Killers?
            You are accountable for your actions.

          • In regards to the comment above about all the poor dentists losing their wives and kids due to losing their tax bracket due to sue happy degenerates, I say this is assuming that the supposed professionals are not burnt out and should retire, wasn’t guilted into the profession, therefore, didn’t study much and barely passed his exams by the seat of his or her pants with a “D” average, is prejudiced against the poor, elderly, average or below in looks patient, or a litany of other things that could be why so many “honest mistakes” happen.
            In a world of fathomless possibilities I propose some dental professionals entered the field of their own choice, worked hard in school and mean to do his best by all his patients regardless of their race, financial status or if they are no longer young and beautiful, but one would be very very naive indeed to think that every dental professional is this almost fantasmal creature about to sprout wings and a halo any second. I venture there are countless and hopefully not more of the less angelic professionals I described, and that if they are not happy and thus not into providing the standard of care knowing it is difficult for patients to prove their liability gives shoddy half hearted below standard service, then in that case they deserve to be held accountable in my opinion.
            Also if they undergo financial burdens due to any reason and lose their wife and kids as a result then I say the wife (or husband) wasn’t much of a loss.
            Bottom line there are good and bad in all categories of peoples and I agree there are sadly, sue happy clients and there are unethical dentists, but I wish our society could escape the unspoken but wide belief that somehow “Oh Joe Blow would never do that he’s a dentist.” or the even worse, “Who will believe me vs a dentist with his white coat and plaque by the door, with all the support from big entities such as other dentists their insurers or expensive attorneys, when I am poor and may or may not have at best relatives and government insurance, there’s nothing I can do.” It all starts with awareness. Our individual stories seem small but if everyone took the time to legitimately hold those we seem vulnerable to accountable, we would likely see a shift in the belief that there is a class system we are recourse-less victims to and more people feeling empowered by knowing big or small they are a human being and every single one’s life, story and quality of life is important and they can make a difference.
            For myself, I haven’t got a great remedy to the sue happy client trying to use any angle or looking for breaches however small to point and say foul then try to get something for nothing by suing another person who worked hard for years to get their little slice of the pie, and has to pay a chunk of his/her reward to be protected by shysters except maybe teach our kids the pride of earning something instead of handing them everything, and instill values like honesty compassion and integrity, I know easier said than done.

        • Ryan,

          Has sensation improved? I have seen sensation come completely back after several months to the lingual nerve. I hope it is getting better if it hasn’t already!

          • I had a dentist hit a nerve while doing a root canal. He also broke off the file in the tooth and said nothing. After feeling things weren’t right because he was drilling away like mad for two appointments I went for a second opinion. A year later my face and side of mouth still goes numb when I eat on that side. I lost the tooth because a endo couldn’t get the file out and now have a bridge over three teeth. Do you think this will ever go away and what about a lawsuit for me? Dentist offered to pay all my out of pocket. I get to walk around with a numb eye, face and lip.

            • I would say that you seem to fit all the four needs to file a lawsuit. It does seem like they have caused you serious neglect, but I don’t if it will go away as I am not a dentist or a doctor but I hope it does go away

            • I understand dental malpractice these days is extraordinarily difficult to prove even if you’re in the right. Also, it is insanely expensive because one must assume long-term litigation that will end up in court, even if there is no trial. That said, if you have maintained a healthy and successful relationship with your dentist up until now, I’d try to work it out with him. On the basis of his offering to pay your out of pocket expenses. If he’s forthcoming and pays up front willingly without annoying frustrations and delays, then you have saved yourself a peck of time and $ in attorney and court fees, etc.
              That said, do not sign any release and waiver’s until the problem has been remedied (not permanent?) and you are fully compensated. Then, I’d choose another dentist. Permanent damage? That’s a different matter and you should hire an attorney, if you can find one. Most won’t accept cases less than $100K..

      • Appreciate the article. Can “proof of harm” include financial? I have to get a root canal redone because my previous dentist treated the roots only halfway up 5 years ago. Now an infection is setting in and I’m tired all the time.

        • Hi, Your story and mine are just alike..
          I was hoping on reading sum feedback on your question, anyone can help shine sum light here

      • I have been a patient of tinnitus ringing ears since 5 years. I had tried a lot of anti viral meds prescribed to me by doctors over the years but I could not see any improvements in my symptoms. One day while going through the internet, i got to know about American tinnitus treatment where they cure people suffering from tinnitus with powerful drugs made from Africa roots and herbs, quickly i contacted them and they prepared the drugs for me which i received and used as instructed. After few weeks the improvement were very visible. Outbreaks has stopped and the sores started to heal. I would recommend this to all my friends,families,around the globe suffering from tinnitus ringing can contact them through their email on Best regards.,

      • I had a tooth extracted at a dental school. On the x-rays they took off my teeth, there was another person’s tooth on the x-ray as well as mine. So they put something in my mouth that was already in someone else’s mouth. Two days after the extraction my eye was black and blue and swollen shut. I went to the hospital where I was admitted the extraction cause an absess and a hemotoma it was close to my brain so I had to be put on iv antibiotic and had to have surgery to put a drain in. I also have a no feeling in the right side of my face. I have a 3week old baby that had to be in the hospital with me who I can no longer breast feed because of the medications I am on. I now have tons of medical bills and still have to see the maxillofacial surgeon every week. I’ve called lawyers no one will touch it. I call the dental college and they just blow me off… What can I do?

      • My husband got burned while getting his teeth cleaned the lamp they use fell on his arm. Is that something you can sue them for?

    • Hi,

      I had the rest of my teeth extracted about 4 years ago so I could get my lower dentures. I already had my upper dentures. I thought everything went well and my gums healed up. About 10 months ago, I noticed a knot next to a sore spot on the top of my gums on the left side of my mouth. A few weeks later a hole opened up and a jagged piece of tooth was sticking out(It loves to cut my cheek and tongue), also the knot next to this broke tooth(it is broke, had it examined) was a tooth that had never grew in and it was supposed to have been removed when I had the last of my teeth pulled.

      It has gotten to the point now that it is very painful on that side of my mouth and it is infected again. The hole is still around the broken tooth and also my gums where the ingrown?? tooth is has deteriorated to the point of me being able to actually feel the tip of the tooth with my tongue, my gums is real thin there now.

      I called the dentist who done this and she said the only way she would look at it was if I paid half the surgery/anesthesia up front, plus x-rays and other costs. I had already spent over 900.00 dollars getting the last of my teeth removed with her already and now I no longer have insurance to cover it. I am on medicare and I am disabled and they do not cover anything but cancer related stuff. I am wondering since I had the teeth removed over 4 years ago, but the problem with my gums and the ingrown tooth did not show up until 10 months ago what I should do now. I have not been able to chew on that side of my mouth for at least 8 months and I have been in pain every since it came through and it is getting worse. I know in Georgia that there was a time limit of 2 years that you had to sue etc, the Doctor, anything over that and you were out of luck. All this happened in North Carolina though and I am in GA now.


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  1. I agree, a good article indeed and I’m sure these 4 criteria apply equally in Australia. I am currently thinking of suing my dentist for an attempted wisdom tooth extraction but the weight of probabilities is probably against me. Once my gum was cut he decided against extraction of the wisdom (and the molar next to it) due to my jawbone covering the entire back two teeth. I thought why wouldn’t he have seen this via the 2 x-rays done previously rather than wait when I’m all opened up. I will get a second opinion from another dentist and see a lawyer for his opinion.

    • Thanks for your comment, John. I’m not sure about Australia, but it would seem that these should apply most anywhere.

      Sometimes, the x-ray can be deceiving since it’s just a two-dimensional picture of a three dimension object (the tooth in relation to the jawbone.) If the x-ray was taken at an angle, it might have appeared to the dentist that it wasn’t fully covered by bone. After your dentist went in and saw that it was fully covered by bone, he or she might have realized that it was a procedure more suited for an oral surgeon and decided to refer you rather than risk taking out the teeth and causing damage to your bone or nerves.

      That’s just an educated guess as to what might have happened. Did your dentist refer you to someone else or just say that the extraction couldn’t be done?

      • Thanks for your reply Tom. No, my dentist did not refer me to anyone, although he wants to see me to remove the stitches in a week (this won’t be happening). He basically said that it is better to leave the 2 teeth in place as it was too risky to remove them.

        Not satisfied, I actually did go and see another dentist today with the same 2 dimensional x-ray (an OPG) and his advice was that he would not have attempted the extraction because the tooth was lying very low on the jawbone and it looked like the nerve on the jawbone was either touching the root or lying between the two root fangs. Basically, it was too risky a procedure to do on the dentist chair. He could also see that the jawbone line was above the crown. His plan is for me to get a 3D x-ray to determine where the nerve exactly lies and then refer me to a specialist where I may need surgery under a general anesthetic.

        This new dentist could tell I was upset but stressed upon me to to be bitter and not to bother taking legal action against the previous dentist as it would be lengthly and expensive and if there was compensation it would be minimal as there was no permanent damage done and that he was just doing his job. Not every dentist sees an x-ray the same way was his comment. I’m still not sure whether to take action as my pain is subsiding but to me it’s quite clear that 99 out of 100 dentists would not have attempted the extraction themselves.

        • Thanks for the update, John.

          I’m not sure how the dental specialties work in Australia, but I assume it’s fairly similar to how they are here in the States. General dentists are allowed to do most all procedures IF we think that we can do them as well as a specialist would. In other words, we are held to the same standard of care that specialists are.

          I’d probably be with those 99 dentists that wouldn’t have attempted the extraction. It’s not fair to the patient if I don’t have the experience to perform a quality extraction and decide to try it anyways. Believe me, I’ve tried extracting some wisdom teeth here at dental school and I’ve decided that I’ll probably be referring out those extractions to a specialist.

          I’m curious as to what you decide to do. Let me know the outcome, if you don’t mind. Thanks!

          • No worries Tom, I will let you know of any developments and will see what the specialist advises; probably take a couple of weeks.

  2. How about during a frenulectomy all of the criteria is met, plus the patient woke up during the scalpel surgery which was performed under local anesthesia (completely knocked out) with IV drip. Tongue numb, burning, bottom lip numb, cheek on right side tingling as if being shocked and ear pain in right ear. Could it be when patient woke up, it scared doc, and scalpel slipped?

    • Hi Linda – When you said “all of the criteria is met” were you referring to the four criteria above? I don’t have all of the details, but after searching in my local anesthetic textbook, it said that there are a few causes of burning with local anesthetics, here they are:

      – The pH of the local anesthetic. Some local anesthetics can have a pH of around 3, which is almost as acidic as Coca-Cola.
      – If the anesthetic was injected very rapidly.
      – If the anesthetic was warmed to body temperature before it was injected, it can give the patient a burning feeling.
      – If the anesthetic was contaminated, such as if they are stored in sterlizing solutions that seep into the anesthetic cartridge.

      If the patient wakes up during a procedure when they should be “asleep” (under general anesthesia) and makes even the slightest movement, it could cause the dentist/doctor to cut in the wrong place.

      • What if you paid to be put to sleep & we’re not? Was awake the whole time tooth was being cut out & abcess in jaw fixed A lot of cutting & I was alert the whole time. Have always been afraid of dentist Now after trip to oral surgeon don’t think I’ll ever go back. Was moving feet around & saying 1 word at a time as was trying not to move mouth But when someone says stop, hurts, owe, ect should they not stop long enough to find out what’s going on

  3. It was my tongue that was burning, so painful and bleeding profusely. Sutures were put in loosely. My arm that was used for the IV was swollen and purple for about a week. Now I have tardive dyskinesia, distonia, and adult onset vocal and motor tics as a result of this botched frenectomy. Several of my nerves were severed. I woke up and heard a voice say, “She’s waking up!”

    • Hi Linda. I am sorry to hear that you had to go through that.

      If they did cut through several of your nerves, it sounds like you would have a good case. I would talk to a lawyer who would be more suited to advise you and file the charges.

      Were they cutting anywhere else aside from just at the front of your mouth (labial frenectomy) or under your tongue (lingual frenectomy)?

  4. I have permenant lingual nerve damage due to having all 4 wisdom teeth extracted in September 2010 by an Oral Surgeon. After the procedure, I noticed in the following weeks that the left side of my tongue, bottom lip, and chin were still completely numb. I went back to the surgeon, and was told this was probably going to go away, and to come back in a month. November 2010, I went back completely upset because everything came back except the feeling in my tongue – absolutely no feeling on the top or bottom of the left side of my tongue. I bite it all the time, causing it to bleed, burn it on hot foods/drinks. I have no taste on that side, and at times I feel like I’m taking “funny”. It’s hard when I have to do presentations at work because I’m so worried about slurring my words.

    Anyway, after being frustrated with the oral surgeon who didn’t seem to care. Also to note: he showed me a copy of my x-ray and said “oh i see, this is why there was a complication, your tooth was impacted” and I had to correct him that HE was looking at the RIGHT side of my mouth in the x-ray because the left side (where the numbness is) has a filling, which you can see on the x-ray. So he basically was trying to give me some BS when he was absolutely incorrect.

    I saw 2 nureologists and had an MRI of the brain done. The 2nd Neurologist is the one who finally told me that it is definigly lingual nerve damage and the fact that I havent had any improvements in 6 months, makes the chances less likely of me having any feeling come back. (Basically cross your fingers – Hope for the best, expect the worst… it’s Permenant).

    I’m upset at the whole thing because I feel like this should have been discussed with me prior to the procedure. Also, the X-Ray the Oral Surgeon used was over a year old and he even said he “shouldn’t” use it, but since my insurance company wouldnt pay for a new one yet – He was just going to go ahead and use it. Shouldn’t the oral surgeon have known right away when there was a complication – advising me after the procedure? and instead of acting worried/nervous/BS’ing me. Shouldn’t he have been following up with me to see how things were going since I made it clear to him that I was scared?

    I want to file a malpractice suit against him, but want to know my odds at this point. It’s been 6 months – seen a neurologist, had an MRI, no changes, no feeling or taste, no contact from the oral surgeon.. What should I do? I’m upset that this happened.

    If I have a chance at filing a malpractice suite, do you have any Referrals for the Northern Virginia Area? I want to find someone good. I, like you stated, believe in justice, and don’t believe I’ve been treated fairly at all by this surgeon. I don’t want other people going through this over a “routine” wisdom tooth extraction.

    Not to mention – My dentist that referred me to this guy – told him I only needed ONE wisdom tooth removed at that time. The Oral Surgeon talked me into getting them all removed since I am “26 years old, and they would need to come out eventually.”

    Please Help!

    • Hi Kelly – I am really sorry to hear about the lingual nerve damage you have. Sometimes feeling can come back within a few months. That is interesting that the surgeon brushed you off when looking at your x-ray. Most wisdom teeth do become impacted and that’s why they are extracted – just because it’s impacted doesn’t mean that there will be complications, but it does increase the risk of complications.

      The surgeon should have gone over the different risks associated with not only getting the teeth removed, but keeping them if that’s what you would have decided to do. At my dental school, we go over the risks of teeth removal with each patient and have them sign a form saying that they understand all of the risks.

      It seems like most people want to sue doctors that they don’t have a good relationship with and that don’t seem to care. I can’t give you a recommendation on whether to sue or not since I don’t know all of the specifics and I’m not a lawyer. Also, I don’t know any lawyers in the northern Virginia area. I would ask around your social groups and try to get a referral that way.

      Here’s a good page that summarizes many different dental malpractice cases including cases that were very similar to yours. It shows who won and what the damages were. I hope that helps. Hopefully your nerve will eventually recover. Thanks for your comment, Kelly!

      • Hi There

        Unfortunately lingual nerve damage and ID nerve (supplies your teeth in the lower jaw and some of the lip and chin) can be damaged during removal of wisdom teeth. I am adentist in the UK and the stats are something like 1 in 200 cases get permanent anaesthesia. Like I say, I am a dentist. I had my wisdom teeth removed by a very highly qualified and experienced surgeon (one of my tutors at uni) and I had complete numbness of my lip and chin for 6 months following the surgery. It took over 2 years for some of the sensation to come back and I now have approximately 80% sensation on the side that was affected.

        2 years ago, I also had a small cyst removed from the underside of my tongue, this was also done by a very experienced and skilled surgeon but I have some damage to my lingual nerve and have lost some sensation in my tongue too.

        Unfortunately, these are risks that are associated with these procedures and it is unlikely that they will be seen as anything else in a lawsuit. I’m really sorry Kelly but I’m afraid that it may not be worth pursuing this matter as it could prove to be very costly and stressful for you and it is unlikely that you will get the result you wish for.

      • Hi Tom,

        Thank you for your blog, I got more info from your website than what I got from my dentist or endodontist! I was recently referred to an endodontist for a root canal on 31 and infection removal. Once it was done, I went back to the dentist who said the root canal was not filled properly all the way to the apex and I had to go back. This time, I could feel the endodontist injecting anesthetic, kind of a sudden mildish pain.

        The right side of my tongue is still numb although I have had no lip numbness, so the mental nerve appears not to be affected. However, a week after the injury, I feel some sensitivity in the gums of my front teeth. Right side of my tongue really burns, especially the tip and side of the tongue. Under my tongue, it feels like it is clamped down and have some pain. Occasionally, that pain migrates towards my right ear and right side of the throat.

        After reading about lingual nerve injury, am starting to freak out. I am not even sure if it is actually lingual nerve although the endo told me so. Will I ever get back to normal? The endo said it will heal within 3 months, but I don’t trust that endo anymore. Should I see an oral surgeon or a neurologist? I am not suing, my questions are more about what I should or can do now. I am taking vitamin b 12 & b complex, not sure if that can help but I want to try anything and everything at this point. Please help! Thank you.


  5. Hi Tom
    I visited my dentist and had agree to have my teeth extracted and replaced with a full set of dentures. We went over the procedures, cost and that I would receive the dentures on the day of extraction. Five months later still no dentures! He keep telling me after 9 impressions that it was the labs fault. I was finally sent to another dentist and after one impression I received my dentures. Also the first dentist over charged me like crazy! My insurance company is involved now. I’m not sure if anyone has ever had to walk around without teeth for 5 months, but let me tell you …not good. Also I’m a teacher so I was not able to teach, go to meetings or anything that would have me face my co-workers.
    My question is: Would this be a malpractice lawsuit?

    • Hi Diane – I’m sorry to hear about your experience. When we do immediate dentures at my dental school, we take the impression and have the dentures made before we take the teeth out. I’m not sure why your dentist took the teeth out when the denture wasn’t already made.

      If your dentist had to take nine impressions and still couldn’t deliver the denture, then my guess is that it’s not the lab’s fault!

      I agree that what happened was unfortunate. Remember that I’m not a lawyer, but according to the guidelines above, I’m not sure you would have grounds to win a lawsuit. There may be some legal ground to stand on for pain and suffering/lost wages but I’m really not sure.

      Once dentists start treatment, they are ethically obligated to finish it or refer to someone who can. If the denture wasn’t ready, then your teeth shouldn’t have been extracted.

      Thanks for your comment! People may find this and ask their dentist to show them the denture before the teeth are pulled – so maybe you saved someone else from having to go through the same ordeal.

      • This is not necessarily true. Teeth can be pulled , wait for healing, then the dentures made. This is actually a less expensive and better fit of the dentures. If the teeth are pulled then a temporary denture can be made, this is temporary. It needs to be refitted or relined until healing has occurred after about six months. Then the final denture can be made. There will always be added cost when more tx has been done. This is one of many ways of ext teeth and making dentures. Simply because one dental school does it one way does not make it the best.
        The teeth might have been causing so much infection that it would be more beneficial to the pt for them to be ext, then wait for a denture, again not being there and not knowing the circumstances makes it impossible to give an accurate diagnosis or response. If you are not happy with one doctor go to another.

        • Hi Nate – Waiting until a few months after extractions will result in better dentures, and this is usually a better treatment. In fact, that’s how I made all of my dentures in dental school, it wasn’t until I graduated that I did immediate dentures.

          In the above case, it looks like she was promised immediate dentures that she did not receive. She wasn’t promised conventional dentures, as it appears that she did not want to go without her teeth for a few months…

          • This is in relation to immediate dentures and Medicaid dental insurance (more specifically Oregon health plan). Both my husband and I were fast tracked due to already being on food stamps so when obamacare kicked in the first of the year last year we were eligible and on Oregon health plan. Both of us had been in desperate need of dental work….so bad we need dentures. My treatment care started in January and after having to do antibiotics for tooth infection I was started for immediate dentures. I made every appointment that was scheduled and had to be rescheduled by the dental office. After the initial exam and xrays a treatment plan was submitted to OHP for approval and I signed the form to allow the treatment as it would be paid for by OHP with no cost to me. Each extraction appointment they had to resubmit a new treatment plan to OHP because of an error in recording teeth that were and were not there. The dental office we went to had been bombarded by new patients and were sorting things out as well. In March my husband started his treatment to get his immediate dentures. September came and he got his dentures. As its now February 2015 he is still needing a minor adjustment or two and the softlined. My last extractions were last October. We moved to a different town….same county…and were suggested that there was a good dentist closer to us to help save gas. Even if we had stayed with the first clinic we would have had to wait till after the first of the year for our next appointment due to the holidays. As part of OHP we had to renew coverage for 2015. All done online through the marketplace unless you wanted to do a paper application. Calling the number they provide is next to impossible to get through and it can take up to 45 days to hear from OHP. The new dentist appointment is later thus month and we still have yet to hear from OHP. With it being a new dentist, hence a new provider, we basically are starting the treatment plan thing all over again with resubmitting and waiting for OHP approval for treatment. All my back teeth have been extracted and all I have left are 11 remaining teeth in front, 5 up top and 6 on bottom. Basically I started all my stuff before my husband and he got his dentures but I have yet to get mine. I’m ready to do the molds now In my treatment process. OHP states that the dentures have to be delivered and all within 6 months after the last tooth is extracted. We were told that once OHP approved the procedure and all, they have to finish the treatment that got started even if you lose ohp health coverage

    • Hey Diane,my husband had his top teeth pulled. Paid the dentist for mini implants and a top denture. The implants were put in wrong, they kept coming out. Now after almost 6000 dollars, all he has is a very sloppy made denture that won,t stay in. The dentist referee him to someone else who is a specialist with implants. His dentist said that he has spent all the time and money he can and that they are only a clinic! Why didn,t he tell us that to begin with. My husband has been without teeth for five years! I think it is time to sue.

    • Hello I NEED your help I’m in so much pain. I went to this dentist after I chipped my tooth number 14. Apparently a cavity had gotten underneath my filling causing it to fall off and chip my tooth. So my dentist filled it and I went home hoping to have this behind me but my suffering was just beginning. He had a heavy accent and didn’t communicate effectively to me any take home care so I called the next day because I didn’t have a space big enough to floss he had made the gap way too tight. So I took off time from work to go back and he made the gap bigger, so now I can gloss great. Next few days I was experiencing a lot of pain so I had to go back to the dentist because a piece of the filling fell out. He applied more filling this time with more light to bind it I assume, I told him about the pain he tried shaping the tooth better. Still experiencing pain to this day and it’s been weeks since my filling, went back again he had perscribed me pain meds and antibiotics. Didn’t see a need for a root canal he said he wouldn’t be able to do it because my tooth is curved in the gum and too complicated for him, so he said to go to the hospital. My insurance won’t cover more x rays or a root canal. He didn’t effectively communicate with me the entire time, caused me so much pain I’m still having issues even after taking all the meds. Now I’m supposed to cough up all this money to get a root canal I might not even need but I’m at a loss as to what to do because I’m still in so much pain. I don’t know what to do.

  6. Hi Tom

    Recently i went to do a filling with my Dentist, they injected me and told me go wait and they will call me. 30minutes late they had forgot about me and i ask them, they took me to their room now instead of filling my front tooth they took it out by the time i relized what he has done he went to check the book to see what i was there for, he putted my tooth back after his assistance had made fun of me. i was in pain and he gave me a prescription for pain and anti biotics tablets and told me to come see him every a week for six week.

    after three days the pain was too much so i went back, he again took the tooth out, to the nerve of the tooth and putted it back that whole prosedure took about 3hours and the injection for me not to feel pain was no longer in my mouth.

    Every touch, movement and pain in my mouth i could feel, when i told them about my pain and suffering they said my tooth will be fine. it feels like i have a false teeth in my front tooth and i can not bite with it as it is still loose and that now has putted strain on my back tooth as i can only bite and chew with one side.

    i have contacted a lawyer but he said i will not get much?

    • Hi Nomachina – I am sorry to hear about your horrible experience! It sounds like the dentist should have been paying closer attention to what he was doing. It sounds like the dentist made a mistake. Have you talked with him to see if they will place an implant in that area or offer to make a bridge for you free of charge? It seems like all you would get from a lawsuit is the amount to pay for an implant, and you would probably have to pay court fees as well depending on the laws in your area.

      Your best bet is to talk with the dentist and tell him about your concerns and frustrations and see if he is willing to do anything to help you. If you don’t trust him anymore, see if he is willing to pay for you to go to another dentist to get that tooth replaced.

      I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for your comment, Nomachina!

    • Reading this post has really made me angry. I have had so many bad experiences with dentists. One pulled my tooth and when I asked him why he pulled it he said because he thought I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay for a filling and the filling is more expensive than the extraction. I was given a root canal when I didn’t need one, I was told it was just pain from a sinus infection, and now I have tmj disorder because my dentist damaged my muscle tissue and nerve when injecting me to do a filling. I have been in pain for over a month, and I still cannot eat, talk, sing, without pain, in fact I am in pain all the time. My bite is off, my jaw is off, I have radiating pain in my head, neck, and ear, I lost my job and can’t try to find work because I am always in pain lying on hot and cold compresses all day. These were three different dentists that hurt me over time. I will never go to another dentist again. I have good oral hygiene and will take care of my own oral health in the future. I can’t believe that this profession is not held responsible for their mistakes.

  7. Tom –
    Hi, I’m writing to see if you can tell me what percentage I have of winning a case against my oral surgeon.

    April of 2010 I was sent to my oral surgeon to have my 2 wisdom teeth consulted on. My dentist sent over the xrays prior to my visit. I got there and had to sign my consent forms in the waiting room and was brought to the room and was prepped for surgery before even seeing the doc. I saw him for 5 minutes and he walked in and said “So, we’re going to be pulling 2 wisdom teeth today, Missy.” Who am I to argue? I thought it was wierd because my bottom one didn’t bother me and was still impacted and in place and I knew my upper one was coming in and upsetting my bridge, so that one I could understand. But he was the surgeon……so, I asked him “I’m almost 37, aren’t I old to be having this done?” He said “Yeah….I usually say anyone over the age of 25 is old.” I said “Ok then”. He knocked me out, the procedure was done.

    I left….had pain, numbness, no taste on the left side of my tongue and called about it 2 days later and went to the office the a week later. He wasn’t there…went that Friday (so basically 2 weeks after procedure almost) and he said “I thought that this may happen. I think the lingual nerve is severed. It happened during the procedure. When I pulled the folicle up after I pulled the tooth, the nerve was attached to the folicle and came with it as I tugged it out. It must have ripped somewhere in there. You need to go to the University to see those physicians.” He has the secretary schedule something. She has no idea how urgent it was and so it was scheduled out a month. He didn’t make it an urgent matter. I went up there. They did a surgery to reconnect the nerve at the end of July. They said if I had been up there sooner, it would have been better. There was a huge neuroma where the nerve severed and I still have numbness, no taste buds and tremendous pain involved with the left side of my tongue.

    It has been just over a year since I had my surgery at the University. Since this happen though in April of 2010….I have not been able to work because of the pain and the medications (neurotin). I have been let go from my employer and lost my house. I am wondering if there are any reprecussions that I can get from a lawsuit? I have one started and it is now in negotiations. Thanks for reading.




  9. I had two fillings in two separate teeth and a crown put on one back molar. This was two months ago. Two days after the teeth were filled I returned because the dentist failed to check the bite which was not aligned on the two fillings. When he put on the crown it did not seem to fit so he ground the tooth which was fine in the jaw below the crowned tooth because he said the porcelain crown would break if he adjusted that.

    Since that time the fillings and the tooth he ground down have been rubbing my tongue raw. He may have altered the one tooth because the point of that molar is digging into my tongue. The tooth below has a ledge at the gum line that is sharp and feels like there was not enough filling put into the drilled hole. I am reluctant to return to him since he did such a poor job finishing the fillings smoothly. Can they even be repaired? I have never had such an experience with either a crown or fillings.

    Can they be fixed?

  10. Hi Tom, I’m a 10 years experienced Dentist from Brazil, and I’m very glad about your initiative to make this blog.Most of students can barely achieve their grades, but you have a wider understanding of what is necessary to be an excellent Dentist.Keep studying as you seem to be, and use this blog to nurish your Wisdom(Don’t let anybody extract it from you!)

  11. Hi Tom,

    I am from Newcastle, Australia and wondering if you have any thoughts on my situation and a potential legal case. It is rather compex.

    I had 4 wisdom teeth extracted in 1998 – I developed severe trismus and despite my parents phoning the oral maxillofacial surgeon several times during the week after the procedure explaining I could not open my mouth at all and the severe muscle pain I had, I was told this was normal and to wait until my post-op apt to see the surgeon. At the post-op apt, there was absolute panic by the surgeon as at the time I could barely open my mouth 2mm and he could not remove the stitches. I could barely talk at the time but asked if everything went OK with the procedure but was told by the surgeon that my hospital notes have gone missing. He did tell me that as far as he recalls everything went well because if something hadn’t, he would have remembered.

    My surgeon at the time continued to tell me there was nothing he did wrong, thought that I must have had a pre-existing problem with my jaw, I never even mentioned about a legal case (I haven’t even thought about it until now), but even at this apt he said “you can’t sue me”. Not long after, he referred me to another oral maxillofacial surgeon, and he seemed to just want to get rid of me and the problem.

    Over the last 13 years, I’ve needed to have all 2nd molar teeth extracted and even a couple of 1st molars – as access to the molars was not possible due to my limited mouth opening. I was referred to an endodontist for RCT, however, the endodontist could not use his instruments in my mouth again due to the very limited mouth opening. Having general anaesthetics is always difficult as the anasthetist can not see my trachea. I need to have a fine tube inserted through my nose while I am awake in order to be anaesthetised. I have had my jaw stretched under GA about 3 times with the hope it might improve my mouth opening, there has been a very small temporary improvement but it could not be maintained. I forgot to mention I have used a Therabite jaw exerciser daily over the last 13 years – this is to try and maintain the mouth opening I have. I have had to learn to function over the years with a maximum 21mm mouth opening. However, this is still incredibly difficult, I can’t bite into an apple, I don’t eat any meat or any foods that require much chewing as the muscles spasm and fatigue very easily. Sometimes I have difficulty speaking because the muscles ache so much and I just can’t seem to speak well. Towards the end of each day, I am always feeling the most pain, discomfort and fatigue. In the last few years, I’ve had to reduce the number of days I work.

    From what I understand, it’s not uncommon to develop trismus post wisdom teeth removal, but it’s usually transient in nature whereas essentially I have developed a ‘permanent’ trismus. I recently was referred to a peridontist for an area of erosion with the gum which has now resolved with a topial corticosteroid cream. However, the peridontist STRONGLY suggested I see another surgeon in Sydney (I’m from Newcastle) to see if there is anything that can be done now (or to even provide help on how to manage the problem). In his referral letter (which he also sent a copy to me), he stated “I am very concerned that there may not have been an intensive and comprehensive assessment of the aetiology and management of Kristen’s severe trismus following 3rd molar removal many years ago. I saw her recently and her involved history of TM joint dysfunction is very distresssing…..her restricted mouth opening is a life handicap….etc”. It has only been recently that I wondered whether I would have any legal case. It would be nice to get some compensation given the amount of money I’ve had to spend with all the dental work & ongoing procedures & the impact it’s had and will continue to have on my life. It is thought I will lose more teeth and at some point (possibly in the next 5 years) my only option will be to look at impants. I have been told it is not possible too have dentures fitted again due to the limited mouth opening (it’s not possible to get even an imprint).

    Just wondering if you had any thoughts about a legal case.

    • My name is Charlene Young. I dealt with the same problem for 3 and half years. The Oral Surgeon that I was seeing thought the pain was all in my mind. He performed surgery to open my jaw and that was unsuccesful. He had me use a DynaSplint to try and stretch my jaw hoping it would open my mouth wider. I finally went to see another oral surgeon and he did a biopsy on my jaw. I had a cancerous tumor in my jaw which cause the jaw to lock and the severe pain. (Do not want to scare you). I had surgery at to remove the tumor. I was wondering the same thing about persuing a legal case against this oral surgeon. I wish you luck.

  12. I am pretty livid right now. Situation:

    1. Tooth extraction done on lower tooth (broken and opted out of root canal).
    2. Followed post-op instructions. Lots of pain. Got 1 fill of anti-biotic & 2 refills of pain meds.
    3. After 2nd pain refill requested, called dentist ..”something” just didn’t feel right” it wasn’t healing as fast (no dry socket). Can you guys take an x-ray.. can I come in.. I just know something is not right. Secretary: “Just be patient, wait another day” here we will refill you a 2nd pain med. OK.. so..
    4. Into 3rd week. Now off pain meds for over a week.. and still doing the tylenol & ibuprofen switch (by the way I lost 2 days of work from pain).. it crosses my mind… why are my stitches not dissolving and irritated?
    5. I call dentist today. “Can you tell me if you put permanent or dissolve stitches?” (..let me check your chart.. waiting….)
    6. Secretary states they are permanent. I said “WHAT?!” Why wasn’t I told this – on my instructions it says dissolve!” Secretary: “I don’t know why a post-op suture removal was not scheduled for you.”
    7. Me? I’m turning red as I hear this.. they are definitely grown into my gums being in here for three weeks now. I am going into get them removed tonight. You mean to tell me all of the follow up calls I did and EVEN asked for an x-ray, you probably classified me as a scum-sucking drug seeker for pain meds while I was TRULY in pain even til today – and now you don’t owe me anything for my trouble?

    Someone tell me… am I over-reacting, should I react to a demand? Should I be compensated? I may even lose more unpaid time for work over pain and now have to take bowel clogging pain meds again. Is there any negligence here or am I just supposed to do nothing about this? I dunno. All comments welcome.

  13. I recently was having some crown work at my dentist…..the dentist that came in to give me the Novocane was not by regular dentist, but another dentist working in the office. While getting the Novocane shots, she seemed to be having troublw with getting the postion on the needles to numb the area to be worked on…..Two to three days after my dentist appointment, I cant even open my mouth to get a spoon in. Its now been nine days since the appointment and it seems to be getting worse….I called my regular dentist and he said the needle must have penetrated to muscle when the other dentist administered the shots…I’ve never had pain like this in my life….i cant eat…its even hard to get a toothbrush in my mouth…The pain to open my mouth is unbelievably painful….What should I do? My next appointment is not until a week from now…..I dont know if I can take the pain that long while trying to eat….I am so angry at this other dentist…..I went online to look this up and find out its called Trismus…..It said it can last for months…..The article online said it was caused by inaccurate positioning of the needle when giving the inferior nerve block…..I’m so angry I feel like consulting with an attorney.

    • Dear Jerry, I hope your trismus got better. I had a root canal done day before Christmas of 2011 and 3 days later developed trismus. From therapy trying to rip mouth open to valium for panic, my mouth did not open for four months. I cried everyday. I ran from dr to dr in severe pain, I finally went to the University of PA and they re-read the MRI of the tmj (joint). The disk was completely out of the joint. The injections caused a hematoma which caused the disk to be pushed out of the joint. I had the disk flushed back into the joint and am now able to open my mouth. I still have discomfort from the tooth and adhesions but am dealing with it better than a locked jaw. I wish you the best. By the way, I have had to pay for the majority of procedures out of my pocket and no attorney will help me.

  14. Hi there, I am in Ontario and would like some advice. About 4-8 years ago I went to my former dentist complaining of tooth pain, he said he could not see anything on the x-ray, but thought the tooth needed to have a root canal. This was done and I still had tooth pain, so he did the tooth next to it. Still had pain so the tooth next to it and still pain so the tooth next to it. 4 root canals later and there was still pain. At this point he sent me to a specialist who diagnosed Trigeminal neuralgia. None of the root canals were needed. I saw a medical Dr. and was prescribed Tegretol and was fine in three days. I did not get the teeth crowned as I felt I had been taken for enough money already. In the next couple of years one of the teeth broke and I had to have an extraction (different Dentist and office). Fast forward to recently and I had a large bump of infection on the gum over these teeth, upon further x-ray review my new dentist said there had been evidence of recurrent infection and that from the x-rays it didn’t seem that the root canals were done properly (very thin and short fillings) and said I would need to have them retreated. I went on antibiotics and booked sedation for the 3 retreats. During this procedure my dentist notice a large amount of blood and that the root space was enormous, he tried to dry the area to measure for treatment and I got an air embolism. He stopped treatment and sent me to the hospital as my eye was swollen shut and there was swelling in my cheek and neck. I have been on antibiotics for 4 days now. He says that from the recurrent infection another tooth cannot be treated and must be extracted. I just developed another white lump in my gums and was told it is more infection. I will now be missing 2 of 4 teeth on the upper left side. In my opinion these root canals should not have been done and now I am looking at about $8000 to get a bridge. I would like your opinion of who should pay for this as I don’t believe it is me. How should I proceed?

  15. Hello, I was researching lawsuit against dentist. I came across your article n have a few question.
    Will I have a case against a dentist if he refuses to give me back a refund for a work that I didn’t like?
    I was suppose I get a bridge done but when it was time to put it on I didn’t like how it looks on me so
    I asked him if he can fix the teeth on the bridge. However as I speak to him I realize that he was not going to
    Do the best job so I just want my money back.

  16. In Michigan, there was a milllon dollar vedict in a case where the dentist failed to check for cancer under

    the tongue. The patient was at Stage four.

    Summary judgement was entered against the plaintiff; appealed to the Court of Appeals; and reversed.

    The case went back down to the Circuit Court and went to trial. The fact finder in this case was the


    As far as the standard of care issue: In simple terms: among the community of dentists, using the

    average standard practice by the community, would other dentist also cut that nerve under same or

    similiar conditions?

    There is more going on with this case. It is not so simple as you say.

    The field of dentistry in Michigan needs more regulation as far as public safety.

  17. It seems like you have a lot of experience practicing dentistry–what type of dentistry do you practice,ie, ortho, molar endo, implant surgery etc? I need advice in molar endo retreatment.


  18. Hi, just a few days ago a person I know had gluma desensitizer dropped into his eye as the dentist passed it over his face. Immediately they flushed his eye and he was seen by a physician. What is the standard of care concerning protection of the patient’s eyes during a procedure? This person has developed an eye infection and continues to be treated. I do not know what the long term outcome will be for him. Thanks for your thoughts.

  19. Hi Tom,

    I had a recent root canal done and the dentist left behind broken files down in the root of my tooth. I am interested in your response to this. Is this breach of standard care?

    Thank you

  20. Hello,

    I recently went to the dentist ( a new dentist) because I had a little tenderness around a tooth that had a root canal done and a post put in. She did her exam and stated it needed to be pulled. I go back to get the extraction done, it was absolutly horrible. It took her 45 minutes to get that tooth out, I thought she was going to break my jaw. She gave me two stiches and some pain meds and sent me on my way. This was done on a Thursday, come Monday, I was in alot of pain and that side of my face was very swollen. I went back in and she removed the stiches, packed it and said it was a dry socket, gave me antibiotics and more pain meds. I had to go everday for 6 days to get it packed. The last day was a Saturday, one of the other Drs. were on call, he packed it and said there was some bone showing that may need to be removed, I had asked her about this and she would never give me a straight answer. Come Monday, asked for some more pain meds, they never called them in. I continued on Advil and tuffed it out. I called back to the office about 3 days later, asking to talk with her about the bone and tell her it was beginning to hurt again. No return call to date. I have scheduled myself to see an oral surgeon, hopefully he can fix what ever has been done. Is this normal?

  21. A year ago I needed an apicoectomy and was referred by my dentist to an oral surgeon. Upon viewing the x-ray he said I did indeed need an apicoectomy, however, he wasn’t going to do it. Baffled for a moment, he went on to explain that his associate should do it because it is on the left side of my mouth and his associate is a lefty. Although this sounded odd to me as I have had a root canal, removal of 4 impacted wisdom teeth, among the normal fillings, I figured he was the professional so he must know what he’s talking about. I did, however, ask my dentist at my next visit if it was easier for him to work on the right side of a patient’s mouth because he was a righty and he looked at me like I was crazy and said that it didn’t make a difference. I was inconvenienced by this from the get go, as his associate (whose name wasn’t even on the door or business cards at the time) only worked out one of their two offices. Of course it was the office furthest from my house. Instead of having a 5 minute ride, it was now a 30 minute ride. I signed the waiver. If I didn’t they wouldn’t have performed the procedure. Bottom line, is that I’m left with my lower lip, a couple of teeth, and part of my chin having permanent nerve damage. I had to go back every month for nearly a year (30 minutes out of my way) for him to evaluate the condition of the numbness. 10 months after the surgery he recommends that I go see an oral surgeon who repairs nerve damage. I incurred the cost of that as this doctor wasn’t in my dental plan. He asked when I’d been told to come see him and seem surprised that the oral surgeon (who he knows) didn’t tell me to come in sooner. Apparently, the sooner you are seen, the better your chances to correct the problem are. Gee thanks, a whole year later. He did not recommend the surgery because at this point the best I could hope for would be a 10-15% improvement. Not noticeable enough to make a difference. I am now considering acupuncture. I trip over my words when I speak, my lower lip is always chapped, I bite the inside of my mouth constantly, and it actually hurts to kiss. 🙁 I had not considered filing a suit because I signed the waiver, but others

  22. what if the oral surgeon pulls the wrong tooth? My usual dentist sent me to an oral surgeon to pull a wisdom tooth that he could not get out. He had just built up another tooth for a cap, which I paid for. I then went to my the surgeons office a few days later. I informed the receptionist which tooth was to get pulled, by showing her the referral with the tooth number on it.
    I was then sent into the operating area. I informed the assistant that I would need more xrays done as I just had a tooth built up. I then watched her put the old xray done before the build up was done. She told me that xrays are expensive, and the Dentist could use that old one. I told the Dentist when she came in, what tooth number it was, and that I needed another xray. She insisted on flying blind. She put in the novacaine and left. When she came back, with yet another assistant, she pulled out the built up tooth. It was the wrong one, and all she had to do was take an xray, since she couldn’t tell that the built up tooth WAS built up. IT WAS GRAY! I paid for the service, which was less than quoted when I arrived, and left. I went to get Ice on the corner at a McDonalds drive thru, and looked in the mirror. She had removed the wrong tooth! I immediatly went back and told her so. She said that she could remove the right one then, after she finally looked at my referral that told exactly what tooth she was to pull. I went back to her chair, and she finally pulled the correct one. I filed the suit last summer, and after discovery and review of my dental records, the firm decided to take the case to court, because for some reason, she didn’t want to settle out of court. No one expects a surgeon to pull the wrong thing. Do you think I have an excellent chance of a substantial award for damages? My bottom row looks like a J. Not to mention she admitted that she’s sorry and that if I want implants, I would have to wait at least 4 months, and all I would have to pay would be for the materials. This was not acceptable to me so I’m suing.

  23. Hi… Thank you for your article… I think it will help me with my possible law suit against my dentist…. Now in my situation, I had seen this particular dentist 2wice before… Once for a check up, no the other time for my cavities to be filled… I have the appointment cards if that is suitable evidence to prove I have been under his care……. The third time I seen the dentist it was to have a wisdom tooth removed…… Now with this wisdom tooth it was still under the gum, it hasn’t surfaced yet, on the X-ray u can hardly see the tooth…. The dentist informed me he was goin in blind because the X-ray provided wasn’t sufficient enough to see how deep the root was or to see the position of the tooth..? No he didn’t even offer to tke another X-ray to be sure…he just went in… During the procedure I was feeling pain in my jaw ear nd bottom teeth, I had asked him if it was Normal to feel this pain, and he replied ‘it’s impossible your feeling that pain, because I’m doing my work over here’ (the right lower wisdom tooth)… No it didn’t click to him that he could have been damaging a nerve, I remember quite vividly during the procedure he kept pushing the tooth back, and turning it like how you would turn a screwdriver…. ‘to losen it’ during this screwdriver maneuver I kept feeling sharp pain in my ears nd jaw, I was squirming and kicking in the chair…..At this point he seemed annoyed And asked if I’m feeling pain… I said yes…. And showed him again where it was… So he gave me another injection of the anesthetic …. After an hour and a half of pain and his pushing/ twisting the tooth, he drilled it in deeper to crack it in half, took out the two parts of the tooth….. And stuck his finger in the hole wiggled it around…and began stitching the hole… Regarding the stitches he did a horrible job it’s been two weeks and the stitches meltd and I still have a hole in my mouth… The stitches were sticking out and interfered with my eating because the old got caught in them……. After the procedure, he gave me a card for a dental surgeon to extract my other tooth he said he didnt have the proper equiptment to extract the first tooth, and because the left side pushed through the gum he couldnt do the scond tooth….. Weird, if he didnt have the proper equiptment to extract the first tooth, shy risk it, especially when the xray wasnt clear? After the procedure he gave me a prescription for pain medication, and antibiotics… He didn’t tell me to rinse my mouth with salt and water, he didn’t tell me not to eat solid foods, he told me to take the medication and that’s it….. He didn’t make a follow up appointment…. He also refused to give me my tooth…. Two days after the procedure I called and asked him if it was normal for my face to be numb, he said yes, the next day I asked again and he said yes… A week and a half later I called asking again If it was normal… Then he scheduled an appointment with his associate… However I didn’t go to follow up with him, I went to another dentist who referred me to a nerve damage specialist, and I went to the emergency dental hospital the following day, where the 2nd dentist confirmed nerve damage, and referred me to the Same nerve damage specialist…. Now I’m waiting to see the s
    Racialist, my right side of my lip and chin, inside of my cheeks, and lower right guy a are still numb,

  24. Hi… Thank you for your article… I think it will help me with my possible law suit against my dentist…. Now in my situation, I had seen this particular dentist 2wice before… Once for a check up, no the other time for my cavities to be filled… I have the appointment cards if that is suitable evidence to prove I have been under his care……. The third time I seen the dentist it was to have a wisdom tooth removed…… Now with this wisdom tooth it was still under the gum, it hasn’t surfaced yet, on the X-ray u can hardly see the tooth…. The dentist informed me he was goin in blind because the X-ray provided wasn’t sufficient enough to see how deep the root was or to see the position of the tooth..? No he didn’t even offer to tke another X-ray to be sure…he just went in… During the procedure I was feeling pain in my jaw ear nd bottom teeth, I had asked him if it was Normal to feel this pain, and he replied ‘it’s impossible your feeling that pain, because I’m doing my work over here’ (the right lower wisdom tooth)… No it didn’t click to him that he could have been damaging a nerve, I remember quite vividly during the procedure he kept pushing the tooth back, and turning it like how you would turn a screwdriver…. ‘to losen it’ during this screwdriver maneuver I kept feeling sharp pain in my ears nd jaw, I was squirming and kicking in the chair…..At this point he seemed annoyed And asked if I’m feeling pain… I said yes…. And showed him again where it was… So he gave me another injection of the anesthetic …. After an hour and a half of pain and his pushing/ twisting the tooth, he drilled it in deeper to crack it in half, took out the two parts of the tooth….. And stuck his finger in the hole wiggled it around…and began stitching the hole… Regarding the stitches he did a horrible job it’s been two weeks and the stitches meltd and I still have a hole in my mouth… The stitches were sticking out and interfered with my eating because the old got caught in them……. After the procedure, he gave me a card for a dental surgeon to extract my other tooth he said he didnt have the proper equiptment to extract the first tooth, and because the left side pushed through the gum he couldnt do the scond tooth….. Weird, if he didnt have the proper equiptment to extract the first tooth, shy risk it, especially when the xray wasnt clear? After the procedure he gave me a prescription for pain medication, and antibiotics… He didn’t tell me to rinse my mouth with salt and water, he didn’t tell me not to eat solid foods, he told me to take the medication and that’s it….. He didn’t make a follow up appointment…. He also refused to give me my tooth…. Two days after the procedure I called and asked him if it was normal for my face to be numb, he said yes, the next day I asked again and he said yes… A week and a half later I called asking again If it was normal… Then he scheduled an appointment with his associate… However I didn’t go to follow up with him, I went to another dentist who referred me to a nerve damage specialist, and I went to the emergency dental hospital the following day, where the 2nd dentist confirmed nerve damage, and referred me to the Same nerve damage specialist…. Now I’m waiting to see the specialist, my right side of my lip and chin, inside of my cheeks, and lower right guy a are still numb, and my ear throbs with pain almost constantly… My lip and chin have a constant burning sensation, but I can’t feel touch on them… There is the occasional twitch, but nothing more, constant burning, ringing in the ear almost constantly, numb on touch, pain in the ear…. So inmy case what would I do if I wanted to pursue this possible malpractice case???

  25. My dentist yanked out 8 teeth when I was young without telling my mum
    and my mum was left waiting for me outside, when she came back, she
    checked and started complaining to the dentist that why have you
    removed his permanent tooth?

    I only suspected now that I’m in distress as a result of traumatic
    experience dental nerve being damaged. I had no such condition before
    treatment. What can I do?

  26. Great advice. One question if a dentist were to remove a wisdom tooth with an abcese did not prescribe antibiotics to the patient before the extractio and the patient got an infection. Would that be means for a law suit. Is it normal for a piece of tooth to still be in the spot of the extracted tooth?

  27. My name is lei and all i have to say is i dont think i ever wondered around a website reading posts so much. Your website is great i think i missed half my regular shows, forgot to eat, and held my pee just to read more. I recently have had and still am going through a situation with a dentist. First i called the 1800 # for a dentist emergency. (eatting chips an old filling came out and cracked my tooth the minute i got food inside i felt i was sent to hell and my face was on fire) they gave me 3 that were still open. the first place i went to people were nice, did xrays and pretty much looked at me like where the heck do we start, lol, but after i tell them this tooth right now is hurting the worse, they insisted it was pain from another tooth and that i was to sensitive to be touched but if i come in tomorrow a specialist will be there to fix me all up… im like hello i dont want to leave the same way i came im still hurting and ur listed under er dentist to help me, so they told me to go to the ER and theyll help with pain til tomorrow, i walk out while they are talking and we try the next place but its very far away and we just wasted 2.5 hours, but my boyfriend got me there, since i just came rom a place i brought the info with me, This place also super nice people, didnt even charge me for xrays cause of what i just went through, they understood even x-rays can be painful, i was a bit shaken by the price to do1 tooth root canal $2800.00 but i was in alot of pain and just wanted it to stop. So the dentist got started, after numbing the area 4times and waited and kept coming back tapping on tooth, sliding over gum area and yes i still felt it all, got numb some more and then drilling started, Omg i was already shaky and nervous and then a piercing sharp pain, forget hell i just fell in a ditch filled with broken glass, to my brain, so the dentist decided to have me wait a few days when the specialist comes in, but gave me something for pain so i could sleep. when i went back i was a bit more nervous after feeling that pain, but i was immediately put down for being late even tho i called and said i fell leaving to come to appointment (ive got a torn meniscus in left knee, left foot fracture, only got 40% of a disk in lower back after surgery, then october 15 2012 i was in a head on collision going 60mph ) basically im disabled, which they noticed and asked what happened, anyway i couldnt move for a bit and got into some traffic which is bound to happen every day somewhere on an hour drive. Anyway got in the chair got some local anesthesia and the drilling begins, OMG NO WAY yes again, and again, finally this dentist gave up put some sort of medicine in there and told me to let that run its course and come back in another week, this time sending me home drilled up sore and nothing for pain so i can at least sleep at night, but nooooo they did on my first visit and arent allowed to write me another one, so every appointment after that, since no sleep was killing me, i was late and told not to come in and sometimes told to come, but then the dr wouldnt work on my mouth to show me being late has consequences. but never said i have to pay for being late. i mean come on, almost 3 grand and getting treated as if im doing it on purpose, i explained to them hey all night my mouth was pounding, i gotta get up when finally able to sleep, im injured ( i cant express that enough) it takes a huge chunk out of you, and the last thing i want to hear is nagging in my ear. So another specialist dentist came to review mouth rub fingers around poking tapping all my teeth, made me feel like my whole mouth needed to be worked on and inserted what i thought was same as the dentist b4 put in, but he explained its not, put it in and said ok make another appointment…. i cut him off with tears and looked to my boyfriend like, really? are they serious? THATS LIKE GOING TO FAST FOOD AND WAITING 2 HOURS for a 1 minute sandwhich. so he went and talked to some of them and they gave him a print out of the cost of work done so far, and the amount of unfinished work. so we left and called over and over leaving messages, getting told someone in that department would contact me. No 1 called, so this time, faxing letters along with the print-out they gave, signed and asked to please call me or luo whom i put in charge of handling this matter after the car accident i was in so much pain, glass on parts of my body i didnt no glass could go, so after giving him the run-around really offending him saying the same thing reeeeeeeaaaaaallllll sllllllooooooowwwww like that helps, he has strong Chinese accent so i guess the lady thought he didnt understand, once she started yelling he handed me the phone. As soon as i get on the phone she is hostile, telling me to tell my boyfriend he doesnt understand after 25 minutes of repeating myself, i said sweety im pretty frustrated with this situation myself we all just want this matter over. She started yelling again i could even talk, you missed appointments, you were late, this is your fault not ours, talk to your boyfriend he can tell you what i said, tried saying nooooo im on the phone you can discuss with me, she yelled we dont give refunds your not getting nothing back thats it and hung up on me. i had to take a pause…………….asked myself did this lady really hang up on my face, lol hold up, so i called back, the receptionist said she wont talk anymore, i said ok im on my way, she says no one will be here, i said yes someone will be there you guys close at 9pm for er patients and i said bye. then they call 5 seconds later, and said ms Jones she wanted me to let you no if i want to talk to anyone call their attorney shes done. i said ok sorry she put you in the middle of all this i will not talk to no attorney, my tooth wasnt finished i feel both parties are at fault, although im up 24hours just to make it on time, drive hours, and get sent home, it was all my money, it was my feelings that got hurt making me feel like nothing cause im disabled, making my boyfriend pissed cause hes from china and dont understand people sometimes, my car broke down almost every time i drove there, wasted gas and time and went home so sore, crying all night, but thats fine ill take some loss but i dont want to take all the loss. Is there anything i can do? is there a law to help me with this matter? i really need to fiinish my tooth, i cant have that team of dentist attempt to finish, try to finish, nothing, i got nerves touched that i never want to feel again. its why i went to the first place, they offer a sedation for my situation, id sleep through it all, but the 2nd dentist threw the pamphlet in the garbage, said i dont need all that, just a man with a slow hand… just kidding, but really said i dont need all that just a good dentist that knows what he or she is doing and very gentle care. So, does anyone out there no if by some law they have to give money back for work they didnt do??? i paid almost 3 thousand dollars, the remaining work comes out to $1,200.00 so they still keep what a root canal normally cost at an up scale place, and they arent in that category, the way i was treated like a child late for class made me realize this place just has really bad manners, no respect, only loved me til i paid and they got the money, then the attitude towards me came so fast they could care less if i got my tooth finished or not and definitely wont refund anything. so it took a month for them to say that? Told my boyfriend i was a no show 5times (lie) and its $250 every time???? Where did that pop out from? Anyway now that i just relived the dentist experience im a bit sad. hope to hear from someone soon, thank you for having this site.

    • Hi Lady. Woow. I know that was a very traumatic experience for you. I didn’t know so much of this kind of stuff goes on with Dentist. I know that I have had my share of negative experiences with the medical field, but wow! I had no idea so many other people were having similar experiences happen to them as well. I wish I knew a way to make things better for all of us but I don’t. We should form some kind of support group for people who have had these horrible experiences. I know that after having had some terrible things happen to my family and now my youngest child, I have to say that I am more afraid than anything! I use to have no doubt that I would be taken care of when I went to a Dr, but now I’m just afraid. I know that Dr’s don’t have all the answers ,they are just human beings too, but somewhere along the line it almost seems as though they are forgetting that human side! Forgetting what that feels like! Forgetting to treat the patient how they would want to be treated. This has got to stop somehow. I see why a lot of people are turning to alternative medicine and trying to treat themselves. There is a big lack of trust here between the patient and the care giver, and the gap is getting bigger every day. We need more Drs. Like TOM who can help restore people’s faith again. Thanks Tom again for writing this blog. i hope that all is well with each and everyone of you that posted on this site.

      • Thanks for the kind words, Alberta. It is important to find health professionals that you feel comfortable with – I know it can be hard when you have to find one based on a specific insurance, but all health providers have an obligation to treat their patients to the best of their ability, keeping in mind that we’re human and everyone makes mistakes.

        • Hi tom,
          I recently got 6 veneers and a 3 tooth bridge. My dentist is in Kansas and I’m in colorado, when I had the work done in two days my dentist was very rude, he said I needed to put my big girl panties on when I complained about the pain, he also did a root canal, I also told him 2 of my veneers felt lose he replied pigs would out of ass if they were loose. It’s been a year and I’ve had to have 2 teeth re cemented 8 times at 70$ a visit. My dentist is willing to redo the 2 teeth if I flew out to Kansas. This is not an option, I can’t take off work or afford plane ticket, hotel and rental car. I’ve asked him if something can be worked out with my dentist in colorado and he refuses to return my calls. Can I sue him? Thank you in advance

  28. I recently had all four wisdlm teeth removed 8 days ago by my oral surgeon that i was referred to by my primary dentist. I was put under general anethesia and woke up with the normal pains i guess. I awoken with major numbness of my entire jaw and mouth, extremely drowsy and feeling rather weak. I was put in the recovery room for an hour until i fuuly awoken then i was sent home with no instructions except “don’t remove the gauze until an hour”. And that was told to me by some lady in the back who im still not sure what her position was b/c she didnt have a uniform. I believe she was an assistant or something. But anyway, i went home and was ooozing blood like a fountain from my mouth for couple hrs. After few hours the numbness wore off and pain kicked in.
    It was the normal pain at first, so i took the pain meds that were prescribed. But after waking up the next morning i realized something was wrong b/c the left side of my face was still swollen and tender but the right side was extremely swollen and severely painful. I had to reread the post op paper i was sent home with being i was given no instructions on pain. The paper described a dry socket, but said not til the 3rd day. So i took pain meds and tried to brush it off. But each hour the left side got better but the right side just got more severe to the point it brought me to my knees in pain. I knew something was wrong. So i called oncall doc that night and was told to come in next day even tho she didnt think it was dry socket b/c it was only 2nd day.
    So next day i went in to office she determined it was dry socket. So i had cloves placed in and sent home. That night i was in severe pain again but even worse to the point where i started to feel dizzy and super fatigued and sharp stinging pains ghroughout my sinuses and occipatal bone. I called oncall doc again that night they explained your in the peak of your surgery thats why. So i took hydrocone but 15 minutes later the pain came back. So i went back next day and the surgeon who performed my extractions put another clove in. I explained to him that i felt something more was wrong than just dry socket. He did nothing but suggest a sinus infection and prescribed more hydrocodone and stronger antibiotics.
    By the 4th night after surgery, the left side of my face was completly healed, but i was on my knees crying from the right. It was still completly swollen and i couldnt open my jaw on the right side at all to brush or chew. So i scheduled an appt with primary doc next day. I was also supposed to go back next day to surgeons office to have clove removed. I went to scheduled appt w/primary doc first. I explained to her i was feeling extremly weak and could barely open my eyes due to severe pain in sinuses. But 5 minutes into visit i developed sharp pains in my head neck and throat i couldnt even stand up straight. The office wouldnt let me drive home and sent me to ER downstairs immediately. Long story short, they performed a CT on my head and ran blood work. The ER doc walked in 2hrs later and asked “when did you have your wisdom removed. I asked why. The ER doctor told me the surgeon broke my maxillary facial bone while removing my lower right wisdom tooth. He said thats why i have been experiencing all of this severe pain in my sinuses and right side of my face,jaw,neck,head,mouth. He referred me to plastic surgeon to be seen the very next day. He offered to give me morphine thru my IV but i dont like that stuff. He put me on a new stronger antibiotic (3rd one since surgery) RX mouthwash and pain meds. So an infection wouldnt spread to my face. He also called my oral surgeon that night and left message.
    The next day i saw plastic surgeon and he told me it was definitely broken and said my sinuses were inflammed and there was blood buildup in my right sinuses due to broken bone. He said i would be experiencing this pain for next couple months and it will take awhile to heal. 3 days later and still no call from my oral surgeon. I go to see another oral surgeon tomorrow to get second opinion as to could this have been prevented. Can i sue and do i have a case? Any opinions would help. Thank you

    • Sinus infection is something that can happen during surgery, along with a broken jaw bone, or maxillary facial bone. The consent form explains this and since I am sure you signed it there is most likely no case. I am sorry to hear that there was no contact from the office or the doctor. I am sure he is a good person and would like to help in anyway he can. It is painful to feel like you are getting the run around. Hope you heal and feel better.

  29. Is it possible to show negligence if a Dentist is overbooked and working on too may patients at one time? I know a Dentist who triple books his schedule and right now has 2 pending lawsuits. I feel the reason why, is because he is not properly caring for each patient and juggling from room to room. Can this be proven by his schedule?

  30. My father had his dentist with steel pin simply cleaning his back tooth. He made a mistake and the pin went to the back of the side of the tongue. He screamed and the dentist said “Sorry…” Dad should have tested it earlier when he was not telling the family about this. Drinking more alcohol for pain. Finally went to his (old man) main doctor who said “Hmmm, dunno, about to retire so go to this other doctor.” The new one found that it looked really awful. Another oral real doctor found out after test ASAP “Yes, tongue cancer.” 16-hour oral surgery. 1/3 of tongue off. Never could eat again of course. 2-3 times at home pints of blood from his mouth. Another surgery. Still cancer. Only a year – but probably a year OK because of horrendous pain – he passed. Passed simply at peace thankfully. I’m glad my stepmother has not told me the dentist who he was. I would call and scream him. I’m not a lawsuit guy just my sweet father, and I know stuff like this happens. But I don’t think I’ll ever go to a dentist again. I’ll clean on my own. No metal stuff in my mouth from an outside human.

    I’m crying again right now.

  31. I have a question regarding extraction of first/second molars. Ex: A patient of five years needs a second molar extracted. Doctor and patient agree extracting the tooth is the best option. Once the patient is numb, the doctor begins to extract the tooth and after all is said and done, he spent nearly 2 hrs using extreme force. The patient asked him to stop after approx. 30 minutes, but he doesn’t and once the numbing has worn off, the dentist administers more and resumes force. Patient asked dr. to stop, told dr. the jaw pain was horrible, asked to be sent to Oral Surgeon. Each time he assure the patient it would only be a few more minutes. No sutures were used although the chart says otherwise. Dry socket occurs and patient rcvs treatment from dentist. Patient told dentist they think their jaw is broken. Dr. laughs. Pain management treatment began via primary psychian. Several months after no relief, pt sees oral surgeon and the MRI reveals complete destruction of soft tissue in jaw and damage to other side as well. Pt. has open surgery to reconstruct jaw. This is all fairly cut and dry; however, the question is at what point should the dentist have stopped and sent the pt. to an oral surgeon?
    Thank you for the helpful information via your site. It’s difficult to find an honest professional these days.

    • Hi Sally – Most guidelines state that a dentist should refer to a specialist unless they are able to match the quality of care that would be delivered by the specialist. If you feel that it is highly likely that the oral surgeon would have done a much better job with the extraction, then it probably is more cut and dry. If a patient asked me to stop and refer them to the oral surgeon, I would have done so. The point at which a dentist stops during an extraction would depend on their skill level and how confident they are that they can remove the tooth without major trauma.

  32. Tom, thank you for replying. Yes, I asked him to stop. Unfortunately he did not. I’m currently in “talks” with his malpractice carrier. I don’t want to become rich as a result of his poor decision making nor is it my desire to harm his practice. He is a good man, not always a good dentist. Indeed he tried to perform something beyond his level of skill in my case and I suffered great trauma, I do believe in a fair compensation. I am not reporting him to the board by choice. I think this would be a spiteful thing for me to do if he is willing to work with me. I also think this is a learning opportunity for him in regard to listening to patients, accepting the fact he might need to refer, etc. Tom, would you use force for nearly 2 hours with only local?
    Also, is there any affordable means by which to get an expert opinion. I already have one; however, that was available to me on the condition I use the attorney who paid for the opinion. In my heart I could not use any attorney because the amount they were seeking was astronomical. Which leaves me in the positon of providing a written expert opinion for the carrier. Are you aware of any program or dentist who provides low cost written opinions? The carrier isn’t asking for medical records, only dental and wants the opinion based on dental records, the injury, the required surgery, etc. I truly believe the dentist and even the carrier are willing to offer compensation. They require the opinion and this is the only hold up for me. Like most, I do not have the means by which to pay $2,000 for this. It would be wonderful if each dentist with high ethics would write one free opinion per year providing a data bank for patients to turn. That would be advantagious for the dentist as well as patients.
    You are providing a forum most in your position would not even consider. You are to commended.

  33. I am writing for advice on what I should do I am currently seeing a general dentist which I got some smart information to late I am being treated for orthro and its been a year have have been concerned about some issues be when I ask about them I told don’t worry well I went and got a sec opinion and as I suspected there is a problem due to having four teeth extracted and the dentist not closing those spaces soon after the extractions the bone has started to deteriorated where they were pulled and the person I received my second opinion from said that the braces will most porbably close so now I will have to have implants Put in those places and have gum grafting done what do I do

  34. I went to have an old root canal tooth extracted. My oral surgeon cut my tongue, I have stitches and my tongue is swollen and hurts terribly. He said that the tongue retractor did this, I wasn’t breathing and they pulled my tongue so I can breathe and now I have a laceration. He stitched up my tongue. What are you thoughts to this matter, I know many people who have had a tooth extracted and never there tongue cut. He said it was a simple procedure and doesn’t know why I’m in such pain.

    • I think you answered your question in your statement, you were not breathing. He did this to help you breath. He helped you and the side effect is a sore tongue for a few weeks. We were not there and don’t know what and how it happened but it sounds like you were in the care of a good doctor who knew what to do when a patient is having trouble or stops breathing. The other alternatives to not pulling your tongue wold be death, brain dead, or other problems associated with not breathing. May be a thank you would be in order.

  35. My friend had a simple procedure filling a tooth, when the dentist completed she told her you may experience some pain for a couple of days because you bit your buccal area, 3 days later her face started to,swell and she was in intense pain. Since it was a Saturday the office was closed when she called. She went to the ER where they did a ct scan and seen a foreign object in her buccal area 2 days later she went to the or for removal of the object and the ENT surgeons could not remove the object than because of the infection and in fear of permantly damaging the facial nerve, the infection was drained 14 mm of fluid, they took her back to surgery 3 days later to remove the object and the object was a piece of the dental instrument. Was n the hospital for over 1 week. The ENT surgeons did take photos of the instrument and they documented their findings in her medical charts. The instrument was wedged in a muscle in her buccal area, I don’t know but I wonder if it was the dentist that cut the buccal area and that’s how the piece wedged in? I do know that the Ent surgeons never seen a case like this before

  36. Tom, I recently found your blog. I am disappointed to see that you are actually a dentist. I read a few of the comments and advice you have given , especially while in dental school, and am stunned at the mis information. May be you were not informed to never talk bad about another dentist because you don’t know under what circumstances something happened. There are always two sides to a story and in most cases what the patient thinks happened is not what actually happened. There are side effects and risks to procedures performed, things happen out of the doctors controll, these are called risks. That is why there are consent forms, to inform the patient of what could happen. I think you will re-read the advice given and realize some of it was poor and incorrect and you will regret it. it can never be taken back. That advice is not helping anyone. Most dentist are trying to help people, better smiles, alleviate pain, prevent pain, they are not trying to hurt anyone. One day you might find yourself in a lawsuit because a dental student thinking he knows everything gave misinformation, assumed, and poor advice to a patient now trying to get money out of you. It will then cost thousands to defent yourself over misinformation and a lawsuit that will be eventually dismissed because the standard of care was followed. This is not meant to be rude or in anyway mean. I hope you well in your dental career.

    • Hi Nate – I tried to sympathize with those who had unfortunate events happen to them. I agree that there are always two sides to every story and patients only share their side on this forum.

      I am only trying to help – if you can point out misinformation that I have given, I would really appreciate it and will gladly correct it.

      Thanks for your comment – comments like these ultimately help me to provide people with a better, more accurate article. Have a great day, Nate!

    • Hi Tom,
      I am a dentist practising in Australia.
      I agree 100% with Nate above. As much as this blog is good for patients to discuss their issues, it is difficult to determine over the internet what actually happened in their situation. Every procedure has risks and complications. There are patients on here complaining about a rough filling and it seems a bit much to sue your dentist because your filling is a bit rough..! All dentists, doctors and other health professionals are not out to get patients. They are all working together to try to improve the patient’s well being.
      Since you asked Nate to be more specific – I understand this is old, but About your response to John in 2010 – “I’d probably be with those 99 dentists that wouldn’t have attempted the extraction. It’s not fair to the patient if I don’t have the experience to perform a quality extraction and decide to try it anyways. Believe me, I’ve tried extracting some wisdom teeth here at dental school and I’ve decided that I’ll probably be referring out those extractions to a specialist”.
      There are times when I have started a extraction, have had the tooth fracture on me halfway during the procedure and I have then referred the patient to an oral surgeon to assess whether the root fragment needs to be removed. It is sometimes difficult to ascertain from a pre-operative xray the nature of the tooth/its attachment to bone.
      Another example is starting endodontic treatment on perhaps a 47 and discovering difficulty instrumenting one of the canals to the ideal length for whatever the reason, then at this point you decide to refer the patient to a specialist –> From the pre-op PA you might not have been able to determine that this was out of your expertise.
      A good general practitioner will determine when to refer, and use their specialist colleagues to their advantage. Referral of patients is not incompetence. Also if a general dentist starts a procedure and decides to STOP as in John’s case, and there is no harm done (like his second dentist said!), that is good practice, as he has recognized his limitations and decided to stop.
      We had an very interesting lecture from an oral surgeon when I was at Uni; she stated: “There are 3 types of dentists. Those that have been sued, that are being sued and those that are waiting to be sued”.
      We all practice with caution, care and try our best to communicate well with our patients. The problem with dentistry is that patients already hate the dentist even before they come into the surgery, are anxious and have most likely waited for their problem to become worse therefore now they are in pain and expect pain to be resolved on their first appointment (“I need a fix”), and lastly, dentistry is expensive – they already hate the dentist for the bill. Sometimes patients do not realize that when they file a complaint to the Dental Board, the Board carries out a formal investigation (at least they do here in Australia), and most times even if you as the dentist know you are in the right, it is very unsettling to have them sending you letters about their “investigation of your performance”.
      If someday in your career, a patient is sitting on the fence deciding whether to sue you or not or call the Dental Board etc, and they go online and read some random blog then get pushed to sue, it will cause you a lot of distress (even if you win!) as no one likes being investigated.
      As dentists, regardless of the States/Aus/the UK, wherever in the world, lets try to have the back of our colleagues and give them the benefit of the doubt.
      I am not trying to be rude in any way, and I apologize if I have come across that way. All the best with your future endeavours.

      • This is the problem with dental “professionals”…..even in schools they are taught not to listen to their patients, that their patients are essentially just looking to sue them.The public are well aware of the “we stick together” mentally of dentists which makes them harder to trust. History tells us true horror stories about dentists-that continue today..(you wont find a person in any other profession that works as hard at defending others in their field to their patients, even if its clear that the patient has been wronged…this type of extreme defence of their colleagues makes the patient feel unheard and once again trust is lost) Having dental treatment is uncomfortable, can be painful an IS unnecessarily expensive and when a person outlays a substantial amount of money for something they expect top results and if expectations are not met that is when problems arise. (I have worked in a dental surgery for many years, so please don’t try to tell me that the costs are justified) Nobody wants to get injured or end up with nerve damage after seeing a dentist or oral surgeon. Quite often the way in which the dentist or oral surgeon deals with a patient who has suffered injury will determine whether or not a patient will seek compensation for damages. Many problems that I have seen in my time would not have occurred if more time was taken with the patient, talking about possible risks etc. (instead of trying to maximise profit for the day by seeing far too many patients) Nobody is saying that if you start endo and you don’t feel comfortable finishing it or the file breaks and you cant retrieve and need to refer to specialist that you shouldn’t…..What the public wants, is to be informed that this type of thing can happen. Not everyone has been to dental school, most people will not even understand a procedure when you explain it to them, but taking the time with them to discuss a procedure that you are about to perform in a human to human type manner can make a huge difference. Nobody is going to file a complaint to the dental board if they have been treated with respect and care. Nate your dismissive response to the person’s post regarding their broken maxillary is exactly why people sue dentists….

        • Great response. Absolutely right.
          While some dentists do the right thing and are truly excellent at their job, others are fit only for ditch digging and even then couldn’t be trusted to do a proper job!

          This goes for all professions by the way – not everyone belongs in a profession just because they chose it – some people are truly awful at their chosen profession and need to recognise it. Harming people is a lousy way to “earn” a living.

      • Hey there, John, how about you have the back of your clients, who are the ones paying you for treatment and to look after their teeth?

        Some dentists are excellent. Some are simply incompetent morons who should not be practicing, who do not communicate with their clients and who, when clients tell them not to do something, or they are in pain etc ignore the clients and do what they want to do, with horrible results for the client.

        There is one priority for a dentist – duty of care for the client they are servicing, who pays heavily for the service.
        Your priority as a practicing businessperson is NOT other dentists, it is the person buying your services.
        Bad dentists are the ones who ruin it for the public and increase fear of dentists, because of the awful experiences and treatments they have inflicted on people who are trying to look after their teeth.They make you look bad, not clients who are trying to fix their teeth via dental professionals.
        Don’t make excuses for bad dentists – no one is out to get you and your answer up there makes you look very bad, untrustworthy and unworthy of consultation.

        Did you notice I don’t use the word “patient”?
        I’m a client, and I’m a very tolerant person. Too tolerant – I have had appalling service by a couple of dentists, have been left with lifelong consequences and I, and potential clients, owe such incompetent practitioners NOTHING.

        • JJ and Sotrue, absolutely right! Teeth have been the poor relations in the health world for years. Apart of course for needing a fat wallet to pay for them. There are some excellent dentists and there are others who think that teeth are “only” teeth after all and that an error in treatment or in judgement is a trivial matter. There should be no excuse for incompetenece. The first thing a dentist should do is prove he knows any risks involved by explaining those risks to the patient /client. If he feels unsure of a procedure he should refer the patient to a specialist. There is no shame in admitting that his /her competence does not cover everything. Mistakes in the mouth are not trivial, they can affect a person’s physical and mental health in so many ways, including quality of life, nutrition, social interaction and appearance. Patients who suffer from bad dentistry should have protection, just as in other fields of medicine. It is unethical for dentists to protect one anothers’ backs in the event of dubious practice and incompetence.

  37. Hi Tom. Im so glad you wrote this article. It lets us know that even though bad things happen, there is still kindness in the world. On March 2, 2013 I took my 12 yr. old to his orthodontist appointment. I thought that it would be the routine changing of the brackets and wire. I had let the staff know early on that if they were doing something different than usual to let me know. Well… they didnt! There was a different orthodontist there that I had never laid eyes on before. He started taking a bonded retainer out of my sons mouth using a high-powered drill. Well, my son has never had a drill in his mouth before and the orthodontist didn’t let me or my son know what he was about to do. Had I known I could have calmed my son and told him not to be afraid of the noise or flying sparks and that it would be ok,but i didn’t know and neither did my son. So when the Dr got close to my sons gums with the drill it scared him making him jump and the orthodontist punctured a hole under the tongue area of my son’s mouth.After all this they still did not come and get me to let me know what had happened. My son was crying and he tried to get up but they were trying to physically hold him down until the assistant saw the hole and said oh no let him up! They still did not come get me. The Dr and other staff was still trying to get him to sit back down so that he could finish drilling. When my son refused to get back in the chair and told the staff, dont touch me is when they came and got me. My son was hysterical and his mouth was bleeding. I asked the Dr. what did he do to my child. He told me to calm down and that it wasn’t that serious. My son was throwing up in the sink and I gave him a cup to rinse his mouth so I could see in it. He had about a 1/2 inch hole under his tongue. I was furious. the staff told me to calm down trying to hold my shoulders and trying to hold my son. I told them not to touch us and that I was not going to let that Dr. touch my son again.The Dr. was trying to remove my sons bonded retainer from his bottom teeth when all this happened.They should have told me what they were going to do. I am so angry right now!!!! I heard one of the assistants say that she didn’t know why he was using a drill down there in the first place. Well that same assistant was the only person he would let touch him and she removed the metal part of the retainer that still remained around his tooth with an instrument that looked like a pair of wire cutters. Now my son is afraid of the dentist and he didn’t use to have this fear. He use to love to go there. He would rather go to the dentist than his regular pediatrician, but not anymore. I’m a single mom and I’m so frustrated with this place. I dont know what to do next or where to take him. Only certain places will take our insurance (medicaid) that is how we ended up at this particular office in the first place. I don’t want my son to be afraid to be treated. The orthodontist didn’t get a chance to change my sons brackets or anything because my son and I were both too upset for that. If anyone has any advice for me, please help!

    • Hi Alberta – I am sorry that this happened to your son – it does sound like a traumatic experience. It is unfortunate that you weren’t informed as to what they were going to do. Has the orthodontist followed up wtih you to make sure that your son is doing ok?

      • No Tom. I havn’t heard from the orthodontist himself, but the practice administrator called me and I wish she hadn’t because she made me feel even worse. When she called she said I’m calling to see how your son is doing. I told her that he was traumatized and her response was, ” Aaaah yeah and how’s his mouth.” I told her that it had still not healed. I also asked her why wasn’t I told of the treatment change and that no one had told me anything was wrong with my son’s retainer.She didn’t answer me. I asked her if I could speak to the assistant that was there the day of the incident. She started getting smart and said, “That’s my assistant, what do you want to ask her?” I said, ” I want to ask her what happened.” Then she said,”what’s the difference between talking to the assistant and talking to me?” I told her that the difference was that the assistant was there when it happened and that she was not. Guess what the practice administrator did next?…….. She started laughing at me! At first I thought I was hearing things, but my daughter who was sitting close beside me could hear her too. I could not believe it.! I was feeling angry, and just mentally drained after that. I can’t even tell you how bad that made me feel! All I could do at the time was pace the floor and cry. I just kept saying to myself, “Oh my God!” I have been calling around trying to see if I can get another orthodontist who will accept transfers for the kind of insurance that I have because I do not want my son to have to go back there ever!

  38. Hi Tom. My names Sam from Manchester, UK.
    I had my upper left wisdom tooth removed last week (thursday 28/02/2013). When he removed the tooth there was a large piece of bone that came out with it, the dentist didnt seem suprised by this. When i told him i heard the a terrible cracking sound he then informed me that was probably due to the large amount of bone that came out with it. Since then i have been in constant pain even though i have been taking Paracetamol and Ibuprofen and was even prescribed anti biotics 2 days ago!
    I had quite severe swelling which now seems to have gone down slightly although i can still feel a very hard round lump..?
    I cant open my mouth wider than my little finger so can only eat soft foods i.e soups, scrambled eggs etc.

    I just wanted to know is this normal? Im reading alot of people saying they have experienced Trismus after this surgery but i dont recall being informed this may happen?
    Is this a form of dental negligence?

    I was already scared of the dentist but this has made my fear so much greater, im due back tomorrow but dont have a clue what he will suggest because my mouth just wont open

    If you can get back to me with any advice that would be extremely helpful.
    Thank you Sam

    • Im so sorry to here that this happened to you Sam and I hope that someone on this forum can help you with this situation. I will be praying for you.

    • Hi Sam – There are a lot of complications that can occur when getting your wisdom teeth removed. Most offices have you sign a consent form that goes over all of the complications. Trismus is one of the more common complications, as is bone getting removed from your jaw. As far as the trismus goes, it is not negligence, it is a common complication.

      It should resolve within a couple of weeks. Your oral surgeon might recommend applying moist heat and doing saltwater rinses to keep the area clean until you are able to open adequately to maintain proper oral hygiene. I hope that helps – know that wisdom teeth are some of the most invasive procedures we do, and you made it through that – I hope that your fear has gone down now after your follow-up visit and things get better from this point!

      • Hi Tom. Thats the thing I cant remeber signing any kind of consent or anything. With all the trauma etc ive been through i cant remember if i did or i didnt, but im pretty sure i didnt:-\

    • Hi Sam,
      Sorry to hear about your distress, and considering it is November hope that everything is okay now. Upper wisdom teeth are meant to be relatively easy extractions as there is no tooth behind it and most dentists believe they can be pushed out of their socket. Unfortunately in some cases, the tooth does not budge, and we find that it is firmly attached (or ankylosed) to the alveolar bone. You have stated that that some alveolar bone was removed during your wisdom tooth removal. This isn’t rare.
      When this happens it is usually standard to prescribe antibiotics and tell the patient to try to avoid blowing their nose etc – to try to prevent a sinus communication.
      You may have had limited mouth opening due to trismus, and also because of your complex extraction.
      Unfortunately this is one of the risks associated with an extraction and I do not believe the dentist was being negligent.

  39. Hi Tom, THANK YOU so much for your article. I found some comfort in it after my horrible experience. Please help me. I believe my dentist is being unethical. I had tooth #5 treated and a filling was placed. I complained to the dentist that the pain in my gum persisted and that the filling did not help. He then saw on the exray that “contact” between the teeth was not made. So now there is an open margin where food continues to get trapped in still causing the irritation and pain in the gum. Now, he has to re-treat it again because of his poor work, but because now he has to fill the tooth again, he claims that he has to remove more tooth and this tooth, as a result, will need a crown. OK, wait, so now I it went from a simple filling to needing a crown, and this is because as a result of his bad work. To add insult to injury, he states that I have to PAY for the crown on top of it. I wouldn’t even need the crown had he done the first procedure correctly. Needless to say, I am going to go the legal route. My pain continues, I am now needing to subject myself to more pain of procedures, time lost and basically losing my tooth. Can you please tell me how to find justice in the matter. I live in florida. Thank you so much for you empathy and help with this. Rachel

    • Hi Rachel – If there was an open contact, it should be able to be closed by adding some more filing material in (assuming you had a tooth-colored filing, and not a silver filling).

      It can be a gray area as to when a tooth needs a crown vs. when a large filling is acceptable. Your best bet might be to get a second opinion at another dental office. If you call the office and explain your situation, some offices may give a discounted or even free second opinion. Good luck, Rachel!

  40. How do I prove #2. Wisdom teeth removed on Friday. Called emergency line with pain and unusual swelling the assistant over the phone said it was normal healing. Went into the office Monday. No oral surgeon available. Same assistant looked said no infection. Tuesday oral surgeon finally looked had CT scan done showed airway was almost closed. Ludwigs angina was the diagnosis. Rushed into the operating room at the nearest hospital. They had to cut into neck to drain. 4 drain tubes 2 in neck (nice scar now) 2 in mouth. There till thursday. That’s the short version.

    • Hello Kim. I hope your condition has improved and you are feeling better. This was a terrible thing that you experienced, but just know that you are in my prayers. I hope and pray that everything works out for the best.

  41. I had a bad tooth pulled 2 weeks ago, and the doc put 2 stiches in, i didnt think 2 was enough, 2 weeks later Im still in as much pain as before he pulled the tooth,. Ive gone back twice, the first time he said it should be feeling better soon give it more time. I went back today and now he wants to send me to an oral surgeon, when I told him I cant afford that (due to no insurance) he said he would do the surgery himself, Im concerned, because it was a simple extraction and now it has turned into needing surgery, Im nervous about having this Dentist do any kind of work to my teeth now. Did he do something wrong? I dont know how this turned into having to have surgery,
    The dentist is going on vacation and said he would do it when he got back, meanwhile Im in great pain.

    • Hi Tammi. One thing that I am learning is to follow my gut instinct. If you are feeling nervous about having the surgery done by this particular person there’s usually a reason for that!

  42. I can’t seem to find any answers for my problem.
    I had root canal procedure done about 3 years ago and now I’m just finding out that a recent bump on my gums is from an infection. There was a file left in my tooth! That means this was overlooked in the follow up check-up and the yearly check-ups. Not only that but its almost been 2 years were I have had chronic fatigue and I am just learning now that this could be caused by the infection that has been building up this whole time. I’m a 25! I should be bouncing around still.
    I am told this happens all the time and that I need to get it extracted and replaced with an implant or worked on. All of which is going to cost me well over $2000. I have no insurance coverage for Periodontics or Endodontic work so I my question is… Besides for explain these things to my dentist can I take any legal action to help pay for any of the procedures involving this botched root canal? Is there some sort of insurance that dentists have that covers situations like mine?

  43. in march of 2012, i went to northside medcial center we decussed getting some of my top teeth removed leaving back four teeth to act as a bridge for partials, he then sent in the prior auth. form. i recicved the letter from caresource saying partial/or full dentures have been approved, i made my appointment, went in and he started pulling my teeth the nurse helping him told him we are going to get in trouble, he replyed no were doing a full extracting, i didnt know what that ment, he gotten 3 removed and i started to shake,sweat felt like i was going to pass out he stopped and gave me alittle bit of sugar water and then started again at this time i dont know whats going on cuz i must of blacked out because i dont remember the rest of the proceture. i remember sitting up and him telling me i will have to come back in 2 weeks to get stitches removed, went back and got them removed, i was having some pain i told him i believe there is still a peice of tooth still in there, he told me i dont think it is i think its peice of bone or fragment but he would do xray to make sure, took the xray and sure enough he came back and said yes it is a peice of tooth and he then would remove it, he removed it, he then told me i would have to come back in 3 months to get my dentures, have to wait for gums to heal before we could start on my dentures. june came around i went in for my first impressions and he then told me after that day i would be getting a different dentist he was leaving he interdoced me to a woman who would be my new dentist and assured me she was the best and she would make me a beatiful smile. i went in to get my second set of impression they made me gag so bad. my next vist i picked out color of teeth and gums. next vist i tired the wax ones to see how they looked, i told her i didnt like them they were too big and i didnt like them, she ignored my complaint. and made appointment to pick up my dentures. couple weeks later i went in to pick up my dentures, i put them in and i told her again they were too big she said i would have to get use to them, not to take them out no matter what, well after getting home and not being able to eat or talk with them and looked like my top lip and skin above lip was big. i removed them and made a appointment to have them adjusted, she adjusted them back and down alittle i was able to talk alittle better but still strugled to talk and eat, i cant eat with them or without them. my gums healed uneven, went back again, the last time i went to have them adjusted she took alittle more off the back and said she cant take anymore off, that i would have to deal with the pain till my mouth got use to them, well i cant get use to them, and if the org. dentist wouldnt of pulled ALL my teeth i wouldnt be going threw this torment, so i called my insurence companty and asked them about dental implants, they dont pay for them. i feel they are nessercsy, i still cant eat right and still talk goofy, and very depressed seems like noone cares and noone willing to try and help me. my last vist to northside dental clinic was either september or october 2012.

    • As someone also struggling with dentures I understand your problems so well. My dentist also insisted on extracting all my upper teeth (healthy ones included) on the grounds of them being “infected”. Perhaps they were, perhaps not, but he did not warn me of the difficulties I would face. He seemed to think that dentures were as good if not better than normal teeth. Sadly for me I trusted him. There is a Topix forum entitled Cheer up New Denture Wearers which provides support and companionship for people in our position and quite often some good advice is given. And it does help to read how other people are coping with the problem. You realise that you are not alone. All good wishes and I hope you find some practical help from a dental practitioner.

  44. Hi, my situation myt not b as bad as u guyz, but its stressing me out…i recently had an infection on one of my molars, the dentist told me i had only 2 options, either a root canal or extraction, i asked if there was another option n she denied. i coudn’t afford root canal, so i did the extraction. Afterwards another dentist told me that i cud av saved my tooth if i was given antibiotics instead of extraction…i think she preferred an extraction because it was more profitable (at the expense of my tooth)…can i sue?

    • Sadly there is no law suit in the future. Antibiotics plus a root canal would saved the tooth, not antibiotics alone. Extractions are a fraction of the price of a root canal. That is why you could not afford the root canal but could the extraction. Sorry, you feel stressed out about this. Hope this helps

  45. I lost a filling and had a big hole in my tooth. Made an appointment with my dentist very soon after I lost the filling.
    My appointment was 10 Dec. 2012, the dentist checked my teeth, told me I had lost a filling and made an appointment for 21 Jan to get it filled. I said thats a long time to wait and he said with Christmas and New Years coming, thats when I could come back. He cleaned and scaled my teeth and left the big hole.

    I developed a big lump around the 15th of Jan.,right above the tooth with the big hole, The lump was sore and painful. I went to my appointment on the 21st of Jan and asked the dentist what the big lump was, he said he didn’t know but he would fill the tooth and imf the lump didn’t go away in the next few weeks to come back.

    The lump didn’t go away and I called for an appointment to find out the dentist was on holiday and would’t be back for about 4 weeks. There was a replacement dentist who I mad an appointment with. I went to see her about a week later and she said “lets x-ray the tooth. She found it was infected and had died. She said I have two choices , either have the tooth extracted or have root canal work. I told her I didn’t want to lost the tooth and would go for the root canal. She made an appointment to have the tooth pulp removed and said when the regular dentist returned, he would do the root canal. She gave me a quote for the root canal at $1500 plus the crown.

    I feel I have a good case of negligence as the dentist left the hole open for 6 weeks and then filled an already infected tooth. Please tell me what your opinion is? Should I take him to small claims court? Do
    you think I have a chance of winning? Thank you

  46. I saw a dentist today. She gave me a rather painful injection (I think she hit a nerve)
    So i exclaimed “god damn” after that she forced me out of the office and did not finish filling the cavity. Basically she gave me a shot. If a dentist starts a procedure how is she not obligated to finish? I am thinking about reporting her to the board? What should I do? She just left me with a numb mouth and now a lot of pain.

  47. Hi Matthew. I know that dentist must have really hurt you for you to curse out loud. I don’t think she should have refused to see you though. You were just reacting out of shock and pain. The dentist probably was embarrassed when it happened. Usually when they make a mistake it goes unnoticed, but when you yelled ” God damn” Well, there was no hiding that!!!!!!!!! Hopefully you can get your mouth taken care of and soon!

  48. Hi Tom I think it’s so great that you help people on here 🙂 7 yrs ago I had 3 wisdom teeth pulled. I am a dental assistant/orthodontic Assistant. So when it came time to get my wisdom teeth extracted they were not impacted. I just knew its better not to have them cause they are not used anyway and they are hard to clean. Anyhoo long story short … The best oral surgeon in The town left a tip of instrument in my jaw. Crazy I just still till this day can’t believe it. I found out about the instrument by the dr I was working for at the time. During the procedure I had 16,17 32 extracted no nerve damage thank god but its # 17 that he worked on the longest and I understand why because he knew he broke a tip off and was looking for it and he never told me. After I found out about having a piece of instrument in my mouth I went to visit him. He said its fine and he wouldn’t remove it. So at the time I looked for a lawyer and no one has answers for me. I haven’t been able to find someone to help me in this situation.

    • Thanks Amy. I sympathize with your situation. Just yesterday I did a complex extraction case and broke the tip of a surgical drill off in the patient’s jaw. My assistant told me she suctioned it up, but I took an x-ray to be certain that I didn’t leave anything behind. Luckily, nothing was left.

      Unfortunately, instruments breaking does occur from time to time. I would imagine that most dentists would tell the patient when something like that happens, but sadly, not all of them do completely inform the patient as to what has happened. Have you tried asking the oral surgeon to remove it? What kind of resolution are you hoping to get?

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

    • The statute of limitations starts in most states 2 yrs after finding out about the problem, in this case a instrument left during a procedure. For example, it took you seven years to find out about the object you have two years to act. The time will vary for each state. Most states have a dental board that will mediated problems that arise like this without going to court, this is faster, less expensive, and very helpful. Google search the state dental board where you live,call, explain the situation and they will contact the Dr. and start the mediation. The best you might get is the surgeon will pay for you to go to another surgeon of your choice to have the object removed. (This is usually due to most people will not return to the original dr that caused the problem.) In my opinion it is not a good idea to have a foreign object in your body, even if it has been seven years.
      Good luck

  49. Thank u for understanding 🙂 I asked if he could remove it and he said its better not too. You are such a good dentist to take a X-ray and be concerned and care for your patients 🙂 he never took a X-ray afterwards. He took a new one when I went to go visit him when I found out. He said he didn’t want to remove it. He told me I f it made me feel better he would take a 3d X-ray of it so we could see it closer. I don’t know what kind of resolution I want. I just feel I paid him good money to do his job and I trusted him. Now I’m stuck with this tip in my jaw…. So yea I hv tried to let it go… Life’s too short to stress….

    • Have you asked him to refund the cost of the extraction due to the complication? He may consider that one. Other than that, if it’s been in there a long time, it may cause more problems than it’s worth trying to get it out. It may be a good idea to talk with your dentist about it and take routine x-rays to make sure that there’s no sign of infection or problems where the instrument is stuck. Keep up the good attitude, Amy. Thanks for your comment!

  50. Hi Tom,
    It’s comforting to know that other people are going through what I am going through. I’m so very upset! I went to my dentist on 3/9 to get my teeth cleaned and whitened. She told me I needed 4 crowns due to my teeth being cracked. Of course I believed her, but decided to only get 3 crowns because I have no insurance. 6 visits later, with crowns being constantly sent back to the lab to be reshaped, they are seated. Last week when I went to have them seated, she wasn’t there and had a stand-in dentist perform the seating. I didn’t notice until too late that his hands were very palsied. Long story short – my bite is now off by at least 1/8th of an inch – molars don’t touch – splitting headaches and jawaches – can’t eat or sleep. I did research her before I went, but upon doing much more intensive research have found that she was arrested last year for 7 felony counts including insurance fraud and obtaining controlled substances. Case has not been disposed yet. Found many more people online who claim she performed unnecessary work – clicked in my head “needs to pay legal fees”. I paid in advance, and have an appt with another dentist tomorrow. I don’t want 1st dentist in my mouth anymore….can I get a partial refund to pay new dentist for resetting my bite???

  51. I lost a filling and had a big hole in my tooth. Made an appointment with my dentist very soon after I lost the filling.
    My appointment was 10 Dec. 2012, the dentist checked my teeth, told me I had lost a filling and made an appointment for 21 Jan to get it filled. I said thats a long time to wait and he said with Christmas and New Years coming, thats when I could come back. He cleaned and scaled my teeth and left the big hole.

    I developed a big lump around the 15th of Jan.,right above the tooth with the big hole, The lump was sore and painful. I went to my appointment on the 21st of Jan and asked the dentist what the big lump was, he said he didn’t know but he would fill the tooth and imf the lump didn’t go away in the next few weeks to come back.

    The lump didn’t go away and I called for an appointment to find out the dentist was on holiday and would’t be back for about 4 weeks. There was a replacement dentist who I mad an appointment with. I went to see her about a week later and she said “lets x-ray the tooth. She found it was infected and had died. She said I have two choices , either have the tooth extracted or have root canal work. I told her I didn’t want to lost the tooth and would go for the root canal. She made an appointment to have the tooth pulp removed and said when the regular dentist returned, he would do the root canal. She gave me a quote for the root canal at $1500 plus the crown.

    I feel I have a good case of negligence as the dentist left the hole open for 6 weeks and then filled an already infected tooth. Please tell me what your opinion is? Should I take him to small claims court? Do
    you think I have a chance of winning? Thank you

  52. Hello,

    Thanks Tom for setting up this site.

    My dentist, whom I really liked, retired. I decided to switch to a dentist near home. I went there and was told that I needed two fillings, one on each side of my mouth (both between teeth, which was new to me). The dentist did both fillings the same day. When I was at the appointment I decided that I wouldn’t go back to this dentist, since he put his tools down directly on the counter, not on a tray, which bothered me.
    A few weeks later most of my top teeth were achy and my gums around the fillings were sensitive. It didn’t go away so I decided to go back to my retired dentist’s office to see the new dentist. I made an appointment, and had the dentist’s office that did the fillings send the xrays over. When I was at the dentist, I was told that my teeth were sensitive because my teeth were hitting the fillings. The restorative hygenist, whom I thought was the dentist, told me she was going to file down the fillings so that my teeth weren’ t hitting them. I only had 2 fillings yet she filed down 4 teeth. AFterwards I found out that she wasn’t the dentist… she called the dentist in to look in my mouth. He seemed more concerned about another tooth which he said needed major work… news to me.
    I went home and immediately the pain magnified in the four teeth. They were now extremely sensitive to air hitting them, which impacted my sleeping. I started haviing to take pain killers.
    10 days later I went back to the dentist’s office. Again the restorative hygenist said the fillings were hitting and that she was going to slightly adjust them. I questioned her on whether or not she was taking any of the teeth off… she said no. AFterwards I asked if I could see the dentist and was told no.
    I went home, and the pain was even worse. It was affecting my sleep, my ability to focus at work, etc.
    6 days later I go back to the dentist with questions and great discomfort (having lost 10 pounds since I was often nauseous and finding it difficult to eat and sleep). I tell them that I am very concerned that enamel was shaved of my teeth and that I would never have given consent for dentist/ hygenist to touch teeth without fillings. The dentist tells me that enamel is very thick and that it wasn’t touched. He tells me that he wants to help resolve the pain, and tells me that he is going to remove the filling on one side and pack it with antiseptic and a temp filling. I come in the the next day for the procedure, desperately looking for relief. Before the procedure he has the hygenist test my teeth with extreme cold… telling me they are trying to avoid root canals (which freaks me out… since I never had sore teeth in the past). He puts in the temp filling on one side, tells me that he is going to file down the filling, then says he is going correct the bite on the other side.
    When I left the office, all was good until the freezing wore off… at which point I start feeling extreme pressure in my head and an very ill feeling. The dentist filed my teeth down so much that only my molars touched!!!! By the next morning I felt incredibly ill from it. I call the dentist office and tell them that I need a mouth guard or something to relieve the pressure, looking for immediate relief. I’m told that the dentist I saw wasn’t ill till Monday and that he would want to see me. My early morning it was impossible for me to get past the pain… I had to leave work, and my husband took me to emergency with great pain. The doc gave me pain killers and a prescription in case I had a tooth infection. By the evening the pressure in the head was too much to take. I called the oncall doctor and was referred to the emergency on class dentist. He saw me the next morning, and ended up gently filing down my molars so that my teeth would touch again. This helped relieve some pressure almost immedietely

    I have been left with 4 very sore teeth that are very sensitive to touching, brushing, temperature, pressure, etc, all my molars shaved down, a completely new and uncomfortable bite, pressure feeling in my head, weight loss, loss of appetite, and feel that I am going to have problems with the four teeth that they shaved down to the dentin. I also can’t believe that this happened to me and my healthy teeth. This pain is having a huge impact on my life. I have left work ill, have had to take time off work because of pain, often have to lay down during work to relieve pressure in my head. Plus this mouth discomfort is always present and has impacted my evenings at home and sleep.

    A dentist I saw afterwards told me the original discomfort was likely from the white fillings and should have given them time to adjust. She also told me that the enamel has been shaved off of those teeth exposing the dentin, and that they will be sore. Ugh! This really sucks!

    What do you think Tom?

  53. My wife is 51 years old and had 2 wisdom teeth and 2 others extracted at one time. She was in the chair for over 3 hours. I have done some research on this. I found that she should not have been in there that long and they should not have pulled all the teeth at the same time. Now my wife is suffering from atypical trigeminal Neuralgia. Our daughter is in med school and told us this will be very expensive to have fixed IF at all. There was never any discussion of what might happen upon extraction of the wisdom teeth. This was just doen in Feb of 2013 and there is a statute of limitations on going after the dentist for malpractice of 2 years. We have been told by many lawyers already that”its expensive and takes a great deal of time” so nobody wants to help us. TN is called the suicide disease and it kills me to see her in such pain. I cant even kiss my wife becuase of the shooting pains it causes her. She has lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks becuase she can’t eat. What do you think? Should I approach the dentist with this and see what they say or keep trying to find the right lawyer? All I have read online states that this is one of the easier cases to settle, due to it wasn’t there and now it is due to oral surgery. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    signed….missing my wife

    • Sorry to hear about the adverse event from the outcome of wisdom teeth extractions. It is sad when these things occur. Trigeminal Neuralgia is a risk of having teeth extracted, it is not a more common side effect but nerve damage is a side effect. Three hrs for wisdom teeth extractions is a longer appt for dental a procedure but is not rare. If you have Trigeminal Nerualgia the best option is to visit the neurologist. He will know best how to treat TN. This is probably not what you want to hear but I hope it helps.

  54. Tom,

    My husband woke up May 9th with swelling in his lower left jaw from his left ear to the center of his chin below the jaw line and a painful tooth. Went to the dentist 9am that morning. She said he had and abscessed tooth, he told her he had one bothering him on the other side. She looked at it and said it was abscessed also. Prescribed penicillin for 7 days and made an appt for root canal 8 days later. By 4pm that afternoon the swelling had doubled from ear to ear! By noon May 10th he called the dentist office and another dentist talked to him. My husband explained about the swelling doubling in size, his jaw muscles felt tight and his tongue felt swollen. The dentist told him the antibiotics take 24 to 48 to take affect, take 4 ibuprofen 4 times a day with the penicillin, use ice for swelling and that was it. My husband followed the instructions verbatim. The next day he there was no improvement. Throughout the day his ability to swallow decreased and he was unable to eat. May 12th 3:30am he woke me up and asked to be taken to the emergency room as he was unable to swallow anything and unable to take his medication. by 9am the er called an oral surgeon and by 10pm on May 12th he was having surgery for Ludwig’s Angina. He was on a ventilator for 11days and in ICU for 16 days. He has been unable to swallow since coming off the ventilator and is still in the hospital where 3 drs are confiring whether or not to place a gastric tube in his stomach so he can eat. He has lost 22 lbs since being admitted to the hospital. So my question, is this a case I should go and speak with an attorney? Does it fit the criteria?

    • Wow what a story, such a long time in the hospital. I feel terrible for you and the troubles you have been through. To be short and to the point. The dentist did not do anything that would be lost in court. When there is an abscess and swelling occurs the standard of care is x-ray and antibiotics, then treatment to resolve the cause of infection. Again sorry for the troubles and good luck.

  55. Hi
    I had 2 x lower impacted wisdom teeth extracted under sedation and block in day surgery 8 weeks ago. I have since has numbness/burning/tingling and loss of taste on the right side of my tongue. The oral surgeon said that there was nerve ‘bruising” but he did not do it. After 2 further weeks with no improvement he sent me to a nerve specialist who confirmed lingual nerve damage.

    I confronted the oral surgeon about damaging the nerve but he says he did not see or touch the nerve. I am left wondering how the nerve was damaged if he did not touch it! Is it common for an OS to deny damage that only he could have done.
    I am concerned that I the sensation loss is not improving with passing weeks. I think he has breached a duty of care. The incidence of nerve damage was understood to be less than 2% but now he says that it is “100% because it has happened”.

    • Dear Tracey and others suffering with burning, tingling, metallic taste, numbness or pain (ear, tongue, throat, head, cheek) following a dental procedure, please read and contribute to my blog at

      We also have a wonderful Facebook page where you’ll find lots of support from the group, just go to FB and search on Dental Lingual Nerve Damage; it’s a closed group but we’ll accept your friend request. I hope you are one of the 85% that heals soon!


  56. Hi everyone,
    I had my tooth extracted, because of my dentist fault as well. I have not applied for claims yet, because I am not sure yet if I will win, but I am sure that 4 criteria meet.

    During my appointment for root canal treatment, my dentist was cleaning roots, then he filled them in and burned something on the top, because I was supposed to get a crown on it. He has done few x-rays during whole procedure I am not sure in which stages. And after last x-ray, he noticed that he left a small piece of broken needle in the root.

    I was suffering pain for few weeks that is why I was prescribed antibiotics. I was told that he cannot fix it and letter to dental surgeon was sent. The answer was to remove it. Then pain was gone for few days, until it came back and it was even worse. I could feel top filling moving a little bit, so I had nothing else to do, because only option to loose the pain was to remove it.

    It was a left side bottom tooth so as it was extracted I was suffering for a week, but it would not heal – there were too many peaces of a bone/tooth left in a hole. I was spitting them for few days. I went to them to clean the gums… Got them cleaned. Totally it took me two weeks to loose constant pain and another month to heal the gum.

    I cannot forget what I was going through with that pain and they did even took payment for every single meeting and treatment, so I not going to leave this as it is, it is only I am not sure If I can win this and how I can do it.

    Kind regards

  57. Hi, Tom
    I have a question
    I brought my 3 yr old for a filling
    While getting the filling she was wrapped
    In the blanket with straps she would not
    Calm down she bit the little bite guard
    It twisted and cut out her perfectly fine
    front tooth she is now toothless in the front
    Till her adult tooth comes in 3 to 4 yrs

    Question is this neglect on the dentist
    Side I warned many times that she will fight
    And be upset they didn’t let me come back
    With her and just assumed she like the rest
    Of kids upset but will calm down but she didn’t
    Dentist sent nurse to say sorry that is all thanks

  58. Hi about one year ago my Oral surgeon took my 4 wisdom teeth out causing many complications like dry socket, he left a whole in my upper tooth wich caused a bad infection but the very sad part was the alveolar nerve paresthesia, for the first couple months I have a terrible pain, feeling somenthing cutting my lip, chin and gum. Then feeling pins and needles. After 4 months the pain stoped. But for one year, half of my lip, chin and gum still with paresthesia, I can’t use the floss because is painfull , if something hot touch my lip the pain is 10 times intensed and if I need to scracth my chin I have to make the smile face to feel my nail. How long do I have to wait for this paresthesia going away? I can’t take it any more. Is alredy one year and last time I saw my Dr was 4 months ago, since this. Day nothing change my next app will be in 3 weeks, I’m taking vitamine E but it doesn’t work. Thanks for your time

  59. Tom,
    Thank you for this page – it’s nice to hear your perspective. I went on a round robin dental adventure when I couldn’t determine why I was in constant pain following a filling procedure. I went to a two Endos, then to a friend’s oral surgeon, none of whom could determine the cause despite xrays and CT scans, the OS referred me to a dentist friend of his.

    That dentist didn’t know either, but said he was going to file down one of my molars, in case it was irritating my tongue. I told him I was 99% certain that was not the cause of pain, it never bothered my tongue before the filling, and now I feel a constant scraped/burnt feeling on that side of the tongue.

    Instead of smoothing the endges, he drilled so DEEP in the middle of the tooth that I now have a hole where food collects, all day long, any time I eat anything. I am constantly having to pick food out of that gaping hole. Now it’s starting to feel swollen and decayed, and I’m sure it needs work; since it’s already got a root canal in that tooth, not sure what’s next, removal?

    Is there any remedy I can get from this dentist? To add insult to injury, I paid hundreds of dollars to have him permanently disfigure my tooth. There may also be a statute of limitations – this was 4 years ago. Had I realized the long term problem he’d caused, I would have done something sooner, knowing now that I’ll be picking food out of that spot forever (if I can manage to hang on to that tooth).

    Many thanks for your response.

  60. Hi! I went to the dentist almost a year ago and I had oral work done. I dont know whether it was due to dental malpractice, but i developed life long nerve damage on the right side of my face! I went to the ER countless times, and delayed looking for work because of the pain that kept me from eating, drinking, and even sleeping. I was put on mulitple pain medicines because none of the physicians and medical specialists knew what was going on until I moved to SC this year and was diagnosed with Trigeminal neuralgia. My neuroligist says this is a lifetime thing and the medicine is expensive, which is not helping because i’m a single mother that works only one job to support my daughter! Its a shame that it took us to pick up from one state and move to the next because my doctor in NJ didn’t know what to do either and just continued to put me on pain medication that wore off with a few days of taking it! What should I should do? Do I have a medical malpractice suit? Help!

  61. I have just completed four months of stressful communication with the New York County Dental Society. I chose the option of have money refunded to redo dental work on crows and a root canal cause by the same dentist in preparing a perfectly good tooth. When I went to my present treating dentist he was horrified by what he saw….not ony ugly, ill matched teeth but open margins, puffy gums, actual decay under the crowns which had not been removed by original dentist. I documented his findings and he wrote a simple clear letter about the findings and I thought I would receive a fair, impartial inquiry form the County Society. Nothing could have been further from reality. The panel actually attached me and characterized my current treating dentist as an ambulance chaser. I was willing to let bygones be bygones. I just needed the money I had paid him…after four visits I realized he didn’t know what he was doing….He did know how to intimidate me enough to get all the money however. People need to know that peer review with New York County Society is a complete fraud. They have no interest in maintain nor elevating standards in the profession. They are only there to protect their own and this is so insulting to the consumer. To begin with it take a lot of fortitude to go before five dentists all alone….then to be insulted and realize you have worked hard to bring the truth to a totally rigged game. It’s devastating. Where DO seniors turn? The big firms only want you if your are near death and worth millions. mary Ellen rooney

  62. Went to dentist last friday he said i had infection and he gave me antibiotics and set me up for surgery i even asked if i still had the infection if they will still do surgery the dentist i saw said that was a good question and answered yes. come thursday the Oral surgeon cut my wisdom tooth out and it’s just got worse I think I still had the infection when he cut the wisdom tooth out. The wisdom tooth wasn’t the infected one though… Thursday night I was dizzy light headed and running a fever and sWelling friday my fever got higher and swelling got bad swelled my right side of face up looked like i had a baseball in my jaw and swelled down into my neck and was getting hard to swallow i was scared about my airway closing on me and the fever so I went to ER where I live they ended up sending me to 2 hours away to a bigger hospital. they were concerned about my airway and being septic. Also i may need surgery too. Tests come back the infection isn’t in my blood stream. Yesterday a surgeon come in to see me the swelling/infection spread further over into the left side of my neck now so they took me to surgery and put a drain tube to try to drain out some of the infection. He mentioned maybe having to go in and remove some of the infected tissue too but waiting to see how it goes . I’m on strong antibiotics and was in ICU for 3 days now after the surgery I am on the surgery floor. Thursday was my dentist surgery and Friday I went to ER and have been in the hospital since does it sound like I have a case here ? My little girl is Afraid of me she wouldn’t hug me or kiss me before I was transported out to the other hospital, my doctor bills are stacking up from being in here, I had to have surgery and i was do scared. My first surgery ever was that wisdom tooth extraction so going into a second surgery at the hospital freaked me out. I am so upset, in pain and tore up over this whole thing. I’m still in the hospital and missing the important things I have to do. I just don’t know what to do.

  63. Tom,

    My situation is sort of unique. I am currently under the care of a periodentists for a dental implant of one of my top canine teeth. The tooth was extracted in January 2011, and healed within 6 months for the procedure to continue. At that point, X-rays revealed I didn’t have enough bone built up so I had to have a bone graft done. I had the bone graft done and it healed for about 6 months. At that point, I was ready to have my post for the implant put in in April 2013. I went in for surgery on a Thursday after being gassed and driven home. On Monday, I learned that the post had been put in, but immediately taken back out. The area was stitched back up so healing could start. The reason the post was taken back out is due to a crack being noticed on the X-ray after it was put in during the surgery. Furthermore, there was no back-up post available to put in during surgery. According to my dental surgeon, the post was faulty and a company representative went to the office at some point to see the post. After the area healed for 5 months, I learned that I had to have another bone graft done because not enough bone was there again. I recently had that surgery done in Sept 2013 and am in the process of it healing to hopefully have the post put in.
    Based on all I have went though up to this point, I have considered suing the company that manufactured the faulty post. From what I was told, the post was damaged prior to it being put in so it wasn’t the fault of the surgeon or her office. I haven’t mentioned this to my surgeon as I want to get the process completed before doing so. Do you feel I have a strong case, and what should be my next step if I have a reason to sue. Thanks.

  64. I found your article very interesting. I recently took my minor child to a pediatric dentist listed as a provider for Peachcare/Medicaid. He went in for tooth pain in his left premolar which was determined through xray to abscessed and could not be saved. The treatment plan was to place him on antibiotics and bring him back in a week to extract the tooth and place a spacer. At the next visit, I was asked to sign a consent that called for a crown instead of extraction because the dentist was going to do a pulpotomy to try and save the tooth. If, after cleaning out the pulp, she determined it could not be saved then she would extract it. Who am I to argue with a professional? Plus I wanted what I hoped was best for my son. 2 1/2 hrs later he comes out with an ugly steel crown on his right premolar ( a tooth with nothing wrong with it BTW) and the abscessed tooth still in his mouth. There is not one doubt in my mind that this was done deliberately to upcharge his insurance which is nothing short of fraud. Would you say that this dentist breached her standard of Care and caused injury because of that breach? I am sick of people telling me that “it’s only a baby tooth” and that there’s no real injury. What she is doing is wrong and there’s no telling how many low income children’s mouths she has ruined by doing these frivolous procedures. I’ve talked to several parents that took there children to this dentist and were told their kids had a mouthful of cavities that needed fillings, only to get 2nd opinions that indicated there were no fillings. How do you stop a mobster like this who is using her dental license to mutilate children ‘s mouths? Ive filed criminal charges with local police and a complaint with dental board. But tge police wont do anythibg agaibst her if and until tge dental board tells them to. Its shameful that medical license can protect a butcher like this!

    • Dear irrratemomma,

      Sorry to hear about your situation.
      A pulpotomy and a stainless steel crown are more ideal than an extraction if a tooth can be saved.
      It seems strange that in your son’s case he had this done on the right premolar, when you signed the form saying it was for the left..
      I hope the dentist mentioned why she didn’t resolve the abscessed tooth on the second appointment and also clarified why the right premolar required a stainless steel crown. Hope you have managed to discuss these with the dentist to obtain a satisfactory answer from her.
      All the best.

  65. My teeth were botched up by a dentist. Has anyone else in Maryland had a similar thing happened that wants to sue? Email me.

  66. I had a dentist one time cut my gums up to the gum line, making my teeth looking much longer, and I had trouble using hot and cold in my mouth, was that malpractice? he was so rude, he didnt want to answer any of my questions before the procedure.

  67. also some people dont know that students who are in their clinicals can work on your teeth, and if they make a mistake, its all on you. I had a student work on my teeth and she was talking and laughing during the root canal, years after I still feel pain, which means she didnt take out all the nerves, so dont allow no students or interns to work on your teeth. With an intern doctor at least the most they do is listen to your heart and lungs, but no operations.Some interns and students work on patients especially in the Carribbean and other developing countries, because there is no suing the doctors, people are so poor they just live with the pain. A friend of mine who was pregnant the doctor put his finger too far in her vagina, she lived with the pain for months, and she was 7 months pregnant, she was too scared to tell anyone, but she said while she was sitting and waiting, she saw him side looking her, so some doctors go down to the Carribbean, but hate working with people of color, but they want the extra pay and reduction on their student loans. It was a very bad experience for her, she knew something was wrong, and I believe he hurt the baby’s head, because she said the baby’s head moved and wont go back in the original spot. People just need an ambusman for doctors in the carribbean like a board to make complaints.

  68. Hello to all that is reading this. I am posting this in hopes of getting any kind of feedback.

    My situation is not as extreme as some of the cases that I read before mine and I totally empathize with all of you.

    My situation: I went to Dentist A for a root canal (Shame on me for needing one). The first appointment was the standard consultation. During the second appointment he attempted the root canal but during the process I felt a sharp pain shoot down inside my mouth. I was told that he could not finish the procedure because my tooth/gum was infected so we must wait a few days. I came back (appointment 3) and he cleaned my canals but said that the infection was still there and he would not be able to finish the root canal at that time. I scheduled appointment 4 and then went home, but the pain never subsided. It just kept getting worse. It got so bad that I contemplated going in to the ER. Instead of an ER visit I waited for Dentist A to open up the next day and contacted them. I was told that the doctor was out and I was referred to their sister office, Dentist B. I went in that same day. He took a look at my tooth, told me to come back the next day and he would clean out my tooth and insert some medicine into the canals so as to help with the infection which he felt was the cause of my pain. When I came in for my appointment the first thing he did was take an x-ray. What was shown was a piece of tool stuck in my canal. He was unable to get it and referred me to a specialist, Dentist C. Well Dentist C was unable to get it out and he did not recommend the surgery because the risk of nerve damage was too great due to the closeness of my tooth to my main nerve. He attempted to finish the root canal by sealing up the instrument. However, that did not work because a couple weeks later the pain got worse (the initial pain never stopped) so we decided that the best thing to do would be to pull it. So I was sent to Dentist D for the extraction.

    My question is: Is Dentist A at fault for not realizing that he broke this tool off in my mouth and do I have a case at all against Dentist A for the pain, suffering and the loss of this tooth?

  69. Hi, Tom and thanks for your website. I have a condition that probably isn’t all that rare but disturbing all the same. Nearly two years ago, I had a root canal done by the area’s “best” endodontist. It was crowned and ok, although I had some pain in it at times. Before long, I was seeing my regular dentist for a cleaning and she expressed her concern that the tooth next to it was dying, as the color had changed. After a night of pain, I called my regular dentist again, but she was out with surgery and her assistant again referred me to the same endodontist. He was out of town and I was hurting horribly. I saw a new associate who said almost immediately that I needed a root canal and crown and gave me the option to do it immediately. I asked if it was worth saving since it was dis colored so badly. Of course, after taking $300+ of X-rays, he said the tooth needed immediate care, so I agreed and had to pay over $1500 that day. He got into the tooth and said it was badly infected and he would clean it out, seal it, and set up a time to finish it in 6 weeks. I was given antibiotics. Before it could be finished, I started having strange pain above the tooth, nausea and jaw pain. The response was more antibiotics. I was very leery about finishing the procedure, but would not be refunded any money and was afraid to do anything else. Oh, and he said that strange pain was trigeminal neuralgia!!!! He finished the root canal, and I woke up in horrible agony that evening. You guessed it, more antibiotics. I finally went back to his office. He pulled up the final X-ray he took after completion of the procedure and said it looked fine and even got my original endo to come in to the room and reassure me that they both had done their jobs beautifully. They advised my regular MD to get me on meds for TN. I saw my regular dentist who trusted the endos. I saw my regular MD and was given tegretol which caused my thyroid activity to decrease, cholesterol to go up and complete inability to focus or remember important things. I stopped the medicine but continued to be I pain. I had an MRI scheduled to look into using a gamma knife for my TN.

    After over two months of hell, I decided to have the tooth pulled. Due to the root canal, this had to be done by an oral surgeon. A panorex revealed nothing, but I begged the oral surgeon to keep looking. Finally a small X-ray of that one spot revealed infection at the root. The endo didn’t get all the infection and I kept telling all the doctors that. My jaw was swollen, I developed arthritis on the left side only (where the tooth was located) and had horrible headaches. It cost another $2200. I feel the endo should refund my money and pay for the costs I have incurred trying to get relief. I now need an implant which is an additional $4000. I feel the endo was negligent as he was so busy telling me he did nothing wrong that he wouldn’t look to see if there was a problem. Thanks for any help I can get here. My son is an attorney, but not a medical malpractice specialist.

  70. Hi Tom,

    Thank you for your blog, I got more info from your website than what I got from my dentist or endodontist! I was recently referred to an endodontist for a root canal on 31 and infection removal. Once it was done, I went back to the dentist who said the root canal was not filled properly all the way to the apex and I had to go back. This time, I could feel the endodontist injecting anesthetic, kind of a sudden mildish pain.

    The right side of my tongue is still numb although I have had no lip numbness, so the mental nerve appears not to be affected. However, a week after the injury, I feel some sensitivity in the gums of my front teeth. Right side of my tongue really burns, especially the tip and side of the tongue. Under my tongue, it feels like it is clamped down and have some pain. Occasionally, that pain migrates towards my right ear and right side of the throat.

    After reading about lingual nerve injury, am starting to freak out. I am not even sure if it is actually lingual nerve although the endo told me so. Will I ever get back to normal? The endo said it will heal within 3 months, but I don’t trust that endo anymore. Should I see an oral surgeon or a neurologist? I am not suing, my questions are more about what I should or can do now. I am taking vitamin b 12 & b complex, not sure if that can help but I want to try anything and everything at this point. Please help! Thank you.


    • Nicolas,
      It is actually a good sign you feel some burring and tingling with your tongue and lip. The nerves regrow slowly and it could take 3-12 months for them to fully return to normal. It should begin to improve a little every day. Follow up visits are typically 2 wks, 4 wks, 2 months etc.(how ever the Dr feels he needs to see you) Also an RX with medrol dose pak and an anti inflammatory motrin or ibuprofen is recommended,
      Hope this helps

  71. Hi Tom,

    Two of my teeth got cracked because of a filling procedure that I had done. I have never had any pain or anything until after the filling was done and the dentist must have cracked them from the drill. Do you think that qualifies as an injury from malpractice because I need 2 crowns now as a result.


  72. 6 years ago, I had a sensitive filling. The dentist suggested a root canal. After that, he placed a CEREC crown on. Out of the CAN/CAM machine, it was TOO high. He ground it down flat, then “put some anatomy on it”. Over the next year, I cam in 4 times for an adjustment. After terrible TMJ pain, I came in again. The covering dentist told me to go immediately to another dentist since 6 of my teeth had moved more than 5 MM due to the high crown. After 18 crowns on those 6 teeth (the teeth kept moving out), two implants due to cracked teeth during treatment, and 5 years of TMD, I have the a terrible bite (many teeth may hit, or just one may hit depending on how much I move my occlusion. The worst part (If it can get worse), is that my wife of 13 years has had enough of my constant pain. We have NEVER had a fight and she loves me, she just can’t continue with me always in pain and not wanting to do anything. She is taking our 2 and 4 year old daughters with her. I now have to come out of retirement since I was a SAHD. I have over 50K in trying to resolve this without any success. Did I mention I ended up Depressed and spent 2 weeks at a mental hospital. I am medically apathetic and anhedonic (cannot enjoy anything that was previously enjoyable). OK it can get worse

  73. can i do anything about my dentist he had pulled a tooth withough giving me infection pills first he pulled on it for over and hour hr and hurt my jaw after that i was in so much pain i had to go to the hospital twice and the second time they put me on iv my face and neck and my throat were swollen and made it hard to breath plus he gave me diff meds cause i did not recieve the right ones i had this done 10 days ago and it still hurts and has not healed my face is still swollen i had to miss a week of work plus pay over 100$ for pills plus paying the dentist is there a way i can get that week of missed work back and the money for the meds he described ?

  74. Hello,

    My husband went to the dentist earlier this yr to have 2 wisdom teeth extracted. By a regular dentist not an oral surgeon. Well this dentist broke off a drill bit n his jaw deep n the bone. Then the Dentist ripped my Husbands sinus canal. My husband has been in so much pain n the last four months its ridiculous. My husband is having more headaches & neck pain. In my opinion this Dentist does not need to b doing dentistry work. Its been horrible! My Husband just not has been the same since. I feel so sorry for Him! Last night he woke up with his tongue feeling like electricity running through it. Its been tingly all day. 🙁 We are talking to a Lawyer. Is this something to pursue?

    Thank You!

  75. Hello Tom,

    I hope you’re still answering emails. I had a crown put on by a new dentist. She cut my gums during the procedure and never told me. I complained of discomfort and went back in three weeks. She said there was nothing wrong and still didn’t mention the fact that she had injured my gums. I saw my daughter’s dentist while in Utah on vacation who sent me to a specialist. The specialist said I had a gum problem and recommended I see a periodontist. When I got home a periodontist repaired my gums (almost) for $900 dollars. Can I sue?


    • Hi axe – I try to answer a lot, but I don’t get to many of them due to my schedule. Many times while cutting a tooth for a crown, the gums can be inadvertently grazed. Was the cut deep? Usually smaller cuts should heal on their own. If you have it well-documented, your best bet would likely be to talk to the dentist and see their side of the story and then explain that you had to have this other procedure done that cost $900. I would be interested in what procedure the gum specialist did that cost $900, and if the whole procedure was to simply repair what the other dentist did. Good luck!

    • The procedure was a free gingival graft, even if the gums were nicked or damaged by the drill, it would heal back to normal with in a few weeks. Most likely what happened is the tooth needed a graft to add more protecting keratinized gum tissue. This tissue is important for long term health of a tooth to protect from recession , inflammation , and bone loss. This is especially important when a crown is added to a tooth.
      I am sorry the dentist did not address nicking the gum tissue around the tooth, he probably thought it wouldn’t be a problem because it is normal to have this happen durning dental procedures like crowns. After having done thousands of crowns it becomes common for things that are normal to the dentist because they are seen every day but abnormal for dental patients since most people don’t have crowns placed every day. You have most likely benefited from a good second opinion, and a referral to a specialist for a procedure.
      I hope this helps.

  76. I went in to the dentist to have 4 teeth removed. She partially removed one. It broke off at the root. She took X-Rays and scheduled me for “surgery” a week later and sent me home. The surgery appt wasn’t for surgery, it was to schedule surgery. We asked for antibiotics and she refused saying they weren’t necessary. 3 days later I had an infection and still had 4 days before “surgery”. She even told me you’ll get this tooth out Thursday and feel so much better. Thursday came and I went in to see this surgeon. She said she was not doing surgery on me that day and if I didn’t like I could go somewhere else. I left and called a surgeon I know and trust. I got in the next day for surgery. Turns out I didn’t just have a tooth broken off at the root. She punctured my sinus and broke my jaw. I had to have it repaired, a bone graft, and the other teeth removed correctly. The dentist took X-Rays, the surgeon took X-rays, why did none of this show up on them and why would she think it was perfectly acceptable to send me home without antibiotics with a broken tooth and open wound? I have spoken with several people who all say I have grounds for a lawsuit.

    • Hi Dawn – Perhaps she felt that she couldn’t remove the tooth all the way due to how the root was positioned. When this happens, you’ll usually form a blood clot that will keep the wound from bleeding as it begins the healing process. Many things do not show up on x-rays as they are two-dimensional pictures. It can be hard to tell if the sinus is simply “overlapping” where the tooth was, or if the sinus was actually perforated. Perhaps better communication is needed between the dentist and oral surgeon, which could have helped you get the tooth out sooner.

  77. My son who is 7 had a filling done a month prior to having to get the same tooth extracted by an emergency dentist which could not be covered my insurance so I had to pay out-of-pocket I contacted the dentist and try to get an appointment but the office was close they call me back four days later and I asked if they would reimburse me for the emergency visit considering the insurance didn’t cover it and it was on the same tooth that they worked on just four weeks earlier my son is seven and they expected me to leave him in pain for four days and take him to the ER untill the office opened. I would just like them to have to take responsibility for their actions and reimburse me for the money because I’m not going to let my sunset in pain until their office opens again this was his 2nd filling ever and the dentist office I recently found out has not a permanent dentist they have many different dentist working inside until they can find a permanent dentist because the one that has his name on the building has moved to Hawaii do I have any kind of claim to get the reimbursement for the service at the emergency dentist?

    • Hi Kendra – I’m not sure about that one. Have you gone to the office and spoken with the office manager? Depending on the circumstances leading to the tooth extraction, they may be willing to work with you. Good luck!

  78. At 16 2 eye teeth on the bottom set of teeth still hadn’t come through, even after the assistance of braces. So the surgeon performed the exposure and as the teeth were still in the bone a bracket and chain was applied and joined to the braces to help them come up.
    The first time the orthordontist applied pressure to the teeth, one of the brackets ripped off right through the gum(extremely painfull) and the other tooth refused to move! The four teeth in between were pull down into the gum and ended up on a servere angle.
    Investigating the procedure, the surgeon had left a piece of bone above the tooth and had attached the bracket to the front of the tooth. The piece of tooth above the tooth died and there was no way the tooth would ba able to be pulled up, hence the bracket poped off. I went back to the surgeon who’s attitude is that ‘ it’s the mouths fault’ said he would have to do the procedure again under a general and at my cost! I got another opinion i the chair and the bracket attached on the top of the tooth. In 6 weeks after the pressure has been applied to the tooth it is making progress upward. There is still a hole where the bracket ripped through, and i have been warned if it doesn’t close over it could cause problems down the track.
    As for the other tooth, not much movement, very likely the procedure will have to be also redone. Why do I have to pay for a surgeons bodge job!! Is there any claim that can be made in this instance?

  79. Hi Tom, I am a dentist in Australia, and I came across your website while searching for a case.

    I appreciate this article that you have written in its help for people with complications related to dental practice, but I am a bit concerned about you giving dental and legal advice while you were still a dental student.

    I am a fairly recent graduate too, and I have no issues with you giving advice as a qualified practitioner. However, I do worry about dental students giving legal advice to patients without understanding of possible implications.

    In the case where a patient do file a lawsuit against a dentist on the advice of a dental student, if the advice is not sound and the patient loses the lawsuit, the student in question and the university would be implicated should the patient decide to file another lawsuit against the student/university on the account of unsound advice and damages.

    When you identify yourself and give online legal advice, you may not legally be protected for unsound advice even if you identify yourself as a student. This may land you in bigger issues that giving advice to patients in your university.

    Just food for thought.

    • Hi George – Thanks for your comments. While in dental school, I did not identify myself nor my dental school for that reason. I consider the articles that I write here to be “patient education” which at least in the state of Virginia, doesn’t require a dental license according to the state’s dental practice act. I doubt that anyone would make the decision of whether to sue or not to sue based on anything I’ve written in any comments – I simply try to let patients know that even when they’ve been harmed, many times there’s no justification to sue. As I’m not a lawyer, I would imagine that the lawyers would thoughtfully make this decision with their clients.

      The internet definitely has opened many new channels of communication that we otherwise wouldn’t have. I think it’s important to embrace this flow of information.

      As far as the legality of everything, I just try to help people. There was a Texas Veterinarian that started charging people a fee for online consultations. Once you start charging, I think that a client relationship then exists where legal authority could be exercised.

      His website is still going strong – here’s a link to an article written about his legal case as well as a quote from him:

      “They are just going to have to adjust to the century we live in. The internet has just made a lot of things possible and desirable that probably weren’t desirable or possible during the horse and buggy days, and we’re just going to have to learn to confront those things.”

      Again, thanks for your comments – comments like yours and John’s do help me to try and be more thoughtful in my online communication.

  80. Hi my wife went to the dentist recently because she was experiencing a high level of discomfort in her jaw from wisdom teeth at age 29. They checked her out did x-rays and all that and decided to send her to an oral surgeon the next day. She had her teeth pulled and the next day she was in agony, the pain pills they gave her did nothing. So we went back to the dentist, and they gave her x-rays and checked her mouth. The dentist told her that she had trismus from a severed nerve from one of her shots, and gave her muscle relaxers. The next morning she was still in agony, and hadn’t slept in 3 days so we went back. Without even seeing her the dentist wrote out a script for stronger pain pills and had the assistant tell her pain and swelling is part of it, she was just going to have to deal with it. The next day her throat was so swollen she couldn’t even drink water so I took her to the ER, She had a massive absess in her jaw muscle and had to have surgery to remove the infection. They said one more day out of the hospital and she might have died. I’m not one who thinks about sue sue sue but, the dentist was neglectful and its going to cost a fortune, I’m just curious what are the odds of us getting some help from the dentist office without lawyers and even with them.

  81. My 19 year old son just had all four of his wisdom teeth pulled out (against his wishes) but was necessary due to one of them becoming infected. I asked if this was normally done by a dentist and was informed by our dentist’s office that their dentist does it all the time. Procedure day came and it only took the dentist 15 minutes to pull all 4 teeth. ( I questioned that one a little). Things were fine at first for my son until he thought the dentist missed part of one of his teeth. We called the dental office and were informed that sometimes it is just the jawbone that becomes “exposed”. ( I questioned that one as well). They asked my son to come back which he did and they scheduled another appointment for him the following week to “shave” it back. Now, my son keeps complaining about his tongue being numb still and the dentist reassured us that it has only been 4 days and that the numbness should go away. This does not at all sound normal to me. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    • This is very normal. The dentist is very good at extractions and most likely has lots of experience if he did them that quickly. Overall wisdom teeth cause more problems than not, if one of them was infected it shows one already caused a problem the others will likely follow. Wisdom teeth are so far back in the mouth they are hard to clean, and they cause bone loss around the 2nd molar if they erupt crooked. .There is a small number of people these 3rd molars benefit but for the most part they should be removed. It is a good thing and saved your son lots of time, pain and money by having them removed. I would also listen to what the dentist said about the numbness, and bone. He sounds very experienced and most likely tackles these issues all the time. He should feel better soon and if the numbness persists more than 2 wks without improvement go in and talk with the dentist. I am sure he is a caring man or woman and will take care of what you need done. Hope all is going better.

  82. For over a year i have been a patient of orthodonist for invisalign. 1st round of 12 trays made teeth worse. Then 2nd round of invisalign caused more problems. Now in 3round with same ortho. Without asking me he used drill cut my vaneered front teeth aggressivly leaving not even 1 mm before tooth becouse I askew why overbite was worse. After this front teeth became sensitive. Went to dentist he xrayed looked at xray then said you have incurred trauma recently what happened? I said no only orthodonics. He insisted I been hit in the face. I said no. He told me both front teeth had infection only incurred in trauma. Sent me to endonist today that dr asked me same thing after viewing xray. Insisting I had smashed my front of teeth. I said no. He replied only trama causes this type of injury to teeth. I said only invisalign now on 3rd round of treatment. He said teeth 8/9/10 have incurred trauma need root canal to save. All those teeth are vaneered and ortho agressivly cut all length off when I asked why overbite was worse after 2 round of invisalign. He cut all length of teeth showing overbite. I feel violated scared I am currently still in treatment and asking to see if aggressive orthodonics could cause the same look as trauma both drs insist happened. I baby my teeth and never had trauma. Please reply. God bless

  83. Recently I had my braces removed, the assistant who removed them was very rough, and my gums were horridly swollen afterwords(she proceeded to tell me it was my fault they were swollen, and I should brush more)once the gums had gone down, I noticed that every edge that had and glue on it, is sharp and chipped(none bad enough to need fillings according to the main dentist)….should I sue?

    • No law suit there, the problem is with braces food gets caught around our teeth much easier, we have to be meticulous about cleaning effectively and often. Sounds like your swollen gums were from food hanging around them causing them to become swollen and inflamed . The excessive cement is very easily removed but was most likely difficult because your gums were probably bleeding from inflammation making it hard to see all the cement. Simply go back explain there is still cement on your teeth and brush nice and effectively to have healthy gums and teeth.

  84. I went to dentist to get an extraction an she broke my tooth off said she can’t fix it refer me to new dentist but is going to cost more been in pain for a while

  85. I went to a dentist to have a root canal. Everything went well until one of her units broke. I was stuck in the dental chair for 3 hours while she was pressing really hard on the outside of my tooth and shaving the tooth manually. My jaw was very sore for several days after that. Anyway I was sent home and prompted to come back for a future crown. A few weeks down the road I was drinking some coffee and felt sensitivity around the top of the gum and tooth area to where the root canal was filled. I called my dentist and asked if it was normal to still have sensitivity in that area of the tooth and if they thought their were still nerves that were not dead. 2 days after that I was eating a corn beef sandwich with creamed cabbage on rye and I starting crunching on something. When I looked, my tooth that use to surround the root canal performed had broken off and all the material was exposed. Do you think my tooth may have broken because of her pressing to hard on the gum and tooth area without the use of her unit. And would I have a claim against her for a dental mistake for cracking my tooth? If her unit was not working properly should I have been prompted to reschedule?

  86. I have a question can i sue a dentist but they were working as pro bono or volunteer as whatever is call when they offer free clinic and the Medical Teams International.
    One dentist was fixing my thoot and she hit the nerve start doing a root canal but she did only to stop the bleeding and close my thooth so too much pain the next 3 days i saw another dentist that did the root canal but i guess i have a infection already since the first one did a bad job so now my tooth is painfull i have a infection and i can lose my tooth.
    Thank you for any help I need a direction since I dont want to lose my tooth I dont have the money to get a implat

  87. Wow, there are sure a lot of people on here with issues… hmmmm


    I had a root canal from my dentist. The tooth (# 4) was fine but had a large amalgam so I asked the dentist to remove it and get me a crown or inlay. Of course, this turned into a root canal. It seems everything does….

    The dentist originally tried to refer me out to an endodontist (perhaps when she was busy) but then she was very glad to do it for me suddenly. I thought great! Anway, she did root canal and all kinds of other cosmetics including crown costing thousands. Then 6mos to a year later I have a fistula next to the tooth. I went to a different dentist this time as I lost trust in prior one and this dentist told me ” A CANAL WAS MISSED” during the root canal… WTF????

    So I am sitting here thousands light with a fistula and possibly a much worse infection on horizon….

    WTF??? Missed a canal????


  88. Hello
    I have been going to my family dentist for about a decade and I always thought he was a good dentist. I started going there after my mom’s friend recommended us this doctor that wasn’t too far from where we live.. I recently chipped my tooth and my dentist was closed, so my cousin took me to his dentist and he took some X-rays and looked at my teeth and told me I have 14 cavities!! I told him that can’t be possible I recently had a check up with my dentist the week before and he told me everything was fine… The doctor looked at me in shock and told me that I might need root canal on some teeth because the cavities were under previous fillings he showed me the X-rays on the compute and picture if the decay on my back teeth. I was shocked because I Always take good care of my teeth by brushing twice a day.. I was about to cry when he told me that some teeth might be removed if the cavity hits the nerve,but he told me that I’m way too young to do that. My cousin suggested that we should sue my previous dentist since I recently had a checkup and he didn’t notify me of this serious issue.. Any suggestions because I’m freaked out by this whole process on me I have an appointment with the new dentist in a few days.

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to read this I’m only 19 years old hope you can help me figure out what to do and if there is a chance of winning if we sue my previous dentist. (My mother also has had a bad experience with this dentist with a root canal he hurt her and she was in pain for about a week or 2 and he was the one to tell her she should get her tooth fixed which was fine in the first place, but he charged her for the procedure after he hurt her!)

  89. Hi there. I created a post back on July 4th about my 19 year old son having his wisdom teeth out. Nate replied and said it was “normal” sometimes for your tongue to be numb. It is now August 26th and my son is going back to the dentist because his tongue is STILL numb. Is this still considered “normal?”

  90. After my earlier blog….My 17 year old has an eye tooth on the bottom right has never emerged and now has been found to be ankylozed. The options as they have been given to us are:
    1. Have the tooth removed and a bone graft done – then have a bridge with false tooth….or
    2. have the tooth removed, bone graft done and move all the teeth on that side towards the front to close the space.
    What are the pros and cons?

  91. Okay…first I must say that some would tell me to suck it up and get over it….but as a mother I can’t let this go.
    We went to the dentist because my little on bit something and loosened her tooth. We made an appt. just to make sure everything was good…..while there they lost her tooth! It was her very first baby tooth! I’m so upset about this….I went back and they just giggled about it acting casual like it was no big deal. I guess it personal to me and my family, but come on….I didn’t tell them to remove the tooth either. =(

  92. I want to know if I have a case towards my dentist. I went for a regular check up, he explained to me that I would be needing two root canals to save my teeth. So I as anyone else am trusting my dentist. So we followed up and he started the procedure. He did my top root canal and then right below was where the second one would be preformed. During the second root canal the tooth cracked. He told me that it would now have to be a bridge. i was highly upset but it had to be done, so he continued to work and once he was “done” the nurse took impressions with some puddy. I go home with a temp bridge they made so my teeth wouldn’t shift. That same day the temp bridge came off and I noticed when air would go into my mouth that area was highly sensitive. I went the next day to get it replaced and explained it was sensitive, they never said anything about it. I waited a long time for my crown and bridge to come in because they lost my first impressions, therefore I had to get more impressions done and wait even longer. Finally I got them placed and I thought everything was fine, but little did I know I would be in so much pain and I have no idea which tooth its coming from. It could be my crown or bridge I have no idea and I went to an emergency dentist and he told me that my bridge was not sitting well. I want to fix my teeth and be pain free but the second dentist gave me an estimate as to how much he would charge me to redo the job and with this economy it really isn’t possible for a 20 yr old college student to come up with that kind of money.

    • Hi Bianca – It sounds like you’re in a tough situation. Is your new dentist willing to talk to the old dentist? If there is something definitely wrong with the bridge, you should find out what exactly the problem is and talk with the dentist who did the bridge to see if he would be willing to fix it for you. Good luck!

  93. I was refered to an Oral Sergeon for a Dental Implant. It was examined by the Surgeon then I was provided with information on the proceedure and a quote that stated all phases included. During the surgery/process, the surgeon seemed to give much more novacaine that needed, it was to the point I couldn’t breeze through my nose. She also was extremely rough with squeezing and pinching my upper lip, which left it swollen/severly black and blue and sore for the next couple weeks. TO top off all of this, She dropped the scalple which stuck in my Chin and left a 1/4 inch gouge that blead for the next 10 minutes or so. She treated it as if it never happened with no comment. The assistance continued to wipe away the blood until it stopped which was the only acknoledgment that it happened. Am I wrong to think this is failure to provide the level of treatment I deserve. On top of all of that the quote she provided has now been billed at 30% more than I was told. About a $2500 differance. What to do now. She’s seems to ignore me when I mention discussing the finacial overcharge and her billing person has only justifications for the increased bill. What happened to sticking with your quoted price.

  94. I had a disastrous root canal on an existing relative new crown. He broke the crown and it was evident he was in trouble as I was in dental chair for an extremely long time and he kept taking breaks. He finally said that i needed to come back on Monday for him to finish the root canal, this was on a wednesday. I have a poor immune system and had asked several times prior to surgery if I didnt need to be on an antibiotic., told NO. Within 24 hours my face was swollen , to point couldn’t recognize me, called him and he called in antibiotic, then called backand said no I needed to get to his oral surgeon of choice for a surgical release of infection, long story short I was in emergency room Saturday night basically fighting for my life, on two most potent iv aentiobiotics and morphine. Had abcess of entire right side of face.When out of hospital went back to oral surgeon to take out stitches and so at this timeI asked what the white was on my root canal area and he literally looked like he was going to faint but admitted it was “probably” the drill bit that he said is common….It has cost us an arm and a leg in medical costs, implants and the right side of my mouth and chin is now numb, 10 months later.

  95. Tom, I had a filling 2 weeks ago and my dentist was obviously too busy to give my anesthia injection because the dental hygienist gave it and hit my lingual nerve and now the right side if my tongue is numb and I have nerve spasms that you can physically see from the outside of my face, sensitive teeth and gums, trouble swallowing and severe dry mouth and some problems with my ear…all on the right side only. I am in extreme pain all the time!! All pain, all the time!! The dental hygienist didn’t tell me she was about to give the shot and she didn’t ask me if it was ok if she could give it to me instead of my dentist (which is unethical and unprofessional if you ask me)! I need immediate relief and need to see a doctor but I will never be able to afford this. Should the dentist be responsible for helping me pay or would this be a good lawsuit since she blew me off and didn’t give me the shot herself and let someone else do it. Please help!!!! Thank you so much!!

    • I do have one more question. Is the dentist suppose to take your blood pressure before each procedure? The last time my dentist took my blood pressure was in 2010 or 11 and have since then had three crowns and one filling. Thanks again!

    • Hi Lisa – It would have been more courteous to let you know if it was alright if she gave you the injection. They were likely stressed out and pressed for time. There are certain risks to getting injections, and all dentists have hit nerves during injections. Usually it goes away after a few days – it can lasts several weeks to months, but normally nerve damage caused by an anesthetic needle is temporary.

      Since it’s been over a week, have you noticed any improvement?

      • Tom, my tongue was numb for nearly 6 months. I have had MAJOR medical issues and even surgery do to the negligence of the hygieneist. Unfortunately, I just wrote you a book of all my major issues and it was lost in cyber land! My main issues is that while my nerve was going through issues, it cause me to become depressed and unbalanced on the right side causing me to fall a lot at the time. To make a long story short…the first fall caused a ruptured disc, the 2nd was my left leg and 3rd was my left leg. It was impossible to get around without help! I haven’t been to my family physician in a couple of years until this happend and he is saying all of my problems started since this one nerve was disturbed. Can that really be possible? My legs are not healing and my face still twitches from time to time, not to mention the weird feeling I still get in my tongue occasionally. I spend almost all my time in bed now, I can’t work and most of, if not all of my time is spent sitting in doctor offices patiently trying to figure out what in the World happened or what’s going on. Not only did my family doc prescribe antidepressant and anxiety pills to me, my dentist wrot me a Rx for xanax herself and didn’t charge for the filling. I truly need GOOD, SOUND advice!! My condition is only getting worse and I’m afraid I will soon be applying for disability since it’s so hard to stand on fractured legs that are not healing. HELP!! Thank you, so much!

          • Let me not forget, I had to have surgery on the ruptured disc…they gave me no other alternatives. My bone was coming through the disc and pressing on my sciatica nerve. They had to cut the bone and reshape it. My nerves and patience has had all they can take over a simple filling that has truly changed my life completely!! Thanks again.

  96. Hi Dr. Tom,

    Thank you for your time.
    My husband had 4 wisdom teeth pulled in 2011. He went through a great deal of pain and is still pulling shards of bone out from one of the extractions. When he initially was having issues with pieces of bone being stuck where his tooth once was, the nurse at the oral surgeons office said that it was completely normal and that he could come back and they’d remove the pieces at no charge. He did not go back and was able to pull the 7-10 pieces out himself during the next year or so. Well almost 3 years later he is going through the same issue… in pain again due to stuck pieces of bone where his tooth once was. I called to make an appointment for him to get the piece removed(at the same oral surgeon he went to)
    and they want to charge $ because it’s been so long since the extraction. This upsets me and I wonder if we have a case here or not.
    Thank you again Tom!


  97. My son was 18 mths, pediatre recommended to have teeth checked just to make sure all is ok since he had a full mounth of teeth, (beautiful smile too). We went to Kidsmile & they said they would clean his teeth a week from 1st apt, he fell and chipped a tooth before apt, they took him inside & didn’t let us in with him, we insisted to go with him as he was scared, they said NO, they said they would strap him and sedate him but I could hear him cry through the walls for over 20min. A nurse came out urging me to sign a doc saying that they might need to pull out 3 teeth, I asked to talk to dentist & was told I couldn’t, I asked to see my son same thing they said NO, I said if you take them out they will move, they said NO. I asked when teeth will grow they said 5-6 years old, I said but can’t we do anything to don’t remove them, she said dentist will try, but i need to hurry as they are waiting on me. she went back in and could hear my son cry ev en more. I cried along with him. The nurse handed me my son 3 teeth less, full of blood, sweaty, exhausted and traumatized. I myself felt speechless and was crying. The nurse gave me a little envelop which I thought were my son’s teeth they had removed and said “see you in 6 months”. The envelope had 2 little non sterile sponges. so they robbed me and my son of his first teeth.He was still in pain for almost a month, we couldn’t get close to his mouth to brush correctly his teeth, it took work, patience and love from me and my husband. I talked to a dentist and he said they shouldn’t have taken out his teeth as they were baby teeth, unless they were really really bad, which they weren’t, if they were they should have Xray’d. they should have given me the chance to get a second opining, or treat the teeth. the dentist should have taken the time to come out and answer (correctly) my questions, as the nurse didn’t apparently the teeth will not come out before 8 years old and t his will create other problems, that I will have to deal/pay with like speech problem (my son might need speech therapy) since they are the front teeth, also he will need braces as the teeth are moving all over and the permanent teeth will not find were to grow. they robbed my son of a beautiful smile, everyone makes fun of him because he is missing 3 front teeth and he is only 2.5y.o. We are scared to return to the dentist or any other dentist, my son is scared of any white room even when we go to take pictures at the photograph he is scared because it’s all white. Everyone is encouraging me to sue the dentist especially because I was pressured to take such a decision, I didn’t make a decision based on a explanation made by the dentist himself in a calm environment, but rushed with no explanation by a nurse. My son suffered for nothing since this teeth removing only provoked more problems, my son was subjected to an emotional and physical nightmare he was terrified and dis traught, struggling, screaming and crying, it has been over a year and I still cry when I see him smile or help him brush his teeth. Do you think I have a case?

    • I have no expertise in the matter, but I do think you should consult a lawyer. It sounds as if the treatment and their attitude to both you and your son was intolerable. I do wish you well.

  98. Hello,

    I’m not exactly sure who to consult but I recently had a root canal done about a month ago and now I have pain and what looks like a pimple on the surrounding gum, and from my understanding, an infection. Just curious to know if dentists carry some kind of guarantee or warranty also do you think I can sue for malpractice
    -thank you

    • Hi Tintu – I’d revisit your dentist and have him/her take a look at it. There are many complications that can occur with root canals, and your dentist will best be able to let you know what to do.

  99. I am in LARGO, FL. My son needs his four wisdom teeth pulled. Could anyone give me a name of a good surgeon. He has Ameritas insurance. I have a list of dentists from insurance but would like a recommendation. Thank you. He is in no pain but is going to Australia for a year in December. I wonder about the cost and care in Australia.
    Also, I went to a school for over 13,000 in dental care. After prepping my teeth for two implants and two crowns the school refused to finish the job. They were my front teeth. Is this normal procedure?

  100. I”m in need of a dentist opinion to write me an dental report that I can use for legal purposes and present to an attorney. I do not have an attorney but plan to have one once I get a dental expert report. I’m in Maryland. Thank you.

  101. The dentist from my daugther he burned with a metal thing by the lips lower he was making a extraction baby teeth and he said was accident but my daugther has 14 days and she has the mark is possible he made Violation of the Standard of Care Caused the Injury and I can sue to this doctor [I can proof the burn by pics] He said put her vaseline or nesoporine cream a 7-14 days volaa desapear. but is a little trauma see my daugther with that mark.

  102. Hi there, I had an oral surgery in early 2013 to remove the upper wisdom teeth.

    They were already fully grown in and slightly impacted but there was no discomfort to me or infection. I went in to get them removed before insurance ran out so I could have this procedure covered.

    Years before, I have already had the lower wisdom’s removed including the molars normally right near the wisdom teeth so I am already missing the pair of lower molars.

    For the 2013 surgery, the new doctor recommended I pull out the upper molars as well to match my lower row. He said I wouldn’t have any discomfort or have any facial changes, or speech impairment. This is because I specifically asked him before agreeing to have the extra teeth removed. The doctor seemed to care little about my oral health needs and instead him and his team kept mentioning “maxing out the benefits” (from my insurance).

    Following the surgery I immediately noticed changes to my face of an “aged” appearance. And I retained speech impairment even after swelling dissipated. I remarked that I sounded like I had a mouth full of syrup. I returned immediately to speak with the doctor and voice my concerns, and also asked why I wasn’t offered information about possibly needing to have implants rather than extra extractions? They told me I was imagining things and told me an xray was a possibility in 3 months and that I could seek out plastic surgery options instead. Frustrated, I never returned or spoke with them since.

    I still have the aged appearance and impacts to my speech. My eyes now protrude in a deformity. Can’t vocalize as loudly or as fluently as before. The jaw bone has begun diminishing at the extraction points and is expected to fully dissolve with the lack of teeth to stimulate the jaw bone. I also am getting the teeth put back in but am still gathering the funding to do this, as I am a full time college student returning/finishing school. I have been emailing/receiving calls on options for a facility to provide the implants for over 7 months now approximately. I feel like I am deserving of lawsuit or settlement funding and consider the doctor’s actions and misleading responses/misinformation malpractice. I feel that they should cover the expenses to have the upper molar teeth put back in. I also have suffered from serious depression and panic disorder since the surgical repercussions had set in, and was hospitalized recently in the ER due to extenuating stresses and mental disturbance due to my “new face.” I feel it is hopeless for me to get a good job now with my exhausted “aged” look now, and my new panic disorder that prevents me from being able to seek work because of this. I also feel a dull pain/tension in my upper jaw because I have less support for my face, it truly does ache and is aching me while typing this. I also have my teeth shifting, and my bite is severely affected by the molar removals which is expected to lead to further bone loss of the jaw, and it is hard to chew food properly. The worst of this is also that I have gum recession to some of my teeth now in the upper palate due to the missing teeth. None of this was explained to me, and I was assured I wouldn’t even notice them being gone. In fact I was told I had a “small jaw” and should have less teeth anyway. To me this seems very misleading and unprofessional…I’m not sure that has any real bearing in oral health, that less teeth would be a benefit to anyone. And I certainly see now that I am having all of these negative effects to my oral health. Cost-wise I would lose a lot of money to correct these damages in the future, and it could’ve been prevented by getting serious and professional consultation advice when I asked what the effects would be of having extra and unnecessary teeth removed.

    I would SO appreciate advice on whether or not I may have a case, as my situation may be fairly unique. I may proceed with a case regardless as I feel I have been a victim of malpractice and deserve justice, and need a chance to set things right. I would just like the teeth back in and am struggling to get this set in motion. Thanks in advice for any words of advice/recommendations/etc…!

  103. I had cracked my #15 tooth in January. #14 was a crown that was done back in 2005. The dentist repaired the #15 tooth. I had returned for a dental cleaning and x-rays on March 12, 2014. I mentioned that I had headaches every day since the repair. I had to repeatedly take Tylenol Migrane medicine, migrane medicine, and even hydrocodone to get through my work days. I repeatedly asked to leave my jobs early if work was done. Then, I started having constant facial pain of an aching, dull nature. My primary doctor put me on Tegretol as it felt I had the same symptoms that I had following the crown repair in 2005. The pain was absolutely terrible! In fact, I had overdosed on Tegretol and Hydrocodone in an attempt to only take away the pain. I had to quit my second part-time job that I started in January and go out on short-term disability diagnosed with acute trigeminal neuralgia. Subsequently, I developed depression, anxiety and had to be medicated for that as well. I did not qualify for long-term disability and applied for SSDI. In the meantime, I had no income coming into the home. I took my family to a new dentist because we needed dental cleanings. The new dentist did x-rays and found that I had two dental abscesses in teeth #14 and #15. He put me on Penicillin for 10 days. I finished the prescription and he discussed that I needed to have the abscesses cleaned with a subsequent root canal. Since I had no income, I had to have the two teeth pulled. In the meantime, I suffered headaches for 4 days and on the 5th day, I had the most excruciating headache! I called the dental office to move the extractions up to Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. The dentist said that it was worse than he thought. He said that when he removed the crown and cut the stub of tooth I had a terrible foul
    smelling anaerobic discharge. He said that the infection had to at least been there for more than a year. My gum was debrieded all the way up to the bottom of my sinus cavity. I can feel that the gum now has a “tunneled” area and I continue to feel pressure and constant ear ringing.

    I obtained x-rays from dentist #1 and dentist #2 said that there was an abscess on tooth #15. Dentist #1 did not say that there was an abscess, or treat this abscess with antibiotics or debriedment/root canal. Dentist #1 was negligent by failing to treat me and now I have had a terrible injury, loss of two jobs, depression, and loss of two teeth! I want to sue.

  104. I had cracked my #15 tooth in January. #14 was a crown that was done back in 2005. The dentist repaired the #15 tooth. I had returned for a dental cleaning and x-rays on March 12, 2014. I mentioned that I had headaches every day since the repair. I had to repeatedly take Tylenol Migrane medicine, migrane medicine, and even hydrocodone to get through my work days. I repeatedly asked to leave my jobs early if work was done. Then, I started having constant facial pain of an aching, dull nature. My primary doctor put me on Tegretol as it felt I had the same symptoms that I had following the crown repair in 2005. The pain was absolutely terrible! In fact, I had overdosed on Tegretol and Hydrocodone in an attempt to only take away the pain. I had to quit my second part-time job that I started in January and go out on short-term disability diagnosed with acute trigeminal neuralgia. I had to take 900 mg of Tegretol daily to manage the pain. My fibromyalgia was worse and I had to go to a pain clinic that put me on Oxycodone and Baclofen for the pain. They wanted me to go for a psych consultation. Subsequently, I developed depression, anxiety and had to be medicated for that as well. I did not qualify for long-term disability and applied for SSDI. In the meantime, I had no income coming into the home. I took my family to a new dentist because we needed dental cleanings. The new dentist did x-rays and found that I had two dental abscesses in teeth #14 and #15. He put me on Penicillin for 10 days. I finished the prescription and he discussed that I needed to have the abscesses cleaned with a subsequent root canal. Since I had no income, I had to have the two teeth pulled. In the meantime, I suffered headaches for 4 days and on the 5th day, I had the most excruciating headache! I called the dental office to move the extractions up to Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. The dentist said that it was worse than he thought. He said that when he removed the crown and cut the stub of tooth I had a terrible foul
    smelling anaerobic discharge. He said that the infection had to at least been there for more than a year. My gum was debrieded all the way up to the bottom of my sinus cavity. I can feel that the gum now has a “tunneled” area and I continue to feel pressure and constant ear ringing.

    I obtained x-rays from dentist #1 and dentist #2 said that there was an abscess on tooth #15. Dentist #1 did not say that there was an abscess, or treat this abscess with antibiotics or debriedment/root canal. Dentist #1 was negligent by failing to treat me and now I have had a terrible injury, loss of two jobs, depression, and loss of two teeth! I want to sue.

  105. I dated Carolina for 8years until i found out she was cheating on me i was so mad at her that i could not even look at her anymore. As time went on i and Carolina was trying to fix things but my best friend wanted us to be apart from each other, in other to have her to herself which he later achieved. Carolina wasn’t paying attention to me anymore. All she could think of was how she could dump me and my two beautiful kids in other to be with my best friend.I was so heart broken because i loved her so much i tried all means to get her back but it wasn’t possible. After a long while of unhappiness i meant a spell caster on internet whose name is Dr Oye i explained my problem to him and he demanded for some materials to prepare a spell and i provided the materials and since then my life has been transformed from sadness to happiness. If you have similar problem he might be the right person to solve your problem so if you need help contact him now to get your happiness back

  106. The other day I went in for a dental only (amount other things). I had been warned that if the decay was more extensive, a root canal may be needed. I agreed to that. 4 hours later as I’m coming out of my drug induced haze, I’m at home (friend dropped/picked me up) with my tooth gone (extracted). Now, this tooth wasn’t causing me any pain or discomfort at all previously, and I think I would have rather kept the tooth rather than have our just removed. It’s my understanding that to replace this tooth is an even more expensive implant. Do I have any room for legal implications, doing a procedure (extraction) not previously discussed?

  107. I went to my regular dentist to fix a cavity (my filling fell out), and to fix a chip (invisible from outside) on my front top tooth. While the dentist was trying to repair it, piece of tooth chipped off from it’s lower part. The dentist probably panicked, and instead of telling me what’s happened and discussing with me how to proceed, and maybe giving me some options, he simply “trimmed/sanded” my booth top front teeth to the point they totally lost their natural rounded shape, look like they were cut with a knife, and are shorter that neighbouring teeth! With each day I hate the way my teeth look (unnatural and short) more and more, and I feel absolutely depressed about it.
    Can I sue my dentist for making my front teeth (and the whole teeth line) looking so ugly without asking my permission to do this barbaric procedure? Because it never can be fixed without doing anything major, and even then I still lost my beautifully looking front teeth forever. I’ve never tried to sue (or even considered suing) anyone, not even when my tongue lost its sensitivity for almost a year with anoother dentist (root canal), but I feel horrible about this one.
    Any advise please? And thank you.

  108. I have an 11 year old son that went in for tooth pain. Dentist stated he needed a root canal and crown. The following week the ex wife takes him in for his root canal. My son was in the chair for 3 1/2 hours, dentist was constantly leaving the room to work on other patients. Root canal was not completed, had to schedule another appointment. 2 weeks later he is in the chair for 2 1/2 hours as the dentist again is leaving room to work on other patients. This time he is gone so long the anesthesia wore off. Dentist had seen 6-8 Other patients when he was suppose to be working on my son. Not only that when he got home the tooth the dentist was working on chipped. I call, request his records and advise them we will be going to a new dentist.
    New dentist appointment was today. New Dentist tells ex wife the son 11 needs to see a specialist because the root canal wasn’t done properly. 2 roots were drilled to far and the 3rd wasn’t drilled far enough. Also some other stuff where he didn’t fill properly. I am extremely upset. I had to pay this negligent dentist up front and now my son needs to see a specialist and still has to have the crown put in by the new dentist. What if anything can I do? I want my money back from original dentist so I can pay for specialist and new dentist.

  109. I had a question I went to a oral surgeon to have a impacted wisdom tooth removed.he have to cut it in 4 peices to get it was all good intill about 4 weeks later.the part of the socket was starting to come out of side of my gum.I went to dentist.he cutt it back the socket.then it got infected went to er they gave me meds.but the socket is coming out again.I don’t know what to hurts getting the socket bone shaved

  110. I have a question that hopefully someone could answer.. I have recently started seeing a new dentist(mainly because their hours fit my work schedule more) who also has worked on my father’s teeth. He told me I had a crazy amount of cavities, which I believed seeing as I have a colic issue so that is understandable. They took X-rays and said there was a tooth that may need a root canal but the X-ray wasn’t perfect so they needed to cut a hole in my tooth to see inside. I agreed thinking they were professionals and I am no dentist. Thinking it would be a small hole at that. I have used the gas while at the dentist with them seeing as I have dental anxiety.. This time they must have had it turned up because I fell asleep or blacked out or something(I was definitely not aware or awake by any means) I woke up to find my lip cut and was somewhat out of it.. I went home thinking nothing of it for that night for the coating that they filled the area in my tooth they cut open to “see inside” to fall out. It was quite a large hole as well, which I was not expecting seeing as it’s almost the whole bottom of my tooth that was cut open. They saw me the day after to put a filling back in it so nothing could get in there and damage the tooth more. This was at least two to three months ago. I am now noticing that the filling must be coming out again (not an actually tooth filling- just something to plug the hole that they drilled to see inside). Is there something I can do about this? I’m am already paying about $1500 for all the work with 2 insurances being billed and they just keep telling me I have substantial work that needs to be done. Is there someone I can call to help me? I thought they would look out for my better interest seeing as they are the doctors and I trusted them- now realizing how silly that was of me. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

  111. Recipient of dental implants upper jaw had 12 failures 1 remaining ended up breaking off at bone level. All 4 lower implants had no problems, I was 46 when the procedure was started and after 2.5 years of constant pain from the cycle of failure and new placements every 6 months, I called it quits.

    I’m a nonsmoker and non drinker, I attribute the failures all to the lack of a good fitting temporary denture to protect them during healing and my surgeon was not proficient in performing the procedure. I went in several times asking to have a new temporary upper denture made but was told that I would be getting my permanent one after I healed in 4 to 6 months. I explained that I felt it was the cause of the failures, so loosely fitting that it was actually making it worse to wear it than if I removed it, either way was not good for the healing process.

    I even ended up paying more for a larger sized implant and had bone graft placed in my jaw to help support it, it too failed due to soft tissue growth in the implant area and was surgically removed. Failure is painful and usually unpredictable, other times I could tell within seconds after the dentist screwed them in place. I stayed awake during 2 procedures to see if I could figure out what he was doing wrong. I could feel the lack of tightness while it was being screwed into my jaw. I knew instantly that those would fail and told him right them. within 2 weeks those all failed and they either fell out or I was able to gent;y pull them out of the jaw bone with tremendous pain while others came out as if they were a lose tooth. After 12 failures I has 1 that stayed, it broke off while I was eating.

    My upper denture eventually broke in half from so many holes drilled into it to accommodate the new implants and I eventually gave up and went in to get my new dentures made since they both were temporary. I found out my denture maker had died. This was a company based operation called GENEVA 2000 DENTURE CENTER, when I went in to see the new replacement for him I was told that I was out of luck! They refused to be associated to the case and considered me to be a new patient. Even though I paid for everything up front to the Geneva 2000 dental center, with no insurance coverage out of my pocket costing over $27,000! I was then t0ld that he would give me a discount but he was not going to handle any charity cases! I argued that it wasn’t charity I was paid in full! He then gave me a possible quote for services totaling another $10,000 and wanted me to return to their oral surgeon again to get more implants!

    Why would I even consider going back to him and starting a new failed painful time again. I just wanted what I paid for. After trying to contact Geneva without reply I’m now contacting a lawyer.

    Be very careful when it comes to implants the failure rate on upper jaws is more in the 40-50% rate, an honest dentist will tell you this and most likely not even do the procedure or will let you know that the cost will be much higher than the lower and will come with possible failures. I was told there was a 95% success rate which then was changed to a 70% due to lack of dentists reporting the failures. But the reality is more like 40% since they will only report failures that cannot be fixed. Leaving out the previous 3 failures before they had a success on that original attempt. Then just calling it a success, not 3 failures and 1 success for each implant scheduled.

    • I have checked with other dental surgeons and NONE of them would behave the way you and I have been treated after a FAILED implant(s).
      They all told me, even if it broke 5 years later, we would “stand behind our work”, and fix it for free.

      $13,000.00 for (2) dental implants, grafting and crowns, for three months of chewing, and the surgeon is the ONLY one looking, to keep charging.
      I told mine that I “called the health dept., to make sure asking you to fix it for free,w as not being unreasonable, AND they also said, I have the right to the same comfort level, during the procedure.” THAT did not happen either. No IV sedation, zero pain medication.
      Most expensive service for a “maybe” outcome”
      People are not the same, and painting us all with one very broad brush, thinking NONE OF THEM WILL HAVE PAIN”, is ignorant and downright cruel.
      IF it fails the second time around, then what? Nice big GAP on the side of my mouth for THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.
      He failed to “disclose” at any time, that implants & grafting, can fail.
      DISCLOSURE is key to winning your lawsuit if you file one.
      “Did Dr. Arrogrant tell you that grafting & implants can fail?”
      I HATE attorneys, so I would never sue the surgeon. The only real winner, is the attorney.
      My surgeon acted like grafting was the “end all be all” form of ensuring, there is no failure.
      That proved to be untrue.

  112. Hi, I have some concerns about my orthodontist. Okay so I went get braces and I still had my baby canine teeth both sides right and left and my adult tooth on my left side was growing behind my baby tooth. So they removed my baby tooth so the adult canine can in put in place. In the process of moving my adult canine in place my front teeth moved forward like way forward. My canine still wasn’t where it was suppose to be so they put wires and a spacer to move my front teeth back to there original place . After a few months my teeth were back to normal. But I noticed that my adult canine was a slightly different color from the rest I didn’t think anything of it . I went to see my orthodontist and she told me that my canine is slowly dying that I need a root canal but I’m only 17 I dont want a root canal ! Can I sue my orthodontist for hurting my nerves in my canine tooth ? Note I was never aware that this could happen to my tooth with all the wires pulling on my tooth ?


    My husband and i have been married for 13 years, He is a business man but during November 2014, he went to Dubai for business,he meant a young lady there and he was enchanted by this lady all because she was wealthy, my husband refuse to return back home. He abandoned his family and decided to get married to the other woman. My husband was a wealthy man with properties so i took the case to court and i told the judge that i want all this properties and a monthly income for me to take care of the family that he left behind. My husband was so angry and he was against it, the judge was also against it. The judge told me it is impossible but i did not listen to them. After the first day in court i was so scared because it was not really working for me, then i contacted a spell caster called Dr ogbu at and explained everything to him. Dr ogbu told me that i should worry no more that my heart desire will be granted and i will win the case. He cast a spell for me and told me that everything have been done. On January 9th we went to court again and i was so surprised that everything turn out successful and i won the case. I and my children were given the properties and other benefit including the monthly income. The judge and my husband easily agreed to my terms and i am so happy and grateful to Dr ogbu. If you have any court case and your looking for help contact Dr ogbu and he is ready to help you.


  114. Hello i recentally brought my daughter for some dental work a few months back an today one has got infected am i able to file a lawsuit on them this is bew to me an have no idea what to fo to them….

  115. I have Parsonage-Turner syndrome. It started to act up during my dental extractions, and I was trying to explain to the doctor what it was and how it might affect future extractions (I have to take steroids and that complicates things). The doctor said I was making up Parsonage-Turner and tossed me out of the office. Weirdest thing I have ever had happen to me. He charted that I was making it up, too.
    Its real, and is often aggravated by dental extractions. Is “crazy a**hole who denies the existence of hereditary neuropathy” reason to sue? Or should I just write a nice note to his licensing board, with my most recent EMG results?

  116. My husband had his teeth pulled in prep for dentures by a horrible dentist. Not only did he endure the worst torture while he was doing it, he broke 3 of his teeth off. Then he threw a temper tantrum, saying he would have to see a oral surgeon and your insurance wont cover it he yelled. Then he left the room and my husband had to see himself out, without any pain medication. He received a referral to the oral surgeon and exactly one week later had the appointment to have the 3 roots removed. I took him to the appointment and even went into the procedure room until he started. I left to run to office and called and told them to call when he was ready to be picked up. I received a call about 20 minutes later saying that during the procedure he had difficulty breathing, so the work was stopped after removing one root, and an ambulance was taking him to the closest emergency room.

    Upon my arrival, I was pulled aside and told that the main concern was the 10 minutes he went without oxygen. He had gone into cardiac arrest while in the ambulance, but was given cpr immediately. They put him into a medical coma for 3 days and lowered his body temperature to try and lessen any damage. The cat scans and tests run showed significant brain damage due to lack of oxygen. They said he never regained conciousness, possibly an allergic reaction to the counter drugs he was given? Short story, my husband is now at a skilled nursing facility with brain damage. He can turn his head, and his arms have curled up and tensed. He cannot speak, or respond to commands. His eyes are open at times and he can fix on you, but
    no one knows if he knows what is going on or understands anything.

    Of course I have file a lawsuit against the oral surgeon. How can someone treating patients in a medical environment neglect to do something as simple as monitor his condition and provide oxygen when he stops breathing? Lesson learned – never under estimate how precious life is and how hard it is to lose
    your loved one at any moment or day. His life was robbed from him, he only had asthma. The surgeon
    replied that he doesn’t think he did anything to hurt him. He claims that he was alert and responding when ambulance picked him up. If that is the case…..why the hell did you call an ambulance??

    To add insult to injury, they took his credit card out of his wallet and ran a charge for $230. When I asked what for, I was told insurance didnt cover it. So procedures must be paid for before any work starts. I said I was there and he never gave him his card, they took it without permission. She said they had his signature
    approving payment. 3 days later I found the receipt in his camera bag (purse). The time stamp was 8 minutes after they called me !!! Remember the doctor said he never regained conciousness…. How could he have signed approving payment. There was no invoice saying what was paid for. 2 months later I call the insurance company and find out that they submitted a claim for not only the one tooth removal, but for all 3 roots, plus some cutting of the gums to remove bone to make wearing of dentures more comfortable.
    AND THEY PAID SOME OF IT<<< How is that possible if it isnt covered or even done?? Welcome to my hell.THEY WERE MORE CONCERNED WITH STEALING HIS MONEY, THAN SAVING HIS LIFE……

  117. The dental implant surgeon gave me Amoxicillan after having (2) single implants on #5 & #12. Both had grafting done.
    I vomited on the antibiotic, after a day, so he told me to d/c it. I took pain medication for my cervical fusion, but the added implant surgery was untouched, by this dose. I packed my head in ice, and bawled for 4 days.

    Before I even got the crowns, I had an earache. I went to my primary care doctor, and he said “its not red”,
    It persisted. I went to a “walk in clinic” because it was killing me.
    They referred me to an ENT. He called and I told him I did have (2) implants done.
    He said “go back to the dental surgeon and tell him, I think the implant failed.’

    He did not do anything. My primary care doctor gave me ciprex ear drops that did help the pain calm down, “some”.
    (3) months later, the crown felt wiggly on #5. I went to my dentist because he put them on.
    He confirmed with an x-ray that it was the, “implant that failed”.

    Dental surgeon had to dig out the grafting, add in more, let it heal and start all over. The surgeon was angry because I insisted I was not paying him any more money! It failed within 8 months. The earache went away after the grafting was removed! BINGO!

    My dentist immediately said, “no charge for the crown” because your insurance kicked in for one of them.
    When the surgeon had to put the post in the second time (no charge) he only gave me gas and novacaine.
    The first time he insisted I use IV sedation, telling me, their office does not have nitrous oxide.
    He refused to even consider ANY pain medication, even though he was told by (2) of my doctors, that I have “chronic pain” from (2) cervical fusions, with ongoing spasms.” I had gone off (2) narcotics on my own.
    I dropped oxycodone from 30 mgs 3 x’s a day to 20 mgs BID. My primary care doctor told everyone, “she is not a problem with pain meds. I am PROUD of her for going off (2) on her own, You do not have to perceive her as a “drug seeker”.
    The IV sedation doctor saw and heard that he was a “wimp” so he told me, “I gave you something that should keep the pain down for about 6 more hours.”

    Here we are now on round two. All of a sudden, he has nitrous oxide and that is all I am getting, “because it cheaper”. (His exact words) He called in NOTHING. Both antibiotics made me vomit my guts out. I called the office and asked if he would consider a “nausea medication” since that is the issue with antibiotics. I ended up finding a (2) year old expired, “KADIAN” that I had gone off of in 2013. IT SAVED me from a trip to the ER. ONE “ER” pill is all I needed to make me able to function! I had to rely on cervical fusion medication for my facial, temple and eye socket throbbing pain, because this “doctor”???….”does not really care”. He said that phrase 5-6 time, during the 2nd implant of #5. (4 words you never want to hear during dental surgery)
    He waited until the NEXT DAY to call me back, because he wanted to “check with your primary care doctor”, AGAIN!
    My primary care doctor, said he has never had any dentist, call him so many times. It was for nausea for Gods sake!
    I finally kept an antibiotic (Z-pack) down (3) days AFTER, the second implant SURGERY.
    It is a surgery and he never asks; “what is your pain level on a 1-10 scale?”
    Two teeth next to the implant were still bleeding and both had really terrible pain. My entire head was throbbing. (I only had the one Kadian that I used 2 1/2 hours after the surgery ended)
    I had to tell him to think about “nausea” medication”, as he just kept dropping the ball.
    Does he not have any duty to make sure I am not in pain?
    Just because some people do not have pain, does not mean we are all the same.
    People with grafting, do have MORE pain then those that did not.

    During the second procedure, I heard him say 5-6 times to his assistant; “You know what? I really do not care!”
    He was not making sure, his patient had a good outcome, his mind was in the mode of: “I am not making money right now..I am doing this for free.”
    Tomorrow I get the stitches out. I am not going to say a word, because I will go off on him.
    Leaving a person in that much pain, for 3-5 days, vomiting for 2 of them, seems like “deviation of humanity”.
    Compete and totally, blatant disregard, for the well being of your own patient.

    I am not looking for a lawsuit. I just wanted what I paid for, and I wanted the procedure done, with some level of compassion.
    The fact is, he never addressed the nausea and vomiting that he knew I had an issue with, in the first implant appointment. One would THINK, he would know to prescribe, “anti-nausea” medication, because it exists, and I have had other dentists prescribe it, when I had teeth pulled.
    As the patient, why am I calling him, to tell him about this?
    Not getting ANY antibiotic into me, the first time, certainly could be why #5 failed to begin with.

    Now this time, I did not get any to stay down until over (3) days later.
    He turned off the oxygen and gas and the pain was IMMEDIATE and I told him so.
    He gave me an ice pack, that was “luke warm”, and sent me home to puke and writhe in pain.

    He deviated in the standard of PAIN that patients have some rights to not have to endure for a week!
    You keep covering their asses, while the rest of us just suffer at the hands of those who are afraid to prescribe pain medication for 4 days! DAYS….not weeks or months.
    My husband had a root canal and was given VICODIN. He never needed it, but he had it in case he was in pain.

    The internet is where I will get some form of justice and I will file a complaint with the health dept.
    I do not want any money, I just wanted to be treated like a human being.
    He is unreasonable, and he is insecure by the mere fact, that he has to run every move he makes, before my primary care doctor who is frankly, sick of him calling him all the time!

    ASK before you choose a dental implant surgeon. You might not have any pain, but if you do, you do not want this jerk as your surgeon.
    Posting honest reviews about both surgeries is going to be his KARMA~

  118. I really like your reasoning for writing this article. I think that professionals in a field often feel uncomfortable sharing what constitutes negligence in their field. However, I don’t think that it will be an issue for you if you aren’t negligent. Furthermore, the fact that you researched and wrote the article may keep make you more aware of these issues when you are practicing.

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  120. Why is it that there is an overwhelming dismissing/denying of a dentist at fault and why such generalized or “nowhere” advice to people to pursue dental malpractice?

  121. Hi! I have a few questions. I went to a dentist yesterday because I needed a crown on my front tooth. I was a new patient and filled out a form saying this:
    .RISK OF DENTAL PROCEDURES IN GENERAL: Included (but not limited to) are complications resulting from the use of dental instruments, drugs, medicine, analgesics (pain killers), aesthetics and injections. These complications include pain, infection, swelling, bleeding, sensitivity, numbness, and tingling sensation in the lip, tongue, chin, gums, cheeks and teeth, thrombophlebitis (inflammation of a vein), reaction to injections, change in occlusion (biting), muscle cramps and spasms, temporomandibular (jaw) joint difficulty, loosening of teeth or restoration in teeth, injury to other tissues, referred pain to the ear, neck and head, nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, itching, bruises, delayed healing, sinus complications, and further surgery. Medication and drugs may cause drowsiness and lack of awareness and coordination (which can be influenced by the use of alcohol or other drugs, thus it is advisable not to operate any vehicle or hazardous device, or work for 24 hours or until recovered from their effects.

    I signed this piece of paper that also had other registration info. My question is does a dentist have to have a cleaning done the first time someone is seeing him? Wouldn’t he be more concerned with X-rays and fixing a broken front tooth that needed a crown or is this procedure just done to put more money in his pocket?
    Upon cleaning my teeth, a lower back tooth was cracked which I did not know and when the dental hygienist cleaned my teeth, a part of my tooth came out and I almost swallowed it. She said, “You knew that tooth was cracked right?” I said, “No.” I was very concerned after that happened while still in their office and asked if he was going to fix that tooth that they broke off. They refused to fix it unless I paid $265. He put in a temporary crown and I left not really thinking about it. All night I was in pain, still am, and this morning I called them and told them how they needed to fix the tooth because of a very unprofessional dentist who only cared about my money verses what he should have done before I left out of the kindness and the right thing to do from someone’s heart. But I forgot, we can hardly find those kind of people anymore. I even threatened them by stating I was going to call an attorney if they didn’t fix it. They were not scared at all and now I know why after reading this site and others as well saying how hard it is to sue a dentist and win unless it’s a MAJOR injury. I’m very upset that now I sit here with an ugly front temporary tooth and a hole in the bottom of my back tooth and hurting pretty bad. Now I have to find another dentist to basically do the same things all over again and fork out more money while praying I don’t once again get a dentist that only looks at your wallet. So I’m wondering why my teeth were cleaned in the first place when I went there to get ONLY a front crown on my tooth in the first place. Which resulted in me leaving with almost a whole tooth taken out and was neglected to get it filled unless I could pay them for a mistake they made! I would truly appreciate anyone’s help/advice about this poor treatment.
    Thank you!

  122. My endodontist did an unnecessary root canal on a healthy tooth. Now I am going back to get one done on the tooth that originally needed it. During this time, I have had an infection and missed a few days of work. He is willing to give me the second root canal for free, but that’s it. I am worried about future problems with this tooth beyond the 2 year statute of limitations. It might fracture or need a crown, an extraction or an implant. (My general dentist thinks a filling and a post will do for now, so I wasn’t going to get a crown just yet.) The endodontist says he will give me a letter stating that if the tooth needs more work he will personally pay for it, but he’s already 70 and I’m only 50 and I wonder if this will be enforceable in 10 or 15 years. I would feel better with money in the bank in case that happens due to a weakened tooth structure. I was trying to settle this privately without a law suit, but am not sure if he is taking me seriously. My general dentist has seen his x-rays and confirms that he did the wrong tooth.

  123. Took my daughter in to an oral surgeon to have all 4 of her wisdom teeth extracted. They only removed 2 lower however documented and CHARGED that they removed ALL 4. Now my daughters top wsdm teeth have erupted and are hurting her. Now, she/ has to take off to get another X-ray and exam? This is NOT right? Can I sue?

  124. What about failing to prescribe an antibiotic, prior to or after tooth extraction & bone grafting the site?
    the grafting was to add bone so I could get (2) dental implants.
    Three months after having it removed and re-grafted (still NO ANTIBIOTICS) the implant has failed and had to be removed for the second time!
    Three years, $13,000.00 to a huge gap on both sides of my jaw!
    I did not sign up to be broke and ugly.
    I told him every single medical condition so he had every “out” to say I was not a candidate.
    Bone loss is due to an INFECTION, and I had it happen twice.

    The WORST FACIAL pain, temple pain, and the throbbing behind my right eye for (10) days TWICE, pushed me over the edge. I was a different person, after enduring all that torture.

  125. Hi Tom, thank you for your informative article. I was wondering if you could comment about my issue with my orthodontist. I had braces from about 2001 to 2003 and was really happy with the results. In about 2012 I started noticing I was getting an overjet again. I went to a few orthos who told me there wasn’t much they could do unless I wanted to do jaw surgery which I didn’t want to because I know how painful it could be. Anyway I got a lot of consultation and most told me the same thing. They said they could move the teeth a bit but it wouldn’t fix the overjet. It didn’t make sense to me because if the overjet was gone becks before I figured it could just be fixed again. Anyhow I believe it was the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013 I decided to get incognito braces with the one ortho that told me he could totally fix my bite. I asked him a bunch of times if he was sure and he said definitely yes. Well it is now 2015 and my bite is so much worse. Not only is my over jet still there but now I have an open bite and my teeth don’t look as straight as they did before. My teeth were perfectly straight when I got the incognito on, it was just the bite that bothered me. Now he wants to remove the incognito and put on regular braces which I believe will be a waste of time. I’m so upset and so depressed because after paying almost $7,000 I look so much worse! The reason I got and paid extra for incognito was because I’m 37 and didn’t want the look of braces but the look was worst because during these years I had to wear bulky bracket(not sure if that’s what they’re called) on the outside of my teeth for the rubber bands and when that didn’t work I had to wear these big metal springs from the outside top teeth to the bottom. It has been horrible and don’t know what I can do. I believe if all of the other orthodontists knew my teeth wouldn’t move and that braces couldn’t fix my overbite then he did or should have also known. That’s literally all I can think about all day. I’m constantly taking pictures of my mouth and teeth and just wish I would have not gotten braces because now I have a horrible open bite which I’m sure the braces won’t fix. What do you think I should do? Can I sue? Do I have any shot if winning if I do? Thanks for any input you can give me.

  126. Hi, my name is Erin an here’s what happened to me.
    I went into the dentist july 8th because my wisdom tooth was infected. Awhile I was there my dentist brought up to me how I was suppose to have a couple cavities filled an how she wants to redo all my fillings. So she asked if she can redo them all that day. I gave in an had her to do. Well after she did the work on my teeth, about a day or two later I notice that my jaw now has a lump in it. I left it alone thinking maybe the lump was caused from my infection. Well is been almost three weeks an the lump an swelling has got worse. The infection in my tooth is gone but the lump is still in my jaw an it’s swelled pretty bad. I think the dentist may has cause a hematoma to form. I not sure exactly what this lump is from but its on the side of my mouth where work was preformed. I don’t know what do to. I have lots of pressure there an it only hurts when it gets touched. Please help me an give me advice.
    You can email me at
    thank you.

  127. I am getting a refund from my dentist for a crown.
    He sent this long legal document that says I cannot show it to anyone or tell anyone about it.
    Why not?
    Why can’t I write truthful reviews about the worst, most painful and expensive experience, I have ever had getting dental implants, grafting and two crowns?
    One implant broke and the was redone and the dentist does not want to put the crown on the new implant.
    I paid him for that. Its in writing and I paid in full.
    Getting a refund should not take away MY right to free speech in the form of a review.
    Obviously his office ONLY allows nicey-nice review or the boot you from the office.
    I have been going there for 10 years and this is how they treat you when things go wrong?
    The periodontist said it was the dentist fault that the implant broke. He said he used “too much torque”.
    Is this legal for him to put a gag order in the document?
    I am not signing it right away.
    I crossed it out on the form the periodontist gave to me for a partial refund for the implant that broke.
    He took it that way and I mailed it into Consumer Protection.
    I had to go to them to have them help mediate a refund.

  128. Hi i was having a partially impacted third molar removed the dentist took x ray and sayed it needs to be removrd so i say ok. He behins to prep me and starts the procedure about an hour later he say hr cant remove it an i will need an oral surgeon. And to come back next thursday this is a whole week
    And now am in severe pain. With a broken third mollar. And cant eat
    Is this regular practice…
    Please advice

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  130. I went to my dentist a week ago today for 4 fillings all on the right side of my mouth. I have had several fillings and a root canal in the past with no problems. My face was pretty numb during the procedure but I did feel as though something was maybe resting or rubbing against the inner corner of my lips. While still working on my mouth the dentist started to make comments on how my face was starting to look irritated. By the end she held a mirror up to show me and my whole cheek and bottom lip were severely swollen and red. I was in shock to see it and she told me she wasn’t sure but thought it looked like an allergic reaction. I was confused by this because I have had plenty of dental work in the past with zero problems. She prescribed me a magic mouthwash. Later in the day what looks like blisters stated forming on my lip and the inside of my cheek. The next morning I returned to see the dentist at her request and she prescribed me steroids and amoxicillin. She seemed unsure of what was happening which made me uncomfortable so I went right to my PCP for a second opinion. She told me to go ahead with the medications but that it was not an allergy more likely an injury such as a burn. I am now on day 7 with horrible blisters on my lip and cheek. I have lost 4 lbs from difficulty of eating and missed 3.5 days of work because it is very painful to talk. I am not sure exactly what happened but I know it is not right.

  131. My 10 year old boy had 4 sealants to his back teeth last year and 6 months later today he went back to get his routine cleaning and the dentist noticed he had a cavity on one of the sealants. Now he has to have that removed and filled. This is my son’s FIRST cavity , he has excellent oral health and I am heartbroken as I know in my mind it’s because the sealant wasn’t done properly. The dentist told me he had a cavity but didn’t bring it to my attention it was the sealed tooth. I asked the dental hygienist which tooth after she left. The dentist wants to charge me for the laughing gas 100$ . What can I do ? I want to remove all his sealants.

  132. Hi,
    I had what was supposed to be a minor filling. After the filling was done the dentist sat me down and said he had to drill further and had exposed my nerve. He said to see how it goes but if it starts to hurt to come back. Within a week it started to get very painful. I couldn’t see the same dentist so I saw another in the same practice. She said I needed a root canal and she injected me with anaesthetic. I felt a sharp pain deep in my cheek halfway through the injection and told her I thought she had nicked something. She said it was fine. Despite injecting me about 5 times and one side of my face being numb the tooth was still too painful to touch. she told me we would try agin in a couple of days. 24 hrs later half of my cheek was still numb. I rang the Dentist and she said this can sometimes happen but would go down and not to worry. Within 2 days my face swelled up so badly I looked like I had been beaten and was in so much agony. My husband insisted I go to the hospital. They put me on an antibiotic drip for half a day and told me to go back to the dentist the next morning for a root canal. I was surprised but what could I do. The next morning my face was twice as swollen and had spread to my eye which looked like it had a golf ball stuck under my bottom eyelid. I looked like I had been beaten to a pulp with a baseball bat and the pain was unbearable. I rushed to the dentist and they said they had to do an emergency extraction or I would end up in ICU as the infection would spread to my brain. Having no choice I let them extract it. it took another week for the swelling to go down and my cheek was still numb. It took about 2 months in total for me to get feeling back in my cheek. My issue is that I feel that he drilled to far by accident and not because he had to. Just the way he was telling me about it at the time seemed off and the fact that such a minor filling could go so dangerously wrong. Despite being very polite I don’t feel they will admit any wrong doing. They offered to do an implant at the same price as a root canal at the time of extraction ( I think because they knew a mistake had been made) and then said it would be double that the next week. I do not want this dentist touching my teeth again as all the other fillings done there are aching on and off and my new dentist says my bite is now off. I have asked him for a second opinion but am worried he wont tell me the truth as ethically he wont want to outright say the other dentist was incompetent. I don’t want to cause trouble I just want them to incur the cost of the implant if exposing the nerve in the first place could have been avoided and I lost a tooth unnecessarily. I am not even intending to mention the pain I was in for 2 weeks. It was horrific. And a numb face. 🙁 Any advise?

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  134. Hi,
    I actually have a question about nerve damage. My boyfriend has plates and screws n his jaw from breakng it 8 years ago. We have been trying to find a dentist to remove teeth for a few months. We found 2 that took his insurance and denied him until he had a primary care dr sign off that it would be okay due to plates and screws. We finally found one who took his insurance and dd not require a paper to okay it. He went and had the 2 teeth removed from the back side of his mouth. He was prescribed nothing and was in pain, obviously. He rode it out for about 4 days and went to the er for jaw pain and numbness. They took xrays and said everything was in tact but prescribed a pain med and said sometimes mouth pain can linger and a plate may have shifted and hit a nerve. Days later it still bothered him and he went back to the dentist. He got him in and took the stitches out said he had dry socket which was buising his jaw. The bruising was noticble by looking at him. Gave a low grade pain med that we could not fill. Returned to the dentist askng for a numbing rub and he made comments about the quality of his teeth and that he basically was not helping my bf due to assuming he was a former addict. So we left n he rode it out about another week. Saw a different dentist and was referred to an oral surgeon. Cant fnd an oral surgeon who takes our ins and call back the dentist askng for help or if he can reverse damage done somehow to be told never to call back the dentist again and hes not helping him.
    Having 2 teeth pulled should not cause jaw numbness where a former jaw break was or sharp pains shooting through your jaw. He heard the fentst say that his tooth root was stuck on a screw but it didnt matter f he ripped the screw out too. It took an extra hour n a half longer than we were told it would take. He didnt sleep the first 4 nights due to pain & is still dealing with it on a daily basis making it difficult to make a full day of work and enjoy everyday thngs, ect.
    Is there a case for malpractice here? If he could get money from a case and use it to remove screws and plates and get dentures, hed be happy to never deal with dental pain again

    Please email as i may not see a reply here.

  135. hi my husband went to hospital to have 8 top teeth removed , and had this done in theatre with a general anaesthetic , when he came round he had already had dentures glued in place , and was discharged home , he was in extreme pain for two weeks , and has just attended an outpatients appointment , to be told that the bone has been broken / fractured , and due to this he will need further surgery now to file or even remove the bone , we were never informed that this could occur as a result of the tooth extractions he had , is there wrong doing on the dentists behalf ?

  136. I don’t really WANT to sue my dentist, but I have been suspect about the cost AND quality of the work. He purports to be that good that he needs to charge the high end for a crown. I was billed $1400 for the crown and work associated, half of which my insurance paid. I was left with $699. A week later my tooth is sensitive. I cannot chew at all on my left side. I went in because I had broken my tooth using crappy dental floss they gave me and it got stuck in my teeth and I couldn’t get it out. I yanked and it broke the tooth. Turns out, I probably didn’t even need a crown! So I went back to have him do something about the pain and he said he “adjusted it” and it should be fine. I said, “do you want me to chew on something to see?” He says, “No.” So it’s two weeks later and still no good. I got phone calls from his office to pay the rest of my bill. I still owe $299 for that IMHO unnecessary crown. And also while he was looking at my crown he kept saying what a nice job he’d done on the crown. I thought that was weird and narcissistic. He clearly did something wrong if it didn’t hurt before and now it does. I looked up reviews on him and there was a complaint that was similar and the responses were very weird also.

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  138. Does anyone know if I have a lawsuit case. When I started with my dentist I went in to the office questioning about have my teeth pulled and having a immediate denture put in. I was reassured several times that I will not walk out of the office without teeth after having all mine pulled. And sure now here I sit with no teeth and told I have to start all over have to wait 4 to 6 weeks for the denture. They have messed up several times, the first time I went through the process they had an immediate denture put they had cut out the pallet into a horse shoe so I didn’t gag then had to start all over again then the second time went in because they had made a new one which was supposed to be tried in with spaces cut out on the denture to see if it fits but when I walked in there was no spaces so couldn’t try it. They made a appointment for my the remaining of my teeth to be pulled convincing me it will fit. And of our course the day I go in have all my teeth pulled the denture does not fit. So yes now I sit here with no teeth which I am only 45, I can’t eat, I do real estate and volunteer as a bartender so I can’t work with people right now and again having trouble eating and talking. ANY HELP??????

  139. In March 2016 I want to a dentist for a checkup and cleaning.
    The Dentist told me my teeth were clean and white, and my gums looked good for my age
    Dentist told me everything was in good shape.

    It is now the end of May 2016 and my gums have drastically receded, my teeth are yellow, and I am experiencing pain and bleeding. I have also noticed teeth movement.

    Is it possible that I got some germ or something whilst having my teeth cleaned?

    My diet has not changed. I have never whitened my teeth. I have always brushed morning and evening. I can’t believe things can change this rapidly on their own.

    What should I do?

  140. my wife went in to our family dentist this morning, she is now in the kaiser er getting xrays to remove a small
    sharp dental tool the went into her stomach?

    how could this have been prevented,

    Is the dentist responsible at all?

  141. I went to the dentist to get my wisdom tooth extracted and after the procedure the dentist sewed up my gum. When the stitches disolved I was having a lot of pain I stuck my tongue in the whole in my gum to get out some good I attempted to eat and I felt a piece of my tooth. I went to a Doctor to make sure it was a tooth and he confirmed, now I have to go back and get another surgery to get the rest of the tooth out. Do I have a lawsuit because of my dentist sewing part of my tooth in my gum after my surgery.

  142. I went to my dentist for a crown on #30 and a fillin on #31. 2/3 of the way through the procedure, it was discovered that my dentist had prepped both teeth for crowning. It was an error on her part which she defended, saying that that had been the orginal plan discussed. She claimed that I misunderstood.

    Thank goodness I kept the estimate for the original plan. I got a copy of the chart notes from that visit. The dentist wrote in her notes that there was no plan for filling #31. The thing is, I have an estimate that plans for crowning #30 and filling #31… So, I think it’s fair to say that that estimate should also be in my chart, but according to the dentist it was not. I believe they took it out of my chart and covered up their mistake.

    I am most bothered by how she tried to tell me that I was mistaken and that crowning both teeth were the original plan. According to my dental insurance, pre auth was only submitted for #30, which validates that there was no plan to crown #31 as well.

    After I contacted my insurance to see what was submitted, the office offered to pay for both crowns. I asked to have the other dentist in the office place the crowns because I was not wanting my dentist to finish the procedure.

    This happened in October 2015. I have thought about submitting a complaint to the Dental Board of CA, but the thought of having to deal with that dentist again stresses me out. I have to drive by that office every day and every day I cringe.

    I’m not sure if it’s worth the stress of pursuing a malpractice claim.


    Thank you.

  143. Tom,
    I went to see a new dentist for a consult on a fractured tooth. Dentist says “I see two small cavities, would you like them filled?” I say yes and he begins to work. During the filling says, “I can always find some other way to pick at you,” while drilling away under an old silver filling. Horrible pain follows for the next several days. I return to have them take a look and his daughter-in-law adjusts my bite. She tells me he “placed some medicine under the composite” and see how it goes over the next week. Heat, cold, and pressure sensitivity continue and I return again. DIL takes X-ray and says, “You need a root canal and a crown on this tooth.” Now, I told them from the start that I am a self pay client and I’m devastated to hear this news. Send all of my new X-rays (before and after filling) to my friend who is a dentist. She states that the filling he did went into the pulp, however, the decay on the X-ray does not appear to go anywhere near the nerve. I contact dentist and he hands me a letter saying that Oh, By the Way – I lied to you and told you that the other filling I did was in a different tooth than what I actually did. SO – not only was I lied to about which tooth he filled, but the second filling was too aggressive and now I’m responsible for paying out of pocket a root canal and a crown that was never needed in the first place. He stands by his treatment and won’t budge on price. Do I have a leg to stand on here or should I just move on?

  144. i have a Major issue I went to the Dentist to get my fillings re done i had pain in my tooth well he sed i needed 5 on one side and 3-4 on the other what seemed strange to me is i have never had major issues one or 2 a year But like 7 wow he is like most are between you’r teeth i am like OMG no way well he did not care to show me i have diabetes so i thought ok But blood sugar is in rage Shrugs Then it goes on he fixes the feelings and one Lord and behold Becomes abscessed There is more the one doctor in this clinc now i have to wait for this to get fixed it started with one tooth Now i have to wait to get back in with this one Dr at their office meanwhile By whole Bottom Jaw is now infected!!! i have Puss Draining out of my Gums Daily And if it was Infected When i was there why did he not say something i can not watch him while he is in there and the Also then Goes on out people watching him 3 chairs side by side

  145. Often I see dentist quick give money to an upset patient. I was told that giving money cannot be used as an admission of guilt in court but seems with this 4 step system, it really does not help either(unless it makes a patient not sue). if a doctor gives money and a patient still sues, will the money given be deducted from the liability if a dentist were to lose the defense? Thanks.

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  147. Can you sue a dentist for removig your wisdome teeth even though you didnt “need” to have them romoved? i also asked to have it done. I was 20. shouldnt he refuse even though i asked for it . as a kid he always said to just tale them out. i know that he wanted to make the cash.

  148. I don”t know if this is illegal in pa but my mom went to go get a fillings in her tooth for a cavity 2 weeks later her tooth bothered her and she went to go see another dentist and they took x rays of her tooth and the first dentist she went to he drilled her tooth all the way down to the nerve and he filled it now i am only 15 but i think that is just wrong also he did not clean the area and now it is infected and next week she has to go get a tooth pulled because of a man who was a man who was supposed to be a professional and the funny thing is my moms phone broke so we took it to verison and the guy who fixed her phone had the exact same thing happen to him and a girl who worked at another dentistry.

  149. After going to a particular dentist, who has since retired, I went back to a dentist I had been to before. He told me that I had severe gum disease and needed to have many tooth extractions and possibly dentures/implants. He was talking about a potential cost of around $20,000-30,000! My previous dentist never mentioned gum disease. I have been to a periodontist and he confirms. I am so angry and shocked because I have done everything one is supposed to do to take care of my teeth and I still have this issue. My current dentist said that he has seen many bad cases coming from this guys neglect. I believe the retired one was woefully neglectful in not addressing my issue years ago. Please help!

  150. Back in May, 2016 I went for extractions with an immediate upper denture. I had a bridge involving tooth # 9, 10 & 11. The Dr. sawed the bridge off at the gum line and used a scalpel to dig out the rest of tooth # 9 & 11 below the gum line. He didn’t numb me good enough because I jumped when he hit a nerve and he yelled at me saying, “You jump like that again , I cut your cheek wide open!” (Waving the scalpel in front of my eyes as he was yelling.) After a couple of hours he just walked away and I never saw him again. A different Dr. put the denture in. When I got home my face swelled beyond recognition. It took 5 days to go down.
    My question to you, because you are a dentist, is this: Is this a breach of the standard of care? Is it normal for a regular dentist to perform extractions in this way? Would you have done it this way? (I have the bridge that he sawed off in my possession and I brought a friend with me who witnessed it)

  151. I went to dentist with right side of face and eye swollen, I had a cavity and assumed it was from canine tooth that was problem I have Medicaid was told after x-ray taken I need to have all my teeth removed and was very alarmed. I felt my teeth were healthy and never have tooth pain. I begged to keep bottom teeth. a impression of teeth was taken and dentist numbed me I was screaming in pain and blood pressure was very high. It was not possible for her to remove tooth I was complaining about so she went for one next to it and it to was to painful. She did manage to break it. It was such a problem for her to hear me scream she finally told me to go see eye doctor. I told her I had cellulitis before she said she was not concerned. My daughter took me straight to ER and was given ct scan I had cellulitis going to my brain. I have so much trauma and anger from this because I had to remove tooth she broke one year later and the one I needed pulled at same time. Ct scan showed no infection in tooth by the way and that I had a sinus infection. That was my pain. I did not need all teeth removed that day or any time soon. I now have upper dentures and this too is another case of fraud. I have only began to tell my story. I was told by dentist I needed to return and all teeth removed by end of month, this was Jan 27. I know I was being target of Medicaid fraud and abuse, I have all medical and dental records along with sever emotional and mental pain documented by dentist I have been seeing. I am struggling with dentures and feel I am not getting care I need. I have had to go without any upper teeth sept 2006, I have so many issues I need help and teeth.

  152. Hello , my name is Malenie and this is what happened to me, January 31st, 2017 I go in for a checkup at my dentist I’ve been going to for over 6 years now (James Hong Dental Corporation in Bellflower, CA) because of some minor pain I was having on my right jaw line. The pain wasn’t consistent just a lil discomfort and at the touch of my outer cheek felt soreness. Me thinking it was time to have my 3rd wisdom tooth removed, after 2 x-rays on my problem area I asked if that was going to be the case and have another wisdom tooth taken out. The dental assistant implied that I had already removed the wisdom tooth on my bottom right. So that wasn’t a possibility then he asked me if I felt symptoms of sickness or I was previously sick, he said that could have been reason I was feeling the discomfort. Anyways everything was fine I was about to be on my way out. Until he mentioned I had a minor cavity on my bottom right mollar , so he also had a second opinion come and take a look at it (this new dentist) and suggest that I get it cleaned and filled. I had a gut feeling that I shouldn’t have let him do the procedure, and to top it off I’m not a fan of the numbing anesthetic. As I told them il just come back another day, one of the front desk lady’s said “your already her might as well get it done” and she was right I had nowhere else to be at the time so I decided to wait the 30-40 min they had originally told me because they had 2 patients ahead of me but I am assuming 1 of the 2 patients did not want to have any procedures done by that specific doctor so it ended up being a quick 15 min wait. So as I get called in a second time to prep for a filling I asked the assistant if numbing was required he said for something that minor he didn’t think so but he went ahead and checked with the “doctor” and the doctor said yes. So I then now I was sorta scared and anxious waiting in the room while they prepped me. 10 min go by the doctor comes in and put the numbing anesthetic and he begins to start the procedure after about five minutes. As he started to clean my tooth I noticed he started to do more then he said he was .. for a minor cavity he continued drill further and further inside my tooth and also graved a instrument with 2 curved pointed hooks (not sure what’s it’s called) and continued to “clean my tooth out” until I felt so much pain. So he gave me another syringe of anesthetic for “a minor cavity” my 2nd one now for a minor cavity cleaning my right side of my face was absolutely numb and he still decided to inject me with it and not even near my tooth he gave this to me on me cheek. He then stopped showed me my tooth and their was a big hole in my mollar. I then just cried of anger because I knew he did more then he should have and he messed up my tooth…so did another x-ray and said that he cleaned it and you can see on the x-ray the hole is now bigger then it was from the beginning and it was about 1 cm away from hitting my nerves and somehow now I was probably going to need a Root Canal!? Mind you I’ve had a one done years ago but for that previous tooth to be diagnosed as a Rooth Canal took many many years of wear and tear and it was the worst pain. So for me to hear him say that my little minor cavity was going to be a Root Canal did not sound right at all to me! Even his assistant was wondering the whole time what is it that this doctor was trying to do. But he told me every doctors has “their own philosophy”. So now that he’s seen what he’s done to me he starts to clean it out and just the pressure of the air was so painful he then starts to fill my tooth with the (cavity filler) and it was very very sensitive when he was filling it I felt pressure and so much discomfort it really hurt… and all he was doing was filling it in. I’ve had a couple cavities before and never never felt the pain I did.

    I had no previous pain on that specific tooth or sensitivity to hot or cold water or shocks as a matter of fact this doctor now tells me if I feel any of this pain to come back and do the rooth canal procedure.

    A day later today 02/01/2017 i feel really really sore on my right cheek and have a bump and pain to where he injected the anesthetic, never have I ever had pain after a doctors visit if it wasn’t surgical. I also have braces not sure it that will affect anything.

    Also when I get home I was told previously the doctor that did the procedure on me did bad malpractice on my brother involving switching a false tooth out, not being the right fit (which is understandable) braking the new tooth they ordered by dropping it and trying to send him out without the cap he walked in with. (Etc)

    I need help on what to do and how to go about it. I don’t want future complications nor do I have to get a Root Canal. I’m absolutely upset at this. I want to file a complain about the malpractice this doctor did on me not sure how to go about filing charges if possible. Need advice.


  153. Hello I recently had both my maxillary wisdom teeth removed after words was rushed to the hospital due to infection where they concluded I had a broken back maxillary molar (witch was not broken before) and a fractured jaw he did not mention either to me apon leaving his office are these injuries due to his negligence and if I were to sue him would it be persuable?

  154. Dentist filled a supposed cavity on number 15 in 2014 and went too deep hitting the nerve. I ended up having a difficult root canal over a few different treatments and crown. The day after the cavity filling I started to have severe left neck pain. After countless MRI’s and test, it was found I have a C5 hernation. Being that there were 2 dentist who worked on me, the original dentist and the endodntist, who would be responsible?

  155. I recently had three teeth pulled, Well two pulled, they come out no problem, then the third one after about 30 to 45 mins he still couldn’t get it pulled, so he kept trying. numbing me more and trying to get it to loosen up in doing so he put so much force it broke off. note this tooth was still good. but then he had to grind my upper jaw area to get to the rest of the tooth. now I’m in serious pain face all swelled up, upper lip and cheek are numb. is that standard dental practice to do this or should he have just stopped and sent me to a oral surgeon?

  156. My question is about an endodoncist using undiluted bleach in my mouth. She supposedly made a mistake that triggered a metallic piece holded with an elastic and hit me hard inside my mouth. The worse thing was that I had a mouthful of bleach and the sudden hit made me ingest the whole thing. The woman was not using the ejector. She removed the ejector while applying the concentrated bleach and then triggered the device that hit in my mouth twice. To me that was in purpose, please let me know what you would think. Is it possible that it is just an accident? The full mouth of bleach that I ingested could have poison me, you know? I am ok but had nausea and high blood pressure for 3 days. Please let me know your opinion. Thanks.

  157. Do I have a claim for negligence ……Before I was away and out of the U.S.,I received root canals and crowns for two separate teeth…. It has been a few years but after seeing a dentist today, I was told that each tooth that had root canals have instruments in them!! Also one crown that I had done came off and the tooth must be pulled now… The crown was done with a very low part of tooth showing…The tooth was almost to the gum line…… Now I have instruments in both teeth… Both must be root canaled again but the one that had the cap fall off must be pulled now due to being soo badly damaged/rotted ….Thanks for any helpful info

  158. Hi Tom, this is my problem right now. I had toothache and I went to a dentist when I got there they told me I have four teeth to do surgical extraction ok I was agree and scheduled an appointment to extract to one that was hurting me, and the dentist removed it. But the one that was next to it and wasn’t included in these they told me extract one week later it hurting me very bad and even shaking at the same time. What I’m supposed to do now? because I may be loose it while it was included in those 4 they told me to extract. Please reply thanks

  159. Hello,
    I went to a dentist two years ago and he performed a root canal on one of my lower teeth. I paid out of pocket about 1200 dollars. When I left, the receptionist gave me a paper and said that the work was guaranteed. I never read the paper of course and I never went back because my tooth always felt uncomfortable and I could not chew on that side. I had developed a phobia of going back to the same doctor. The tooth never hurt. I wanted to find eventually another dentist and see what was happening. Being always busy, I put it off and off. During the first year things were not too bad until this year when I got sick very often. I always had headaches and I was exhausted and out of energy. Under my eyes I had black circles. I went to the doctor who gave me antibiotics thinking that I was suffering from the flu. I felt better occasionally after the antibiotics but the headaches were always there, and I blamed those on Houston’s humid weather. Finally one morning I wake up and my right eye was all black. I did not know what was going on. I waited for a few days and the darkness faded away and as soon as that happened I get a huge blister on the gum around the tooth that I had the root canal. I realized what had happened. I put my phobia away and I went back to the same doctor. When he saw me immediately he prescribed antibiotics and broke the blister to relieve the pain. He gave me the name of a specialist endodontist. The specialist retreated my tooth and it is fine now. Of course I had to pay again the visit and my part of the money. Now, I have no headaches, no black circles no pain. I went back to the original dentist and the financial secretary told me that the paper they gave me as guarantee covers only crowns but not root canals and only if I had followed with the visits afterwards. I think general dentists should recommend specialists if they don’t know what they are doing instead of putting patients in a lot of problems. Please let me know if I have a chance to get at least the money I paid for those two treatments of my root canal. Thank you

  160. It is amazing how many dentist seem toi be getting away with doing such a bad job. unless patients are willing to go the route of suing their dentist, then these kind of problems will only continue. Using a Specialist lawyer, practiced in the suing of dentist is probably the only way forward. Getting compensation for both the damaged done and money and time spent on the proceedure will go along way to rectifying the issue.

    • Unfortunately in FL, they set the rules in favor of the dentists! No one w/ help you resolve it. The FDA ADA all Assoc. even lied to me about his membership (only for the 4 months of my treatment & maybe 7 yrs of his membership,,,SMH) I went into debt over $6k. Closet ever in my life to having a perfect healthy mouth. He only had the last crown to seat as I had already gotten a new dentist w/ his behavior becoming increasingly aggressive. 2 months after he screamed nose to nose in my face (I ran, I was scared) he beat an officer, caused bodily harm to officer, resisted w/ violence (3 felonies) & beat his wife. Part of his punishment was drug/alc rehab, he paid his way out of all the charges & even had his record scrubbed. I waited 9 months for the state to do their investigation but before it went to prosecution, the probable cause board (2 people) said there was none. 8 lawyers refused to help. Had a temp crown for a yr till it fell off I was so careful & when it fell off there was cavity on what was left of tooth (had pin/core build up). All my bottom teeth front (only ones I had left, could only save then go for treatment & I spent the last 30 yrs trying to keep them. Now because his refusal of finishing what I paid in full for & no other DMD(s)-(3) would take on his liability. All my good teeth have rotted away from breaking (all I had to eat with) I fought & tried everything for 3 yrs till I had to care for my 84 y o mom who broke her shoulder at work amongst 2 deaths. I just gave up, nobody gave me any hope. I even asked these Assoc. (that most all DMD display their membership in) just please find me a dentist who will work on me NOTHING, why do they even have a handbook on principle/duties/ethics. In 2/3 I tried & tried, never expected anything free, never wanted to sue anyone (good luck w/ that) I just wanted to finish my treatment. I got blown off by everyone, so much for taking personal responsibility. If anyone reads this & thinks they can help in any way, I have all my emails, pictures & luckily I copied & pasted his criminal charges. A lot of good that did. Even though it back up my claim 100%, nobody cared I had an aggressive druggie/alcoholic dentist! I didn’t put that in my complaint to state because it would have been irresponsible. I just knew in 4 months time, he went from nice to crazy. but I did forward the info to the investigator. So when I die from blood poisoning/infection, I surely hope someone makes sure he never hurts anyone again. Jan 2013 was when I ran away in fear & I still have the exposed build up & broken rotting teeth. I had about 6 crowns 2 or 3 root canals 1 extraction & bone graph. The extracted tooth had been infected from root up & spread to each tooth on either side, I also have dry mouth & periodontal diseases. HE KNEW THIS & still didn’t fulfill his duty I paid in full for plus another $175 for gingivectomy he never did. Oh & my 1st treatment list he gave me root canals & crowns on all of maybe 16 teeth I had remaining & he ruined my top partial when he sent it to lab when mold for crowns went. Had that done once before & it fit the new crown perfectly, now it just falls off. So lawyers/state boards/dental assoc(s) all side w/ dentist whether you are a true victim or not. I was & I am. If anyone can find a lawyer to take a case, please refer him/her here Every month I pay $200 on that credit card is a constant reminder. Good Luck & Thanks!

  161. Very interesting article – Can I ask you .. What if a dentist conducts a method of dentistry on a patient that they have not received consent to do but carry it out anyway for their own future benefit regardless of the impact this decision they make without consulting or advising the patient will have on them and furthermore; what if that particular dental treatment (day of surgery and treatment) is flawed and that they admit that their patient signed a form that was “flawed” and also admit that their patient misunderstood what a particular term meant?

  162. I got infection after dentist visit
    was treated by dentist, problem worsened
    re-visit gave diff anti-bodices medications

    had such a badly infected throat, unable to speak
    saw family Dr…referred to specialist
    was given medication

    tested for hearing
    advised 20% loss
    advised Dentist was ignored

    the treatments and testing and diff specialists have been ongoing
    I cant get any help from dentist for help for hearing aids or any response
    in addition to my not being able to work, take orders at restaurant, my family must listen to me scream as I think I talk normal they hear the TV at full volume x2 amplifiers

  163. I had a root canal with a cap fall out. The dentist could not put it back in because the roots had cracked. He sent me to a specialist who said he would just have to go in and remove the little of the tooth that remained and the roots that were left and clean out the jaw. I asked for an antibiotic, but he said it was not necessary. I went back after two weeks because of excruciating pain. The dentist/oral surgeon said bubble or pocket had formed in the tissue and had his assistant show me how to irrigate the site to remove any foreign matter. It hurt so bad I thought I would scream. He said to come back in a week after irrigating a few times each day. Last night I just sat down and cried because the pain in the site was throbbing severely. I go back in two days. All my lower teeth throb when my heart beats. Many years ago (maybe 35) I had a TMD problem, but it was corrected in a couple of years with a splint. I told the oral surgeon this and he said it was not a problem. Now I have read that keeping the mouth open by force for a prolonged time (at least an hour) could actually cause TMD (I have an extremely small mouth). And I had already suffered from it before, and it feels pretty much the same. The only thing I do not have is the migraine headaches. If I open and close my mouth the left jaw makes a sound like sandpaper rubbing against sandpaper. If I eat or talk, the pain worsens rapidly. Has anyone had a horrific experience like this?

  164. I have 13 damaged teeth due to a dentist that loves to scan my teeth every visit and give them a cleaning every visit as well as never pull any of my teeth except my wisdoms.. I have multiple fillings that have fallen out that he put in, I have the bottom front teeth that have black in them that he drilled on then did not put fillings in. I have a molar on the left side that he put a filling in that fell out, I have lost the tooth above that one after the filling fell out of it as well, on the right side of my mouth in the bottom I have to gold caps that I did not even know were gold and the fang in front of them lost it’s filling and was turning black as well. And now my back molar on the right bottom side has a huge hole in it that is infected, that I am unable to afford to get fixed, but just saved up enough money to get a visit to a new dentist to try and fix. I lost all four front teeth after they rotted due to him deciding to grind the back of them away because they were indented from me grinding in my sleep. I have suffered from lack of confidence and do not smile anymore due to embarrassment… I am 32. and this was probably more than 10 years ago that I stopped seeing him, I never filed any case against him either as I was too young at the time. Do I have a case?

  165. This post may be filled with frustration so excuse me for that.
    My boyfriend went to a dentist that is a Medi-Cal provider because he cannot afford to pay for his full dental care due to the severity of the damage done to his teeth from when he was 12 and in braces.
    At the time he went to see his new dentist, I was working as a dental assistant in another office that was somewhat expensive. But my dentist let me have my bf come in for a free-of-charge FMX and a full exam (after which we decided it would be too expensive to treat and turned to Medi-Cal providers). When I transferred him to the best rated office on Yelp, I sent in the FMX which at this time was taken a couple weeks before his first appointment there. The new dentist refused to even look at them. On the first appointment, the dentist took a PANO (which was printed on paper and in really bad quality with black lines over the apexes of the teeth) and diagnosed off of it (I was bewildered).
    Right away I knew he missed two RCT’s: one on tooth #8 which was obvious because it was more yellow than the adjacent teeth and was diagnosed at the office I worked in, and the other on #14 which at my office I recorded in the chart as having a big apical lesion and diagnosed RCT with a full coverage crown.
    I didn’t want to make a bad impression on the dentist and push him away so I didn’t say anything on that first appointment but instead talked to my boss dentist who told me (in regards to tooth #8) let’s wait a year and if the lesion grows, definitely go see an endodontist.
    It wasn’t until a year later that I finally told the dentist that #8 has an abscess, please refer him to an endodontist. Not until he took a PA of that tooth did he say “yes that is definitely a lesion and let’s refer him out”. Now, when he said this, my bf was in for an hour slot appointment to get something done but the Doc let him go with “let’s wait until this root canal is taken care of to do the rest of the fillings”. I was somewhat confused and asked the assistant why do we have to wait? To which she answered “that’s just how we do things here”.
    Just two days ago, my bf texted me complaining of throbbing, constant pain, and sensitive to pressure on the UL (#14). This alerted me because I know if pain is constant and doesn’t go away, this is a sign of infection. The following day his cheek swelled up and right away I called his dental office who told me (with a slight attitude in her voice) that they didn’t want to talk to me but wanted him to call in personally. This was a first because since the beginning I have been making appointments for him and it has never been a problem. Before I hung up, I told her that I was frustrated that this was not caught before. We did not call back to this office but instead went to another dentist who was a non Medi-Cal provider but was a trusted dentist by his parents. There, the dentist took a PA which showed a big apical lesion and a resorbed root which could no longer be saved and needed to be extracted unfortunately.
    As soon as I heard this, I called the dentist office where I worked and asked what was diagnosed on that tooth. You cannot imagine the shock and frustration I was feeling when the receptionist told me that it was diagnosed with a RCT and full coverage crown over a year ago!

    I know this is not as detailed and clear but I cannot let this go without consequences on the dentists part because I feel like this is neglect. I should not be telling a dentist what tooth has an abscess and which tooth needs a PA.

    What would be my smartest move?
    Thank you for reading.

  166. Hi – I recently had to undergo emergency open heart surgery to have two heart valves replaced with mechanical valves – Diagnosis was endocroditis. I was told that the only way I could get this condition was from my dentist. Before I got sick I had a cavity filled – because of a pre-existing heart condition I should have been given antibiotics first. I am 48 years old and almost died – I will be on medication for the rest of my life and will have to be continuously monitored as well.

  167. I had a root canal done a year ago and I was in pain a few weeks later so I called my dentist and told him about and he told me to go back to where I got it done I did he took a x-ray and said their was nothing ring and he was not a specialist in gums ..I was having migraines and dizzy spells and my tooth beside it was killing me ..I even fainted into my closet do to the pain the doctor at the hospital said they told me to go to a dentist where I live and he did a x-ray and found that when the gentlemandid my root canal put one of the thing in my sinus cavity what can I do …now I have to get it surgically removed …and the dentist I seen said my when it gets removed said if I drink anything it will come out my nose …what can I do

  168. I have a very bizzar situation in which I know a party is at fault, but unsure if it crosses over to 2 partys.

    I went in for a deviated septum surgery. After surgery i notice right front upper tooth (tooth 8) is now clearly crooked, I noticed this as my tongue when sliding on the upper back of teeth felt morbidly foreign. My g/f and grandma noticed it right away too. I at this point figure that I would wait a few days to see if it would go back to normal, never such luck. (in hind sight should of told the hospital right away about it, but I had planned on getting braces to fix it and figured problem solved, this was a bad conclusion).

    Oh my checkup to my general dentist that cleans my teeth / xrasys to “keep my teeth healthy”, asked me if any changes were made since last visit, i TOLD them about why my front tooth is crooked. (as of today I have no idea if they documented it as they refuse to give me access to my records).

    2 years go by and I now have enough money to put down for braces, I tell the braces specialist that the whole reason I want braces is to fix my clearly crooked tooth 8 . Doctor asks how it became crooked I told him 2 years ago I had nasal surgery (which did not even help as I cant breath thru my nose still ), and it twisted the tooth.
    This specialist DID NOT document that and only wrote down “he wants braces he has cramped teeth”.

    5 months into wearing braces & i get cleaning at regular dentist and adjustment later that day at braces dentist, the braces dentist says “so what did your general dentist say” I said “my teeth are great”, the specialist asked again “are you sure they didn’t tell you to watch out for anything” I’m like no. So for some reason he did not point tell me what that was about.

    visit 5 months later I tell braces doctor that I notice top of tooth 8 is looking translucent, I figure it was something that could be fixed by some type of whitening agent and asked. Braces doctor says well if it bothers you , you would have to see a endodontics specialist about internal bleaching. He left it at that.

    Walking in on my 6th month braces adjustment, I pointed out that the tooth got even darker, and I was really not happy that they did not tell me to address this last visit, the 1st thing out of braces doctors mouth was “how did the endodontics visit go”. Well I said nobody ever told me I had to go, as you guys would of known i went as yo had to give a referral, and he says well we will set a appointment..” So that day they gave me a referral to go, so I booked for the every next day.. But during the braces visit I told him that I wanted a record of my paperwork as I was at the point that I felt the hospital did more damage than just twisting tooth . Well oddly enough the dentist doctor started acting very weird, hes like “well um, you probably feel down as a kid and forgot, and I’m like nope,. Tenn he started squirming around and saying well it could be that you played sports and was hit in the mouth….all this backpedaling starting making me think that he is getting a guilty conscience as he clearly should of remembers the hospital story and not mentally connecting the dots that maby he did not take the care he needed to make sure tooth 8 was not getting moved around to aggressively. So he pulled up my xray they took and says well in the middle there is a circular area, that could been just genetics.

    I call b.s. on that. If any tooth outside of tooth 8 which was the one very one I had twisted by the hospital were changing colors I would not insistent that their are a defiantly coloration.

    I called the braces place to have my records of in taking down to prove I had told them the hospital was the source of the crooked tooth and they claim they just don’t have it in their paperwork. That to me sounds grossly neglant as I stated 3 times on that “free consultation” for braces. I had told them right off the bat, I told them I never wanted braces and 3rdly when we were talking to xray machine, I 1/2 joking said to the assistant they should send the bill to the hospital that started all this mess.

    My visit to the endodontics told me that tooth was 100% dead and verified by a cold test . (touching cotton swap with similar to dry ice) I was told best to get a root canal. I get on the spot root canal. and find out I have to come back for the rest of the root canal and go back to “general dentist has to permanent fill.

    General dentist wants to put on a crown after braces are off.

    I call hospital to tell them I think their at fault, they told me to bring them records to show that right after surgery that tooth was twisted. The General dentist says “we don’t give out records to patients, you have to get a lawyer. if you wnat your records. I find this very sketchy”. Even their hygienist says “she does not remember anything , she has a bad memory”. Hows that for a marketing. Come to __________ dental where your a stranger as our workers don’t have bad memory and don’t remember anything.

    Well I did get the general dentist to give me a x-ray prior to surgery, and I’m working on getting xray from braces place.

    But who would be the most at fault here. I would guess the hospital for making tooth crooked to begin with, but since this is something that I’m researching now waiting to see what they will do if they will do anything, a part of me feels that the “braces doctor” since he did not document that I had a trauma to tooth 8, plays a role here as nothing was done to make sure moving tooth 8 was done in a more delicate manor.

    Should my general dentists have been doing more thinks to take care of that tooth? Shouldn’t the braces doctor have taken some sort of steps to keep tooth safer when moving?

    Shouldn’t any of these 2 teeth doctors be writing down what I tell them? I’m finding out that the so called professionals around here are anything but.

    If I sue the braces place, then I’m stuck wearing braces that nobody will want to finish , I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I don’t want this tooth I want a titanium permant one as this one will clearly be giving me trouble down the road as I’ve read nothing but bad stories about crowns and root canals.

    Is it possible to sue 2 or 3 partys.
    Hosptial for making tooth loose.
    Braces people for killing tooth by not taking care to make sure it moves right?
    General dentist for lying to me saying I don’t have a right to have a copy of my records?’

    I don’t know I’m just not happy and I can’t seem to get the right game plan to make this issue right!

    I loosing all faith in these medical “professionals”.

  169. Hello Dr. Tom – Thank you for outlining the four integredients for a successful lawsuit.

    My situation is one dealing with a dentist that he could significantly close gaps in my upper teeth using a short-term (6 to 9 mo) bracing system. He told me that it would take at most 11 months to complete; but at the end of that period he produced no results in closing the gaps. Because I was not happy, he continued the braces and power chain adjustments for total of 22 months, with no gap closure and deforming (rotating) my left front tooth. I found out recently that the Dentist had no training in the use of short-term braces, so he was basically experimenting on me. Also found out that the Dentist was just 5 months out of school. I ended going to a trained orthodontist to fix my teeth.

    So my question is how does the Dentist’s failure to disclose his lack of proper skillset and inexperience play into the a successful lawsuit? Also, the dentist had advertised short-term braces as a service he provided.

    Would these factors amount to fraud and/or unfair practices act? I checked the State Dental regulations and currently, there are no minimum training requirements for Dentists that do braces — which does not help.

  170. I am disgusted by this sorry state of affairs. From all of these complaints, I must conclude that dentistry needs a major overhaul. Considering this is the age of technology there is no excuse for all of these terrible outcomes. We can go into space, walk on the moon, etc ….yet the health needs of the people is too complex to figure out. I think this is a due to people not being treated the same. Those with money get all the help they need and their pain is treated, their well being is top priority. But, someone who lost their job or their spouse died, or they got sick and the money ran out, well, they go without. They are treated like drug addicts, drug seekers – what a joke. Doctors are the biggest drug dealers of all and it is there job to dispense the medications we need. Yet when the client asks for pain to be treated they are usually denied unless it is a drug that is recently patented. I have seen a 90 year old suffering of cancer denied pain medication because the doctor was afraid she would become addicted. If you don’t see the problem with that logic you have no business working in the medical field or with people in general. When the insurance agencies have more say so about what you need and deserve to have then you, your own doctor or dentist then something is very wrong. Medical, mental, and dental health should not be separated. It doesn’t take a genius to see that fact. The medical profession needs to be the ones to advocate for all their patients. The fact that this is not their mission is proof that the medical community has lost their morals and value and it is a disgrace to all civilized societies. Think on this, when people have their health needs met there will be less unemployment, suicides, murders, crime, homelessness, child abuse, and the list goes on and on. It should be our nations and the worlds number one priority. And think on this too, there have been documented experiments on people who did not consent, there is radiation from meltdowns and nuclear tests, there is trails from plains in the sky one day and the next there is none. What happened? Did they cancel all air traffic that day. We all no that’s not the case. The only day they did that was 911 yet certain people were allowed to fly and it was not who it should have been. Many people got sick that day and they were treated with less care then those in prisons. But hey, that’s ok because now they are making prisons privatized. People can make money off of you going to prison and losing everything. But again, that’s ok because it is most likely you will get the medical care you need for free. Well, not free, someone is paying taxes. And if you don’t pay taxes they can put you in prison and make money off of that. And on it goes. Point being our medical community has a duty to do no harm and that is going to take them standing up and saying stop to what is harmful and advocating for healthy changes. And we all need to advocate for education. We need more doctors, and dentists, etc… Think not? My friends and family have been on a waiting list to see a dentist for over a year now. The problems that are written about here are a part of a larger picture. The picture is a systemic disease in our society and we all need to demand that curing it is priority number 1. We must do it for our survival, for our future, for our children at least. For a nation without healthy children has no future. That’s it.

  171. I was wondering if I can sue denist did my daughter teeth pulled teeth adult ones and now said cant get nothing on teeth make go together cause too much space between now and it sink her month in I don’t think was nothing wrong with teeth why he pulled them cause of him she cant get nothing done now cause pulled leaving space to wide up and pulled like 4 other denist said and it sink month in all cause he pulled them teeth adult ones

  172. I was scammed by a pervert dentist for work never done, and since I am not rich and famous, this pervert, who deserves a life time in prison will skate.

  173. Hi Tom,
    My question is related to a dental appointments I had for my 15 and 17 year olds this afternoon. My husband took them and my daughter (15) walked in when she got home and broke down in tears. She absolutely hates shots, but will deal with them. She had no cavities until a year ago after her braces came off and she had 3. They were filled in an appointment, no problems. My 17 year old son had no cavities until this visit, where he had one.
    When I asked my daughter what was going on she explained she had severe pain at the dentist, having to raise her hand and ask for more shots when drilling started one each side. She hates shots and said the pain was so bad from the drilling she had to do it. My son does not have any fear of shots, he does not care when he gets them. He said the mouth shots didn’t hurt much being less than normal shots in his arm, which he said don’t hurt either. He did say he also had to raise his hand (as they were told to do if they were experiencing pain) He said the pain from the drill on his tooth was nothing like he had felt before and severe.
    I left a message with the office to touch base and see if anything out of the ordinary had occurred. I have had tons of dental work with deep cavities, all of my molars have had root canals so I am pretty familiar with the process. My kids cavities were not difficult or deep so I assumed it would be easy.
    So my daughter is just floored and distraught from this describing 12-15 shots, they did upper cavities on left and right side (3 and 1) switching between. My son one upper cavity.
    Before the office called me back my son casually mentioned after the dentist left and other lady came in filing it and testing the bite he started to feel so much more numb than during. He said “you’d think they’d give it a little time to work”
    I asked him what do you mean ? He explained right after he got his shots the dentist told him to raise his hand if it hurt and immediately started drilling… He got through about a minute before he said it was so painful feeling the drill in he raised his hand. More shots were given and drilling continued again right after the shots. He said it was still painful but he had got a lot of shots so just dealt with it.
    I asked my daughter how hers happened and she said both sides were given shots at the beginning and then immediately drilling. She hated the shots but said the pain from drilling was unbearable from the beginning. At some point she told herself shed try to give it 20 more seconds and if it was still this bad she’d raise her hand. She thinks she went about 2 minutes of the worst pain ever total before raising her hand for more shots.
    When I called the office they described their cavities and medium, the office manager had no idea why the dentist would drill right after shots. In all my experience, the dentist and asst would usually give me my shots then leave for 10 minutes and come back and ask if I was numb.
    I have contacted the office and the office manager has said the dentist said the normal 5 minute wait period was followed. They said my daughter was probably just so scared from getting shots she panicked at the drill and couldn’t remember the 5 minutes waiting period. It doesn’t make sense because the last time she was fine. But my son had no fear is just a tough kid and does not care. They had no explanation of his account other than maybe he got confused. He’s a senior in high school and quite able to tell me 100 percent he gave me shot and assistant had drill there ready to go and they drilled. My daughter did come home distraught by it all but said the drilling started right after her shots as well. I think based on her disdain for shot she let the drill go for longer and endured a lot more than my son.
    Is it ever normal to just drill right after shots? I know you don’t know me from anyone but I know my kids and the have no reason to lie. I am not trying to sue this dentist if it was wrong, I just need to know what happened and why. The office has pretty good reviews although this dentist is like a sub that goes 2 days a week and none of the reviews are about him. My daughter has vowed to never go to the dentist again. She described the pain of the drill as grinding fire and looked like shed been to war. She is a 3 sport varsity athlete as a freshman who competes nationally and trains so hard … she can push through pain, but this was an awful experience for her. I don’t know what to think but honestly it has me questioning even the cavities now, because until this new office 2 years ago neither ever had any. Do you have any recommendations like should I get their files and have a different dentist look at it? I will be meeting with the owner this week, are there any questions you recommend I ask? Sorry this is so long. Thank you for any help in advance!


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