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Medical Malpractice/Can I sue a dentist for telling me there is nothing wrong when it is clear that there is?


My medical insurance ran out in September, when I turned 21. I went to the dentist a few days before just to make sure everything was good. I told the dentist that I have a bump on my gums that gets filled with pus every few days (like a pimple) and I showed her what it looked like. She simply told me that there is a bone growing in my gum but that I shouldn't worry about it, it's normal. That didn't make much sense to me and I still didn't think it was normal, but I just let it go. It does cause some discomfort and it's just annoying so I decided to do some research. Well, it turns out I have something called a Dental Fistula, which is an infection at the root of a tooth. And a canal forms from the root of the tooth to the outside of the skin. This allows the pus to extract. Supposedly, dentist should be able to detect this just by looking at it. It should never be left untreated because it WILL spread in the bone and infect other teeth. I'm very sure she knew exactly what it was but told me not to worry about it because of the fact that my insurance was about to run out. What they were suppose to do was a root canal to treat it, which I'm sure she could have done within those days if she really wanted to do her job the right way. I just want to know if there is anything I can do about this. I feel like it was very unfair and I should have gotten the treatment I needed for this. Now I'm left with this infection which is only going to keep getting worse. I would really appreciate if you can give me some information on what I can do about this. Thank you, I really appreciate your time.

OK, let's take as fact that your diagnosis is correct and that the dentist KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN you had the fistula and knew it would become worse, what is there to do about it?  Number one, clearly, absolutely, without question................GET THE PROBLEM TREATED!!!! There is no way to force the dentist to now treat the problem and certainly no way to force her to work for free.  Also, I don't think I would let just a dentist handle the problem. You need either an oral surgeon or an endodontist.  Because the problem is treatable, and even if the dentist was negligent and committed malpractice by not treating you or at least informing you of how serious the problem was (but you found out yourself so were not damaged by the dentist not telling you), ultimately your damages are not high in terms of dollars and so no lawyer is interested in the case. And even if you sued, lawsuits take months or years. You don't have that time. So, my opinion is you have no useful legal recourse and need to get the problem fixed. Period. End of Story. Good luck

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Glenn A. Dorfman


Thirty-four years experience in personal injury, medical malpractice and medical product liability law. Qualified to answer all questions regarding injuries and the law, except for worker`s compensation. Also wide experience in medical product defect cases ie current litigation regarding the Johnson&Johnson (DePuy)defective hip implant cases and Mirena IUD issues


Thirty-four years experience handling cases involving auto accidents, trips and fall, fires, dog bite,medical malpractice and defective medical product cases with particular emphasis in 2012 and beyond with the DePuy ASR (Johnson&Johnson) defective hip implant cases. Twenty-five years of experience with defective IUD issues as well

Jurisdoctor Degree 1976 and Member in good standing with CA State Bar Assoc. since 1976

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