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Medical Malpractice/dental malpractice?


I went to a dentist to have my teeth straightened, and he took my case on after reviewing my xrays.

After the treatment was done, my teeth were straight, but I couldn't bite properly (only 2 teeth touch when my jaws are brought together.

I consulted an oral maxillofacial surgeon and had xrays and dental/bite moulds taken and was told that I have a skeletal deformity (my upper and lower jaws are canted to one side) and need double jaw surgery.

Now I have to pay for metal braces + jaw surgery. Do I have a case against my dentist? I feel like he did not diagnose my jaw canting, and that he should have foreseen that if my jaw is crooked and he straightens my teeth, that it would cause bite issues. I feel like I was not a candidate for invisalign and I should have been referred to an orthodontist.

Thanks in advance.

Difficult situation for you but I think the legal aspect is clear.  Seems no question but that the dentist who did the straightening was negligent (malpractice) in not realizing that you were not a good candidate for the process.  You should have been referred to the maxillofacial doctor obviously.  The malpractice of the first dentist did not cause the deformity so technically, he would only owe for the damage he did.  That would be the cost of the straightening that you paid, and the cost of reversing it if necessary. I presume the first dentist did not worsen the problem of the deformity.  Your damages might also include the pain and suffering  and difficulty of having the dysfunctional jaw/mouth that you had for however long.  But the bottom line is this: no lawyer will take the case because it wouldn't be worth 10s of thousands of $$ at a minimum to make a malpractice case viable (so that the lawyer can make some money from it).  Coincidentally, I am involved with a similar case.  Dentist actually pulled the wrong molar.  Just a stupid mistake.  They did a free implant for her but she thought she deserved more.  I agreed but I couldn't take the case because of the economic viability.  A suit would bring in lawyers to defend and it would take lots of time and money to pursue the matter.  I advised her to go to Small Claims Ct. and sue on her own for the maximum in CA with is 10K.  Guess what?  She won 10K but as expected, the dentist appealed and I am now going to represent her in a short new Small Claims Ct. trial which is allowed ( bring a lawyer into the case) for such an appeal.  I would advise you consider the same approach buy wait until all the work is done so the final result is known.  Check on the Statute of Limitations in your State.   Good luck. P>S  You are probably wondering, how could the dentist appeal when he made the stupid mistake of pulling #4 instead of #2 as was planned?  Easy.  He claims now that #4 was bad and also needed to be pulled.  All nonsense.  See what you can up against.?

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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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