For starters, we’ll call our client “John Doe” or “John” for confidentiality purposes. In fact, all names have been changed to preserve confidentiality.
Patient Went to the Dentist to Have a Tooth Inspected
In the Fall of 2021, John started experiencing issues with the crown on his bottom left molar. So, he went to see his doctor to have his crown removed and to have his tooth examined. That was it; he had no plans of undergoing anything more complicated than that.
Patient Surprised to Learn the Doctor is Performing a Root Canal
After laying in the dental chair for about an hour, John realized that that the doctor was performing a root canal. During the procedure, he noticed that the doctor was having trouble. What John originally expected to be an inspection turned out to be a grueling and painful 4-hour root canal procedure that involved multiple rounds of anesthetic injections. When it was all over, John was relieved to go home.
Patient Could Tell Something Was Terribly Wrong with the Root Canal
Well, the horror story was just getting started for John. When the anesthetic wore off, he was experiencing excruciating pain, as well as numerous odd sensations he’d never experienced before. He was experiencing a super intense sensitivity, and the area around the tooth was very sensitive to touch. He knew that something was wrong.
Patient Went Back to the Doctor, but the Doctor Did Not Notice Anything
When the terrible sensations lasted long enough to cause concern, John decided to go back to the doctor. The doctor did not notice or did not inform John of any problems with the root canal. Instead, the doctor ground down an adjacent tooth in an attempt to alleviate John’s pain. Again, John returned home with hopes that his pain would subside.
Patient Decides It is Time for a Second Opinion
Unfortunately, John continued to experience the pain, intense sensitivity, and odd sensations in the tooth that had received root canal therapy. He decided he must go see another doctor to get another opinion and hopefully learn why he was experiencing so much pain.
The Second Doctor Found the Problem
When John visited the new doctor, he finally learned what was wrong. The doctor who performed the root canal had drilled a hole through the root of his tooth and into his jaw bone. Moreover, the doctor had treated the fresh new wound in John’s bone as a canal of the tooth. So, after drilling the hole into John’s jaw, the doctor filled the hole with chemical sealants and then stuffed the hole in John’s jaw with root canal filler called gutta percha.
You can see the issue in the image to the right. There is root canal filler outside of the patient's root. Additionally, on one of the canals, you can see a bit of root canal overfill.
That’s When the Patient Decided He Needed a Dental Malpractice Lawyer
John was furious when he learned that his root canal had gone so terribly wrong and that the doctor didn’t even notice or tell him about it at the subsequent visit. He was also frustrated because his tooth was ruined beyond repair, and so it had to be extracted. Moreover, John would have to undergo multiple procedures to have a dental implant placed. Although John would likely be able to chew food normally again one day, the path to restoration would involve a lot of pain, expense, and time. John had been through enough, and that’s when he reached out to us.
Settlement Reached During Pre-Suit Negotiations
John’s case went smoothly. We were dealing with sensible people all the way around in this particular dental malpractice claim. The doctor was reasonable, as were the attorneys. Everyone involved came to the table with a desire to settle. As a result, we were able to settle this case during pre-suit negotiations, without putting John through litigation, depositions, and trial. This case did not even require the expense of mediation. It was the best possible result for our client.