Case Study: Root Canal Procedure Done Wrong

This case is a great case study for dental malpractice cases involving root canals. We can’t disclose any personal information, and we can’t talk about the value of the case. All of that is confidential. However, we can discuss the issue, and we can use this as a case study.

The Root Canal Procedure

Our client (the “Patient”) went in to see her dentist. She needed a root canal on tooth number 30, the first molar on the bottom right side of the mouth two teeth in front of the wisdom tooth. After the root canal, the Patient knew something was wrong because she was experiencing pain and odd tingling sensations.

The Strange Call from the Dentist

The dentist that did the root canal called her up the next day. The Patient could tell that something was off. The dentist said that there was something wrong with the tooth, and he could no longer do the crown.

Change of plans: He told her the tooth would need to be extracted. He didn’t tell her why; he just said the tooth needed to come out. This seemed very strange to the Patient, and she was immediately suspicious that something had gone wrong.

The New Dentist Discovered the Issue with the Root Canal

The Patient decided that enough was enough, so she decided to call around to her friends and family to get a recommendation for a dentist she could trust. She found a new dentist and scheduled an appointment.

X-ray showing root canal done wrong that led to dental malpractice case.When she went in for her appointment with the new dentist, the new dentist took some x-rays and explained what had happened. The new dentist pointed out on the x-ray that there was sealant and gutta percha (root canal filling material) outside of the root, in the patient’s surrounding tissues. In other words, the dentist had missed the canal with the sealer and filler materials.

You can see the issue in the image to the right. The filler shows up well in the x-ray, and it’s clearly outside of the canal and in the periodontal ligament space. This is why the Patient couldn’t get a crown, and this is why her tooth needed to be extracted. This also explains her tingling sensations and pain.


This type of situation is really frustrating for people who pay good money and expect to be treated honestly and with respect. Unfortunately, it’s far too common that a dentist will mess up and then try to cover their tracks. This is dishonest, and people deserve better.

Additionally, I think a lot of people sue their dentists because they’re angry about being lied to and being mistreated. I truly believe that if dentists were honest and did the right thing, their patients wouldn’t even think about suing them. It’s the emotion that leads to the lawsuit; it’s not the damage done. Patients sue because they’re angry, not because they’ve been injured.