Vista, CA asked in Medical Malpractice for California

Q: Hello, my new dentist took out a crown and said I needed a root canal retreat and ordered a new crown.

I saw the doctor that does root canals after and he said it was actually the tooth next to it that was infected and the one she took the crown off doesn’t need a retreat. I prepaid for that new crown and I am going to get it put on Friday and plan to ask for a refund because she made a mistake. I am wondering what to do if she refuses to refund me.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You can sue the dentist for dental malpractice, in small claims, but there are 2 things that you MUST do:

1. You must send a letter (Certified, RRR) to the dentist advising what you intend to do and stating the amount of your demand (don't forget pain and suffering damages) at least 90 DAYS BEFORE you file a lawsuit, and provide the letter to the Judge at the small claims hearing.

2. You have to hire a forensic dentist as an expert to provide you with a report under penalty of perjury, at least (having him appear in court to testify is preferable) which report will state that the original dentist committed malpractice by removing the crown off the wrong tooth.

It is better to have the assistance of a dental malpractice attorney, from your local area. Your local bar association or trial lawyer's association (aka consumer attorneys) are good places for referrals.

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