cracked tooth

My Dentist Cracked My Tooth. Can I Sue for Damages?

Your dentist, like any other healthcare professional, owes you a duty of care. If he or she breaches that duty of care by cracking your teeth and you can prove a causal connection between your dentist’s action and the actual harm that has come to you, you may have a viable dental malpractice lawsuit. 

This is a situation in which you definitely need the services of an experienced dental malpractice attorney. If you live in New York, Lance Ehrenberg, Esq. of Dental & Podiatry Malpractice Lawyers of New York is the right person to contact.

What Lance Ehrenberg Can Do to Help

Because of his extensive experience in dental malpractice, Lance Ehrenberg will be able to determine during your initial free consultation whether or not you have a strong enough case against your dentist to pursue a claim. If you do, he has the comprehensive knowledge of the law and the well-honed litigation skills to successfully navigate a courtroom trial. Furthermore, he will charge you no fees unless he wins your case.

Why Cracked Teeth May Be Much More Serious than It Sounds

A crack in your teeth is something like a fault line; it may be an indication of impending severe damage. If your dentist cracks your teeth and leaves it untreated, multiple problems can ensue, including:

  • Accumulation of bacteria in the crack, leading to infection 
  • Infection that worsens, leading to an abscess, spreading to the bone and gums
  • Nerve damage that requires a root canal 
  • Need for protective bonding of the damaged teeth
  • Potential need for a crown (a prosthetic cap to cover the damaged teeth)
  • Necessity to extract the teeth

Apart from the misery of infection that may even become systemic and life-threatening if not treated with powerful antibiotics, you may have to visit other dental specialists and pay high bills not only to cure the infection but for reparative treatment. If your dentist has caused the crack and neglected to take the proper steps to repair it, a first-rate dental malpractice attorney may be able to win you damages to pay for your treatment as well as your pain and suffering.

Factors that Make Cracked Teeth Dental Malpractice Lawsuit Especially Challenging

There are several factors that may complicate this potential dental malpractice case. Among them are that teeth crack for a number of reasons and that sometimes the touch of a dental tool does not actually cause the crack, but rather is the last straw in a series of events that have weakened the teeth to the breaking point.

Events that may cause your teeth to become worn and apt to crack more easily include:

  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Multiple or large fillings that weaken the integrity of the teeth
  • Chewing or biting hard foods (e.g. nuts or ice, nuts, or hard candy
  • Blows to the mouth
  • Sudden changes in temperature (e.g. eating very hot soup, then ice water) 
  • Age, as teeth get more fragile

Your Dentist’s Behavior After the Crack Occurs May Be a Game Changer

If your dentist acknowledges the crack at the time it occurs or later when you call complaining about your discomfort, and if she or he handles the session in a professional manner, it will be difficult to prove dental malpractice. In other words, if your dentist explains what happened, verifies diagnosis through X-ray and/or physical examination, and repairs the resulting damage or refers you to a specialist, you may have little cause to make a claim.

On the other hand, if your dentist denies that he or she cracked the teeth, fails to diagnose it properly, and tells you to go on about your business, he or she may well have breached his or her duty of care. 

If, however, you have no history of teeth-grinding or chewing on unusually hard substances, and you experience your teeth cracking as a result of your dentist’s aggressive probe or the slip of an instrument, and then have to go through the pain and expense of prolonged treatment, our talented dental malpractice attorney will fight to obtain the damages you deserve.