What can I do if my dentist performed a procedure without my consent?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if my dentist performed a procedure without my consent?

I had a dental appointment to fix a tooth that I had told them that I

have a problem with. However, the dentist went ahead and re-did my 3 old fillings that were on the same side of the mouth without telling me. Apparently, 1 of the fillings was too close to the nerve and I’ve been in excruciating pain for 4 weeks. Now I need a root canal and a crown that I have to pay so much out of pocket for. I called the office and told them what they did to me was malpractice since they did not have my consent. They said they will talk to the dentist and call me back, it has been 3 weeks and they never called me back. Can you please guide me what I can do?

Asked on March 1, 2017 under Malpractice Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The only thing you can do, if they will not voluntarily compensate you in some way you find acceptable, would be to file a malpractice suit based on both his performing the procedure without your consent and his seeming negligence in how he re-did one of the filings, to cause the pain, root canel, etc. Malpractice suits can be expensive to bring, however: you need to hire a medical expert (e.g. another dentist) to examine you and the medical records and write a report and (if necessary) testify in court, and this can cost a few thousand dollars--and that's before considering the cost of an attorney. Consult with a malpractice attorney to see if it is worth bringing a case. Many malpractice attorneys provide a fee initial consultation to evaluate a case--you can ask about that before making an appointment. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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