I had a root canal that went wrong, do I still have to pay for it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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I had a root canal that went wrong, do I still have to pay for it?

I am in New York. I had a root canal therapy that resulted in an abscess. The
dentist left bacteria in the tooth that caused this problem. He did proceed to
correct the error, which took an extra two trips and essentially two further
root canals. He did the corrective treatments for free. When the abscess
presented I had to go to the emergency room where the put me on an IV drip
and I also had a course of antibiotics.

Do I still need to pay the full amount for the original procedure? It is 1350.
Do I have a case here?

Asked on April 18, 2017 under Malpractice Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you need to pay for the procedure. On the other hand, you could also sue the dentist for any additional medical costs (if any) you incurred due to his negligence (carelessness), like the emergency room costs, antibiotics, etc.; for any work or wages you missed; and possibly for some small amount for pain and suffering. Your claim against the dentist for these things, and his claim vs. you for the money, are independent of each other legally; that said, as a practical matter, if you explain that you will sue if you can't settle the matter, he may agree to a settlement in which you each give up your claims (including his claim for the cost of the procedure) against each other and go your separate ways.

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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