Root Canal Dental Malpractice Cases

Dental Malpractice

Endodontists are specially trained to treat teeth that have exposed nerves due to decay or injury.  Dental professionals who do not perform their jobs correctly may cause additional damage, resulting in pain, infection, additional procedures, cost, or trauma.

There are several types of root canal errors that can occur:

  1. Root Canal Sort Fill – The filling of the root canal needs to be completed within a millimeter of the apex or root tip.  If the short fill exceeds two millimeters it can lead to a predisposition to bacterial contamination of the underfilled root canal.  This can result in abscess or chronic inflammation that can necessitate retreatment, surgical endodontics, or extraction.
  2. Root Canal OverFill – When a root canal is filled, it should end at the root tip apex.  If the filling materials are overextended they can penetrate the underlying main sensory nerve in the lower jaw or the sinus in the upper jaw causing chemical burn into the sensitive nerve tissue.  Symptoms of an overfill include persistent numbness or pain in the lip and chin.
  3. Perforation – Filing instruments or the placement of posts when the root canal has been completed may penetrate the root side, resulting in an abscess or endodontic failure.  X-rays done mid-treatment can be used to avoid this mishap with careful measurements to ensure that instruments are placed inside the root canal space, not off angled and out the root side.
  4. Implants – Implants that are root formed and surgically placed in the bone are long lasting, making them preferable to bridges for tooth replacement.  If implants are drilled too deep they can penetrate the underlying main sensory jaw nerve and cause permanent lip and chin numbness and/or pain.  If there is still severe pain and/or numbness after six hours of the surgery placing the implant, then the implant should be removed.  There is a two millimeter safety zone recommended between the drill depth of the implant and the jaw nerve.  However, some implantologists ignore or disregard this precaution, endangering patients and potentially resulting in permanent jaw nerve injuries, including numbness, and burning pain.

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