Dental Malpractice Claims:
Root Canals

Root canals involve delicate surgery that leaves no room for error, and errors can cause patients permanent damage and lifelong pain. As a highly experienced dental malpractice attorney, Dane Levy has handled numerous cases involving root canals, and has successfully won several cases for permanently injured patients. As a dental malpractice attorney in California, Dane Levy and his associates have a wide range of experiences regarding malpractice cases that have resulted in paresthesia (a numb lip or face) and other complications.

Selected excerpts of reported cases, decisions and settlements. The following factual scenarios and dental malpractice case summaries have been reported in various publications or handled by this law firm.

What is a Root Canal? Inside the tooth, under the enamel and dentin is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues. Once a tooth is mature however, it can survive without the pulp because it is nourished by the surrounding tissues. Endodontic treatment is required when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. If pulp inflammation is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess. An endodontic treatment involves the removal of the inflamed or infected pulp, the careful cleaning and shaping of the inside of the tooth with very small instruments, and then the filling and sealing of the space. Then a crown or other restoration is placed on the tooth to protect it and to restore it.

Case: Defendant general dentist's use of excessive root canal filling material results in permanent paresthesia of left lip and face of patient. The patient presented to her dentist with a complaint of a toothache in the lower left posterior quadrant of her mouth. The dentist performed a root canal using Sargenti N-2 paste, a root canal filling material containing paraformaldehyde. The root canal overfill resulted in the paste invading the mandibular canal and the nerves therein causing permanent nerve damage and chronic pain the lower left quadrant. The jury awarded the patient $250,000.00 plus interest.

Case: Negligent root canal and broken file resulted in numb lip and chin. Jury Award: $240,000.00