As any medical professional in the US, dentists are liable for the care they give their patients. There is an acceptable standard of care that all dentists need to follow, failing which you can sue for malpractice. However, before you consult a lawyer, there are some steps you need to take:
The first step is to talk to your dentist and explain your situation. You might find out what went wrong, and in the same process, the dentist might offer to resolve the issue at no additional cost. Some states require that every possible effort is made to address the problem with your dentist before proceeding to litigation.
Then find another dentist, of the same level of expertise or more, and ask for an examination. The dentist can also tell you if your claim of malpractice has merit. You can get a certificate of merit for your claim from this dentist or another, as you will need one for the lawsuit.
Now you need to prove that the negligence of the dentist caused pain, suffering, and financial losses. Open a file and keep records of all treatment, expenses, and possible losses incurred as a result. For example, if you had to miss or postpone a function due to an inability to speak, and that affects your performance at work, you can use that as an example.
Finally, check the statute of limitations in your state. Assuming you are within the timeframe, you can now contact an Orange County dental malpractice lawyer and see if the case has merit.