When Dental Negligence Can Lead To More Than Just a Pain in the Mouth

Dental negligence compensation claims can arise when tooth decay or gum disease is overlooked by a dentist, leading to pain and suffering for the patient and often large compensation payouts too.
Posted on March 15, 2018   By MIC_Admin

Making a dental negligence compensation claim is probably one of the last things on the vast majority of people’s minds when they visit their dentist. True there are probably lots of scenarios that do go through our heads when we are on the way to the surgery either for a check-up or for some work to be done, such as, a filling or, heaven forfend, a tooth extraction. ‘What happens if the drill slips?’ is probably right up there at the top of the list of our ‘what may go wrong at the dentist surgery’ fears.

However, if we did allow ourselves to think about dental negligence claims and what form they take, it is probable that compensation claims stemming from a failure by the dentist to spot tooth decay, or for that matter, gum disease, would not rank too highly on the list. More likely that we would think of root canal treatment or therapy that has gone wrong, the wrong tooth that has been extracted, a drill that has slipped, implant work that has gone wrong or problems during cosmetic or restorative dental treatment. Not tooth decay. After all, of the 61% of adults in England and 69% in Scotland and Wales, that attend their dentists regularly, probably more than half of those visiting are simply going for that very reason – to ensure that their teeth and gums stay healthy enough to prevent tooth decay.

However, for Alex Harling it was a ‘consistent failure to spot tooth decay’ that led to her receiving £12,000 in dentist negligence compensation from her former dentist. Alex complained that her dentist failed to provide adequate treatment when she was suffering from pain in a tooth which meant that she had to undergo a tooth extraction at hospital and will need further ongoing treatment. It was alleged that the failure to spot and deal with the decay led to the development of the toothache and the infections that she had. She requires extensive corrective treatment and three crowns fitting.

Another recent case involved Sharon Dexter from Peterborough. Sharon suffered years of pain after two local dentists failed to treat tooth decay and ended up receiving £12,500 compensation in an out of court settlement. She ended up losing a tooth and will have to have ongoing corrective treatment for the foreseeable future.

Craig Gaunt received £22,000 in dental negligence compensation after three separate dentists failed to spot his gum disease over a 12-year period. Craig decided to switch practices after one of the dentists suggested that he should receive fewer check-ups. A new dentist spotted what the problem was, but Craig still needs extensive treatment and at least three teeth out, because his condition was missed despite his regular check-ups.

Failure on the part of a dentist to spot tooth decay or gum disease can therefore have devastating effects for the patient and can lead to significant compensation pay-outs too.

When visiting a dentist for treatment, you as a patient are entitled to expect to receive the same level of treatment and care which an ordinary, prudent professional with the same training and experience, in good standing, in a same or similar community would practice under the same or similar circumstances.

If the standard of care and level of treatment that you receive, falls below that standard and you suffer pain and loss as a result, then you are entitled to make a claim for damages to compensate you for that pain, suffering and loss.

Here’s how you might consider approaching the situation if this happens to you;

  • 1.Approach the dentist directly first of all to see if they can rectify the situation. If the dentist was an NHS dentist then make a complaint via NHS England. If the dentist was a private one, then the practice themselves should have their own complaints procedure which you need to follow.
  • 2.It may be (is often likely to be) the case that you have lost all faith in your dentist’s ability to resolve the position. The damage done may be such that you feel that the only way that the matter can be satisfactorily resolved is by consulting a specialist dental negligence solicitor, such as those that Mayiclaim works with. With the right solicitor, the whole process doesn’t have to be as stressful as you may be thinking. The key is to use a specialist dental negligence compensation solicitor who regularly, sometimes only, deals with dental negligence cases.

At Mayiclaim we can put you straight into the hands of solicitors that have done numerous dentist compensation claims for our clients successfully. The will work on a No Win, No Fee basis for you, meaning that you only pay them what’s known as a success fee if they win your case. If they don’t win, you don’t pay a thing either to them or to the other side. Call us on Freephone 0800 756 7774 or if you prefer use our Contact us page to send us your query https://mayiclaim.co.uk/contact-us