Making a Dental Negligence Claim
Based on recent NHS dental statistics for England, just half of the adult population were seen by a dentist in the two years before December 2018. The global overview of dental care reflects this picture, where severe gum disease (periodontal disease) is estimated to be the 11th most prevalent disease around the world and dental treatment amounts to 5% of total health expenditure for many high-income countries. The scientific thinking has also shifted, and it is now thought that lots of other illnesses and disease can stem from failure to care for your teeth.
However, while these statistics show that we could be doing more to look after our dental health, visiting the dentist can be a worrying time, particularly if you feel nervous or apprehensive at the thought of treatment. For most of us, this proves to be unwarranted and we find ourselves leaving the dental surgery feeling relieved and with our dental problems resolved.
But what should you do if your visit to the dentist goes wrong? If you, or a loved one, has sustained damage to the teeth or your dentist has missed the signs of gum disease which has resulted in tooth loss, you could be entitled to make a dental negligence claim. That’s where we can help.
When is it a case of dental negligence?
Dental negligence can occur when a preventable injury or damage is sustained by a patient during a visit to the dentist. The negligence can be due to a number of reasons, such as the dentist not identifying the early signs of gum (periodontal) disease, when it could be easily rectified, undertaking a procedure on the wrong tooth, or damaging a neighbouring tooth.
This can happen as part of a routine treatment or when they are correcting any previous trauma to the teeth and gums. Therefore, it’s possible that the injury you originally suffered and tried to get help for has been aggravated by those who were meant to be helping you.
This is a complicated situation as it means you have to prove the damage was done as a result of poor levels of care. Dentists in the UK must follow the General Dental Council’s guidelines, which means that they must carry out any treatment and assessments safely and professionally. When your treatment falls below these standards, and you find that you have damage to your teeth or gums as a result, you could make a dental negligence claim.
Cosmetic procedures and dental injury claims
It’s also possible to encounter dental negligence when you undergo cosmetic dental work, such as teeth whitening, repositioning and alignment adjustments. Demand for these cosmetic dental services in England and Wales is growing, and they are being provided at increasingly competitive rates.
As with any type of treatment, there are risks that come with cosmetic dentistry, and these should be explained to you by the surgeon before your procedure. Risks may include nerve damage, pain, and, in some cases, worsening of your teeth rather than improving the appearance. This can cause long-term problems and can mean you need to pay for further treatment to ease the issues.
What sort of dental problems can you claim for?
Here are a few examples of poor dental treatment that could be a case of dental negligence:
- Failure to diagnose dental conditions like gum (periodontal)
disease that later leads to complications like tooth and bone loss
- Teeth extracted incorrectly
- Poor application of anaesthetic
- Failing to check medical history or allergies
- Problems due to staff being insufficiently trained or qualified
- Failure of cosmetic restoration work
To find out more about the different types of dental negligence, take a look at the Common Claims section. If you can’t see the dental procedure that caused your injury on the list, contact our specialist legal team today as we could still help you pursue your claim.
What can happen after dental negligence?
You may find yourself struggling with pain, infection, cosmetic damage, and additional treatment to repair the damage caused. Dental negligence can have far-reaching effects and potentially cause psychological trauma. These effects can be long-lasting and, in spite of remedial action being taken, you may be left with permanent damage to your mouth, teeth or gums.
Negligent treatment can also cost you more in dental treatment fees, all of which can be factored into dental negligence claims.
Who pays for treatment after dental negligence occurs?
Whether you underwent a procedure because of trauma or for cosmetic reasons, if you have a case against a dentist who caused you injury, the cost of restoring your teeth in the future is included as part of your claim for damages, and could be paid for with your dental negligence compensation.
Our expert legal team have experience in dealing with dental negligence.
Why choose Been Let Down?
By choosing Been Let Down, you can get some added peace of mind. Our skilled, highly experienced solicitors are experts in dental negligence claims and have supported clients across England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and solicitors in our legal team are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
How to make a dental negligence claim
We appreciate that making a claim against a dentist can be a difficult process, especially if you’re still trying to overcome the issues caused by their mistreatment.
Our dental injury claims team can potentially help you pursue a claim for compensation and other losses, including surgical costs to repair the damage. Whether you paid for private treatment or were dealt with as an NHS patient, it makes no difference; you were owed a duty of care, and if this has not been provided, you could have a case.
So, if you think you have a claim, please contact our skilled solicitors so that you have the best possible chance of securing compensation.
How do we prove negligence?
Before a dental negligence compensation claim can begin, we will need to assess whether your dentist was negligent. This is done by showing a responsible dentist, dental nurse, or hygienist would not have made the same mistake. We then review if you have suffered an injury as a result. We may consider if any of the following occurred during your treatment:
- Incorrect dosage of medication
- Diagnosis completely missed
- Dental surgery carried out badly
- Teeth removed without good cause
- Serious errors with regard to treatment
- Failure to correctly manage and identify gum disease
We understand that mistakes can happen in dental practice, but we can assist you in recognising if this has been dental negligence. Dentists understand this and have the relevant professional indemnity insurance to cover them if they have been negligent. If your dentist has caused you to suffer physically, mentally, or financially, then contact our team of expert solicitors as soon as possible. You can also make an enquiry online, phone us or ask for a call back at a time that suits you.
Once we’ve spoken on the phone to discuss your case, we’ll arrange a consultation and then work out how successful your dental negligence claim could be. We can take you through the process step-by-step and provide support and advice throughout.
Get in touch
Get in touch with the team of lawyers at Been Let Down now and find out how we can help with your case for dental negligence compensation.
Please call us on 0800 234 3234 or contact us and a member of our legal team will call you back.