How to Sue a Dentist for Negligence?
Looking at suing a dentist for negligence? If you have suffered avoidable harm due to negligence, our solicitors can help you make a claim
Dental Negligence/Malpractice - What is it?
Dental negligence or dental malpractice refers to when a dentist or other dental professional makes an avoidable mistake or error which causes you to suffer an unnecessary harm, injury or complication. It can also refer to when a dentist fails to take necessary action for the wellbeing of the patient.
Dental Negligence Claims - All you need to know
This refers to when a patient takes legal action or files a lawsuit against a dentist for actions, inactions or substandard treatment experience and which has caused him or her to suffer harm. Any form of negligence such as poorly performed procedure, botched dental work, the dentist failed to spot gum disease, orthodontic malpractice, dentist took out wrong tooth or dental malpractice root canal on wrong tooth which results in physical pain or psychological trauma for the patient is enough to make a dental negligence claim.
Dentists like every other medical professional have a duty of care to their patients and should endeavor to do the needful in the overall best interest of their patients. When they fail to do this, there could be very devastating consequences for the patient.
Dental Negligence Statistics
According to the NHS, over 40million dental procedures are performed each year in the UK. And while the majority of these procedures are done successfully, there are still dental negligence cases reported every year.
The NHS reports that the major reason for dental negligence compensations claims are related to dental extractions- accounting for about 24% of all dental negligence claims. This is followed by negligent root canal treatment claims (20%) and dental filling treatment (17%).
Your choice of a dental negligence solicitor will very much affect the outcome of your dental negligence claims. This is why you should endeavor to choose a specialist dental negligence solicitor to assist you make your dental claims.
Cases that can be classed under dental Negligence
If a dentist makes a mistake during a dental procedure, the patient could suffer complications and trauma. In such cases, dental negligence claims can be made. Forms of dental malpractice which could occur include:
- Extraction of the wrong tooth or teeth
- Wrong diagnosis, missed diagnosis, delayed or failed diagnosis- such as failure to spot gum disease, oral cancer or other oral diseases
- Failure to provide a treatment plan as well as give oral hygiene advice
- Failing to inform patient and get an informed consent before proceeding with a treatment plan
- Inadequate radiology or imaging
- Anesthesia complications
- Injuries to oral nerves
- Complications with bridges and crowns
- Root canal injuries as well as performing root canal on wrong tooth
- Failure to spot and treat infections
- Poor cosmetic dental work
- Loose or poorly fitted dental implants
- Poor filling of cavities
- Unnecessary injuries or errors during gum surgery
- Poor treatment technique
- Botched dental work
- Avoidable dental nerve damage
- Orthodontic malpractice
- Surgery goes wrong- such as failure to properly remove a tumour
Examples of Dental Negligence Claims Cases our Solicitors Handle
- Cosmetic Dentistry Claims
- Dental Nerve Damage Claims
- Oral Cancer Claims
- Periodontal Disease Claims
- Restorative Dentistry Claims
- Maxillofacial Dentistry Claims
- Dental Implant Claims
Our dental lawyers are ready to help you prove your dental malpractice claims and get you a deserved dental compensation for the harm done to you.
What you must prove when suing a dentist?
When you decide to make a dental negligence claim, you have to be prepared to establish the different parts of medical negligence. Our dental negligence solicitors will talk you through the process of proving your dental claim and you need to do so.
It is important to note these four parts of medical negligence as the success of your dental negligence compensation claims hinges on your ability to establish all four parts. Where you are unable to do so, your claim may not be successful.
- Duty- You have to show that there was an existence of doctor/patient relationship. This means that your dentist owed you a duty of care.
- Breach – Here you have to show that the dentist failed in his or her duty of care to you by providing you with dental care that fell below the require standards in medical practice. This means that another dentist wouldn’t have performed in the same way in the same circumstances.
- Causation – This is also another important part of your negligence claim where you demonstrate that the harm you suffered is a direct result of the dentist’s breach of duty and not as a result of any other factor. If this cannot be established, your claim cannot be proven and will be unsuccessful.
- Damages – Here you have to show that you have suffered damages, harm or losses as a result of your dentist’s negligence. This may be physical damage, psychological, financial losses, etc. where you cannot demonstrate damages, you case cannot be successful and there is no point suing your dentist.
Steps to take in suing a dentist
Here is a summary of how the dental negligence claims process will proceed:
- First you speak with us and have a no obligation chat about your claims
- Next, we help you to fund your claims according to your choice. However, you have the great offer of making your claims without any financial implications to you using our No Win No Fee Policy (Conditional Fee Agreement)
- Gathering Facts and Evidence
- Your detailed statements of all events that transpired
- Your medical records
- Results from tests and x-rays
- Relevant witness statements from family or close friends
- Proof of financial losses and out of pocket expenses as a result of the injury
- Photographs or images showing the extent of your injury
- Reports from an independent dental expert whom we would ask to examine you and write on your current state of health and effect of the negligence you suffered
- Submission of Letter Of Claim after our findings
- Establishing Liability of your dentist through discussions and presentation of evidence
- Negotiating Settlement payout and Payment Of Settlement
After we have funded your claim, we will gather documents and relevant information which will be used as evidence to prove your claims.
These documents include:
How Much Compensation Can I Get For My Dental Negligence Claims?
Your dental compensation amount after a successful claim is not fixed but depends on the specifics of your claim. No two dental negligence claims are exactly the same and so each claim will be treated differently.
However, when you sue an NHS dentist, our dental negligence solicitors can give you a realistic idea of what you can get as compensation using our optimized NHS compensation calculator.
The average compensation award for medical negligence claims in the UK according to the NHS is £50,000, but compensation values can range from as low as £1,000 to several millions of pounds depending on certain factors which include:
- Type of injury
- Severity of the injury
- Impact of the injury on your general wellbeing and quality of life
- Estimated time for recovery or future prognosis
- Costs of travel expenses for further medical appointments and treatment
- Costs of special equipment of device
- Financial losses incurred including loss of income and loss of pension as a result of your inability to go to work or having to give up work entirely. Other out-of-pocket expenses including past, present and estimated future losses will also be taken into account.
The table below gives you an indication of what you may get as compensation amount for various kinds of dental negligence caused injuries. This is according to Judicial College Guidelines.
|Severity Of Injury||Average Amount Of Compensation|
|Loss of A Single Back Tooth||£910 to £1,430|
|Loss of A Single Front Tooth||£1,840 to £3,300|
|Loss of two front teeth||£3,630 to £6,380|
|Loss of several front teeth||£7,320 to £9,540|
|Gum disease||As high as £32,000|
|Very serious facial scarring||£27,940 to £91,350|
Why Choose Us
At NHS negligence claims, we have very friendly, dedicated and empathetic NHS negligence solicitors with many years of experience representing people with different dental malpractice claims and securing deserving compensation amounts for them. Our consultation services are free of charge where we will listen to your story, discuss with you and offer you free legal advice. We would also professional examine your case to be sure if you have a valid claim.
Furthermore, our NHS negligence solicitors are accredited with relevant associations in the industry such as the Action Against Medical Accident (AvMA) solicitors’ panel, and the Law Society’s panel for clinical negligence solicitors.
Additionally, we undertake your claims under our No Win No Fee policy. By this policy of ours, you are protected from any financial risks as you would not have to pay us a dime to take up your claims. We would also not require you to pay a penny should the case be unsuccessful. At the end of a successful dental negligence claim, we would take out 25% of your compensation amount as “success fee” and the rest belongs to you.
We advise that you don’t delay your claim today as you have a limitation period of three years after finding out about the dental negligence to make your medical negligence claim. Although there are exceptions to this rule which we can expatiate upon during our discussion sessions, it is better to begin claims early enough so as to give your dental negligence lawyers ample time to gather relevant evidence and build a strong case for you. Also, when you begin claims early, it is easier to lay hands on vital information and also recall events better which is vital for the success of every medical negligence claim.
Contact us today and let us begin the journey to get you a deserving dental negligence compensation.