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Dental Negligence Claims

Dental negligence claims refer to a case where a patient sues their dentist and makes claims against them for negligent treatment during their visit or while performing a dental procedure.

Dental negligence claims can be made when your dentist or dental practitioner makes an avoidable mistake or provides you with poor or substandard care which has caused you pain, suffering or trauma. Dental negligence can affect your financial and mental wellbeing and not only your physical health.

A recent study conducted on 1,000 people showed that 72% of them suffered from a mental health issue as a direct result of their injury- most notably anxiety and stress. Over 50% said they were worried about the financial implications of their injury.

When you visit your dentist or dental health professional to seek dental advice or treatment, you have trust in the professional and expect that they will provideied a solution to your problem. If they break that trust and you suffer unnecessary harm, injury or trauma through inaction, negligence or an avoidable mistake, then you may have strong grounds for a dental negligence claim.

Making dental negligence claims may seem like a daunting task, but we know how much it means to persons who have suffered from such negligence that they have something to hold onto after an unfortunate incident. Your settlement award can go a long way to help you get the medical assistance you require and set you on your way to a full recovery.

What Is Dental Negligence?

Dental negligence occurs when your dentist or dental health professional fails to provide you with the right standard of dental care which in turn causes you harm, injury or worsens an existing health condition. These may include incorrect diagnosis, missed diagnosis, late diagnosis, delayed or incorrect treatment, avoidable and costly mistakes during a dental procedure, failure to refer you to a specialist or even mistakes in drug prescription.

These acts of negligence can not only cause you physical harm but also affect you psychologically and financially and for this reason, making dental claims ways considered a viable option. The effects of negligence can make you unable to carry on with your everyday life - in some cases, your injuries may even be permanent and life-altering. Dental professionals are saddled with the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and anything short of this can be termed negligence and warrants a claim.

An estimated 40 million dental treatments are carried out in the UK each year, and with such a number, mistakes are inevitable. Dentists have made mistakes while carrying out dental procedures on their patients and this is why dental negligence claims are unfortunately happening on a regular basis.

According to the NHS, dental extractions are the most common cause of negligence claims (24%). This is followed by root canal treatment (20%) and cavities or filling treatments (17%). Whatever claims you may have, we are here to help you. At NHS negligence claims, we are committed to ensuring that victims of dental negligence get the right legal representation and win a deserved compensation.

Our consultation sessions are free of charge. We also undertake our dental negligence claims cases on a no win no fee basis which allows you to seek justice for any harm done to you at no financial risk.

Dental Negligence Compensation Claims

There are several reasons why you pursue a dental negligence compensation claim. These include the following:

  • Delayed diagnosis: It is important that your dentist or dental health professional identifies what the problem is early enough. Delayed diagnosis can be very disastrous as treatment is delayed and the condition can become worse needing more aggressive treatment to treat. Delayed diagnosis is enough grounds for dental negligence claims especially if you have suffered as a result.
  • Dental Misdiagnosis: it is also important that only the correct diagnosis is made for your dental issue. Misdiagnosis of any dental condition can lead to further complications or even unnecessary treatment.
  • Incorrect treatment: There are cases where the dentist carries out the incorrect treatment. For example, operating on or extracting the wrong tooth. Such negligent treatment is not acceptable.
  • Poor standard of treatment: You can also make dental negligence compensation claims if your dentist or dental health professional carried out your treatment poorly, leading to further injury. For example, unnecessary nerve or tissue damage.

For issues like these and similar cases, you are entitled to make dental negligence claims. Our dental negligence solicitors are well experienced in such cases and have secured hugely satisfying compensation amounts for clients over the years. We will ensure that you have a smooth claims process while suing your dental health officer for dental negligence.

Forms Of Dental Negligence

There are several ways in which dental negligence can occur and for such negligent treatment, you are within your rights to make dental negligence claims.

  • Extracting or filling the wrong tooth
  • Causing excess, unnecessary, damage to teeth during treatment
  • Misdiagnosis of the dental condition
  • Delayed diagnosis or completely missed diagnosis of a dental condition
  • Recommending the wrong type of treatment
  • Failing to give advice or caution to minimize or avoid damage
  • Incorrectly fitting crowns or bridges
  • Use of inferior products and techniques in a dental procedure
  • Conducting anaesthesia incorrectly
  • Unnecessary injuries and nerve damage during a surgical process.
  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose and refer suspected cases of oral cancer to a specialist.
  • Incorrect interpretation of dental x-rays and test results.
  • Negligent orthodontic treatment
  • Negligent root canal treatment.
  • Cosmetic dentistry negligence
  • Restorative dentistry errors
  • Treatment mistakes leading to multiple teeth loss or damage

Negligent Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is a very common dental procedure usually carried out to treat tooth decay, a faulty filling, or an infection to the surrounding tissues as a result of damaged teeth.

While the procedure goes off without any problems at all in most cases, dental negligence can cause a number of complications such as fractured teeth, unnecessary tissue damage, or a poorly done procedure such that the infected area is not completely removed before attaching the crown. If your dental health practitioner provided you substandard care or negligent treatment leading to any of these complications, you may be able to make dental negligence claims.

Dental Errors

Even with the most skilful dental practitioners, mistakes can happen. For example, where the dentist fails to take reasonable precautions to protect their patients from risk leading to injury or complications. Avoidable dental errors also include extracting the wrong tooth, exposing the root after root canal surgery or damaging healthy teeth while treating damaged ones. Dental errors can also arise from incorrect interpretation of dental x-rays and test results. If you have suffered from such dental errors, we can assist you to make dental negligence claims.

Misdiagnosis of Oral Cancer

The NHS says that oral cancer (also known as mouth cancer) is the sixth most common cancer in the world. It could present symptoms such as mouth ulcers or lumps in the mouth or neck, weak and mobile teeth, numbness and patches of red or white. Oral cancer must be diagnosed early and treated quickly to forestall further complications. If during your visit to your dental practitioner they failed to diagnose your oral cancer ailment or delayed your treatment, you may be entitled to make dental negligence claims.

Incorrect Fitting of a Crown Or Bridges

Crowns are fabricated to cover a damaged or compromised tooth to provide extra strength and protection as well as for aesthetics. Bridges on the other hand are like multiple crowns joined in one the are made to fill gaps where teeth are missing while mostly anchoring on existing natural teeth. If these aren't fitted properly, they can cause discomfort or other complications to your oral health. You can make dental negligence claims If your crown or bridge was inserted incorrectly and you have suffered as a result.

Misdiagnosis Of Treatable Dental Conditions

Misdiagnosis can cause further complications or lead to more aggressive treatment. For example, if a negligent dentist does not identify a treatable condition like gingivitis, it can progress causing further problems affecting the entire periodontium, (periodontitis). the patient’s gums will be weakened, the gums will recede, change from pale pink to a dark red colour as well as bleeding spontaneously.

Complications such as tooth mobility and loss, loss of the jawbone, nerve and blood vessel damage, damage to surrounding teeth, as well as other emotional and psychological impacts are commonly associated with undetected and untreated gingivitis.

While patients are responsible for maintaining good oral and dental hygiene, they can still make dental negligence claims if their dentist is directly responsible for the harm, injury or trauma they had to suffer.

Oral Surgery Mistakes

Oral surgeries can go wrong as a result of dental negligence. For instance, operating on the wrong tooth or wrong side of the mouth, avoidable nerve damage, severe bleeding due to negligence, mistakes with anaesthesia administration or other forms of mistakes that cause further complications. For such cases and anything similar, you can make dental negligence claims.

Lack of Informed Consent

It is the responsibility of every medical practitioner including dental health professionals to obtain informed consent from their patient before carrying out any procedure. This is more than getting their signature to endorse a written document but it is also about making sure a patient understands the risks associated with the planned dental procedure, possible outcomes of the treatment and chances of success. It also involves telling the patient of any alternative treatments so that they can choose what they actually want.

Not obtaining informed consent before carrying out a procedure can be grounds for dental negligence claims especially if the surgery or procedure yields unwanted results for the patient.

Poor Technique

The choice of technique, quality of materials used as well as the dentist’s skills can affect the outcome of any procedure.

They can also leave the patient requiring further treatment thus elongating recovery time. Some examples include using removable denture support for a non-removable implant denture (which will require another surgery after allowing the initial incorrect surgery to heal), poor application of veneers, failing to prepare a cavity properly before filling, incorrect attachment of crowns and bridges, use of the wrong type of appliance, etc.

If your dentist is found to be negligent in any of such areas, you have cause to make dental negligence claims.

Dental Negligence Claims We Handle

  • Cosmetic Dentistry Claims
  • Dental Nerve Damage Claims
  • Oral Cancer Claims
  • Periodontal Disease Claims
  • Restorative Dentistry Claims
  • Maxillofacial Dentistry Claims
  • Dental Implant Claims

Proving My Dental Negligence Claim

To prove your dental claims, it is important to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the dentist was directly responsible for your injury or complication and not any fault of yours or an underlying medical condition. The four parts of negligence therefore, that have to be proven are:

  • Duty (that the dentist or dental health professional owed you a duty of care)
  • Deviation (that the dental health professional deviated from such duty of care)
  • Direct causation (that such breach of duty has directly caused you pain, trauma or further complications you are suffering or have suffered.)
  • Damages (that you have suffered, and other losses both financially, mentally and otherwise as a result of the negligent treatment or breach of duty of care)

THE PROCESS OF MAKING DENTAL NEGLIGENCE CLAIMS

Outlined below are the processes to take to make dental negligence claims either against an NHS staff or working privately. We remain dedicated to ensuring a smooth and stress-free process for you.

Speak With Us

At NHS negligence claims, our expert dental negligence solicitors will listen to you, understand your plight, evaluate the case and if we are convinced that you have a strong claim for dental negligence, we will guide you and give you legal advice on the next steps to take. We have dedicated solicitors who are among UK finest in medical negligence claims so you can be sure that you will receive a proper and professional legal representation. Our consultation sessions do not cost you any fee; therefore we encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible.

Funding Your Claim

When we are convinced that we have a strong claim, we can now proceed to fund your claim. It is necessary to do this in order to facilitate the claims process and cover other legal costs. We handle the majority of our dental negligence claims on a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win No Fee). What this means is that you don’t have to make any upfront legal fees or even make payments to us during the entire claims process. Furthermore, you are also protected from paying us a dime in the rare scenario that the case isn’t successful in the end.

There are other medical negligence funding types available. Our negligence solicitors will also make them clearer to you, should you need any information on that or if you wish to use another funding type for your claims. Alternatively, you can read our medical negligence funding page.

Gathering Facts and Evidence

As soon as we have your funding all sorted out, we shall then commence the gathering documents and relevant information which will be used as evidence to corroborate your claims. These documents include:

  • Your detailed statements of all events that transpired and how you have been affected by the outcome of the negligent treatment
  • Your dental records including tests and x-rays
  • Relevant witness statements from family or close friends
  • Proof of financial losses suffered as a result of the negligent treatment
  • Photographs or images of your injury
  • Reports from an independent dental expert about the severity of damage and likely prognosis

As your dental negligence solicitors, we work diligently and assist you to obtain this information. We will ensure that we prepare your case in the best possible way as this reduces the likelihood that the other party will contest it or deny wrongdoing. This will also make the outcome of your claim more favourable and ensure that agreement on a settlement fee is reached swiftly.

Submission of Letter Of Claim and Establishing Liability

From the evidence gathered, we will establish the existence of dental negligence, the injury such action or inaction has caused and further damages you have suffered as a result. We will then communicate the defendant party of our findings through a “letter of claim” who will make their own investigations and give us a reply accepting or denying liability. The NHS Resolution represents the NHS in cases brought against it or any of the NHS staff.

We will also register the case before a competent judge. This does not mean that your case will go to trial but it helps to ensure that both parties do their best to meet up with set deadlines. If the defendant denies any wrongdoing, it is our duty to make them see their fault and we will not stop until we are able to do so. If both parties fail to agree, the claims can go on to a trial to be presided over by a judge.

However, if liability is accepted, both parties can then discuss a settlement fee. The good news is that most claims brought against the NHS are settled out of court as only about 2% of claims brought against the NHS go all the way to a trial.

Negotiating Compensation Value and Payment Of Settlement

At this stage, we will agree to a settlement fee based on certain factors which are unique to each case. The Judicial College Guidelines will guide both parties in these negotiations.

The agreed compensation value is paid within an agreed period of time and if we undertake your claims on a No Fee No Win Policy, a success fee of 25% will be deducted from your total compensation award while the rest will be paid to you.

How Much Compensation Can I Get For My Dental Negligence Claims?

Certain factors come into play while negotiating how much you can get for your dental negligence claims. These include-

  • The type and location of the injury
  • The severity of the injury
  • Impact of the injury on your general wellbeing
  • Financial losses incurred as a result (loss of income, loss of pension, inability to go to work- including past, present and estimated future losses)
  • Future Prognosis
  • Fees and travel expenses for medical appointments

The table below shows the average amount of various dental injuries caused by dental negligence and the average compensation fee.

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

While making dental negligence claims, you can claim for the following-

  • General Damages- This takes into account the type of injury, severity of the damage caused by the negligence and the impact of the injury in day to day life. In other words, compensation here should take care of the level of pain, suffering and trauma you have had to endure as a result of the dental negligence-caused injury.
  • Special Damages- This covers other factors such as financial losses incurred, costs of medical appointments, treatment, loss of earnings as well as future prognosis.

The average medical negligence compensation fee according to the NHS is £50,000, however, compensation values can range from £1,000 to several millions of pounds depending on the factors highlighted above.

Why Choose Us

At NHS negligence claims, we have very friendly, dedicated and expert solicitors with many years of experience representing people who have suffered negligent treatment while being attended to by their dentists. We ensure that our clients get the best possible legal representation and win a deserved compensation.

Our consultation services are free of charge while we undertake our claims under our No Win No Fee Policy. We are here to listen to you, sympathize and empathize with you, examine your case thoroughly and guide you with professional legal advice on how to proceed with your claims.

We encourage you today not to hesitate to reach out to us or put off seeking justice for any harm done to you as you do not have to fear legal fees since our No Win No Fee grants you the opportunity to make claims without any financial risks to you.

You can also fill our online enquiry form and we will reach out to you in the shortest possible time.

Conclusion

Acts of negligence can be lifelong and life-altering. Everyone who goes to visit their dentist expects to find a solution to their dental problem and so we understand how difficult it must be for you or your loved one who sought help for a dental condition to suffer due to a mistake or negligent treatment by the dentist.

This is why we are here for you so that you can seek redress and win the deserved compensation which will be vital towards your recovery. Reach out to us as soon as possible and let us help you make that claim.

FAQs

  • Q: What Is Classed As Dental Negligence? img

    Dental negligence refers to when a dentist’s or a dental health professional’s action or inactions, negligence or substandard care towards a patient under his watch causes harm, pain, injury or trauma which could have in normal circumstances be avoided. These could have serious impacts on the overall health and wellbeing of the individual.

  • To make dental negligence claim against a dentist in the UK, first, you will need to contact an experience dental negligence solicitor. Your solicitor will discuss with you about your experience and then evaluate if you have a claim or not. If you have a claim, your solicitor will then tell you how you can proceed.

  • Of course, you can. You are well within your rights to sue a dentist or dental health professional for negligent treatment when you have been harmed by such actions. Thus, a breach of duty of care is enough grounds for making claims. However, if there is no harm suffered, your claims may not be valid.

  • If you are convinced that your dentist has made an error which has caused you harm or failed to act resulting in the harm, injury or trauma you suffered, you can make a dental negligence claim against the health professional. You will need the services of your dental negligence solicitor to do so.

  • For you to make a claim for dental negligence, it is important to prove the four parts of negligence which will ultimately show if the dentist is liable for any wrongdoing or not. These are;

    • Duty (that the dentist or dental health professional owed you a duty of care)
    • Deviation (that the dental health professional deviated from such duty of care)
    • Direct causation (that such breach of duty has directly caused you pain, trauma or further complications you are suffering or suffered.)
    • Damages (that you have suffered other losses both financially, mentally and otherwise as a result of the negligent treatment or breach of duty of care)

  • To prove your dental negligence claim, you will need to provide documents which will serve as evidence. Some of the documents which you will need include- detailed statements, your dental records, medical report from an independent dental expert, records of out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the negligent treatment, other financial losses (past, present and future estimate costs), witness statements as well as photographs.

  • Dental negligence claims will usually not take more than 3years to settle. Some cases can be settled between 12-18months. The period of time taken to settle a case will depend on time taken to gather necessary evidence, getting an independent dental expert’s report on the severity of injury, cooperation of both parties to settle vital issues including the swiftness in agreeing on a settlement fee.

  • The rule guiding medical negligence claims states that you have three years from the date of knowledge (becoming aware of the negligence) to make a claim. We therefore recommend that you begin your claims process as soon as possible when the details of the case are still very clear and when vital documents can be easily accessed. Where a child is involved, the child will have until his or her 21st birthday to make a claim within the three-year time frame starting from the 18th birthday. Also, exceptions can be made if the individual is incapacitated and unable to bring up claims before the expiration of the three years.

  • A dental trauma refers to physical injury to the teeth, gums, alveolar bone, the periodontium or other soft tissues and associated structures in the mouth including the tongue and lips. When injuries to these structures are caused by dental negligence impacting your health and general wellbeing, you may have a claim for dental negligence.

  • The answer is yes. Whether you were attended to at an NHS hospital or in a private clinic this does not matter. If your dentist was negligent in his handling of your condition or subjected you to substandard care, then you may be eligible to make a dental negligence claim against them. When claims are brought against the NHS or any NHS staff, the NHS Resolution acts in their defense.

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