Read our latest Dental Negligence Case Study by Legal Executive Gabriele Mikstaite.
For most people, visiting a dentist can be an unpleasant and daunting experience. The thought of getting up from that chair in the waiting room and going to the dentist’s chair can strike fear into the toughest of people, for you just to be told that everything is fine and to be sent on your way. However, unfortunately there are situations where problems can be a result of negligence.
What is Dental Negligence?
Dental negligence, can be defined as avoidable injury caused by a dentist who fails to take the proper care. Any case where a dentist has performed poorly, negligently or inappropriately which results in avoidable harm being caused to a patient can lead to a dental negligence.
Some examples of Dental Negligence:
- Nerve injury
- Delay or incorrect diagnosis – including oral cancer misdiagnosis
- Cosmetic dentistry problems
- Mistakes in treatment leading to the loss or damage of multiple teeth
- Periodontal disease misdiagnosis
- Root canal treatment
People visit the dentist for a number of reasons, ranging from a check up to dental implants. A lot of the time, these treatments and procedures go according to plan but sometimes things do go wrong. Whilst, this may not always be caused by negligence, what happens if it is?
Whether your dentist is an NHS or private provider, if they’ve caused you harm due to negligent treatment then you may be able to make a compensation claim against them. Under normal circumstances in the UK & Northern Ireland, you need to make a claim within 3 years from the date of the negligence or from the date of your knowledge of the negligence. In Republic of Ireland, you need to make a claim within 2 years.
However, there is an exception to this rule:
- If you’re claiming compensation on behalf of a child then there is no time limit until your child turns 18. From the age of 18 the three year rule applies.
Dental Negligence Case Study
A South West woman from England (Mrs Y) has been awarded £4,600 in compensation after her dentist’s failure to perform adequate root canal treatment left her with a dental file in her tooth.
In 2013 Mrs Y was suffering from pain in her tooth and so made an appointment with her dentist. Her dentist recommended she have root canal treatment and so an appointment was made. In November of that year, a root canal was carried out on Mrs Y and a temporary filling was placed after the root canal was completed. Mrs Y was experiencing some discomfort and pain, however, her dentist reassured her that the pain would subside.
In the following months, Mrs Y’s symptoms were not improving, and she attended a couple of appointments with her dentist voicing her concerns. Her dentist readjusted the temporary filling and sent her home. Unfortunately, Mrs Y’s pain became excruciating and in 2017 she sought a second opinion. X-rays were taken which revealed there was a piece of equipment left in her tooth from the root canal. This piece of equipment had perforated Mrs Y’s tooth and was encroaching the surrounding bone.
The case was successfully settled in 2019 when the dentist paid £4,600 in an out of court settlement. The dentist did not admit liability.
How long do Dental Negligence Claims take?
As most medical negligence claims, a negligence claim depends on the severity of the injury and whether or not your dentist accepts responsibility. Therefore, a claim can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to settle. At PA Duffy we settle most cases quickly but more complex cases dealing with bigger claims may take a little longer. We aim
If you have suffered negligence relating to dental treatment, contact our specialist solicitors for a free enquiry.