Looking to make a claim against your dentist? Here is what you should know.
First of all, you can make a claim for both NHS and private dental treatment. More and more people are having private dental treatment especially due to the shortage of NHS dentists but when things go wrong, it can cost you thousands of pounds to have it put right again and this is when we can help you. Even if you received NHS dental treatment and you were an exempt patient, you can still claim compensation if you feel you were not given the proper care and advice.
The next step is to find out if you have a valid claim. There are two ways to find out. If you prefer to research a bit yourself, you can read the articles on this website which give relevant information as to when a dental claim is valid and when it is not valid.
However, the best and quickest way to find out if you have a valid claim against your dentist, is by speaking to one of our expert solicitors who will determine if you have a valid claim or not. They will also seek further advice from one of our dentists who advise on these types of claims. If you have a case, our solicitors will take you through the process on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means that this won’t cost you a penny so there is no risk to you.
When you decide that you want us to deal with your claim, we will initially need to obtain your dental records. We will obtain these on your behalf which saves you the time and inconvenience of asking for them. Once these have been sent to us, we look at them with a dentist and advise you further. Most of this is usually done by phone or email, making it convenient and saving you time.
What exactly is dental negligence?
You will have read and seen the term, dental negligence, but what is it exactly?
When you go and have treatment from your dentist, you are entitled to receive a high quality of care. You may have a case if your treatment or dental care has been to a poor standard.
In short, if the dental treatment has not gone as it should, then dental negligence may have occurred and you could therefore receive compensation. Dental negligence could also have occurred if a problem in your mouth was not picked up early.
Let’s look at two typical examples of dental negligence. The first example illustrates when a treatment is carried out but doesn’t go according to plan. The second example is despite going to your dentist regularly, you do not receive the correct amount or type of dental treatment.
An example is when you go to have a filling done. Your dentist should explain to you about the procedure and the cost beforehand. The filling should be done to a reasonable standard so that it can last you many years. However, certain “red flags” may point out to you that something has gone wrong. This could be that the filling breaks or falls out shortly after it was put in. Another red flag could be that you get a lot of pain or sensitivity afterward and further treatment is then needed which you weren’t warned about. It could also be that the filling doesn’t look right in shape or colour to the adjacent teeth. These are only some of the reasons for treatment not going to plan however our legal team will then look at it in more detail.
The second very common example is when you notice that your teeth are becoming loose despite regular dental visits. You are then told that you have severe gum disease and now it’s too late to do anything about it. In this case, perhaps your dentist could have told you much earlier that you have gum disease and that would have given you the chance to do something about it. By, not being told early on about your gum disease, it has now become necessary to lose a tooth or teeth.
In the last year, government figures show (2022) there were over 15,000 cases of clinical negligence registered with the Compensation Recovery Unit. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/compensation-recovery-unit-performance-data/compensation-recovery-unit-performance-data
Dental negligence is used to describe an incident that has directly harmed your mouth or well-being at the care of a dentist. The typical types of claims may include:
- Fillings which have caused you further problems. In severe cases, you may have had to go on to have the tooth taken out or have it root treated.
- Problems with cosmetic dental treatment. This could be with orthodontics, implants, veneers, and crowns.
- A nerve injury during an extraction or an implant.
- Invisalign treatment that has fallen short of your ideal result.
- Crowns that keep coming off.
- Veneers that dislodge even when you go back to have them put back on again.
- Finding out from another dentist that you have gum disease, poor crowns or extensive decay.
- A delay in treatment. Most often, you have not been told early on that you have decay or gum disease. In advanced cases, once you have been made aware, the tooth/teeth is/are too late to save.
- Incorrect diagnosis. This is receiving treatment that was unnecessary.
- Dentures not fitting properly despite going back to your dentist for adjustments.
- Gum disease/Periodontal disease misdiagnosis.
- Mistakes leading to the loss of a tooth or a set of teeth
- Failing to gain proper patient consent, especially for cosmetic treatment.
- Pain after having root canal treatments. This results in continued pain due to infection or having to have the tooth removed.
- Dental implants that have failed or become infected.
- Crowns and bridges that have gaps around/under them
- Sometimes we can also help you claim for any anxiety or depression caused as a result of your dental treatment that has gone wrong.
- Financial losses as a result of mistreatment. Sometimes, it costs you much more to have the initial treatment put right by the same dentist or by going to a different dentist. This causes you inconvenience, more discomfort and being further out of pocket.
To find out if you can make a claim for dental negligence fill out the claim form and a member of the team will contact you.