Teeth are amazing and most of us are taught from a very young age that we need to take care of them. Brushing twice a day, flossing and avoiding sugary drinks are just some of the bits of advice most of us follow in order to keep our teeth and gums healthy. You only get one set, after all.
But what if you’ve done everything you can to take care of your teeth and your dentist has not? What do you do when your dentist has been negligent, and this has resulted in damage to your teeth? Reparatory work on teeth can be costly and painful. They might never look or feel the same ever again.
If your dentist has been negligent and it has resulted in pain, suffering, or damage to your teeth, you could be entitled to claim compensation. This could be the case even if your teeth were not so healthy before you saw your dentist. Their job is to make things better, not worse.
Claiming compensation is a legal process and can be confusing. To help you, here are our answers to the most common questions.
How do I know if I have a dental negligence claim?
Claims for dental negligence usually fall into one of three categories;
- Inadequate treatment – this could be a one-off treatment or a course of treatment over time, but you must be able to prove that your dentist did not use the right procedures and practices to treat your dental problem and that this resulted in serious complications.
- Misdiagnosis – if your dentist mistook your discolored tooth for a dead one and removed it, or refused you treatment for an issue on the basis that all was well and that later caused your problems, you could be entitled to compensation on the grounds of misdiagnosis.
- Careless dental work – there are a whole host of potential compensation claims that fall under careless dental work, including extracting the wrong tooth or causing injury during procedures.
Can I make a claim for compensation from my dentist for [insert terrible experience here]?
You can claim compensation from your dentist for the following negligence related issues or instances of misdiagnosis:
- dental nerve damage
- dental implants
- damage to teeth
- poor restorative dentistry
- periodontal disease
- substandard root canal work
- teeth whitening and gum damage
- cosmetic surgery
- poor bridge work
- dental implants
If you’ve visited a dentist, even if your teeth were already in a terrible state, and your dentist has been negligent or misdiagnosed you, you could be entitled to compensation.
What evidence do I need for a dental negligence claim?
It is likely that you’ll first request that your dentist fix any problems they have caused through further treatment, because negligence and misdiagnosis can lead to extreme pain and discomfort, so make sure that you keep a record of your experience. Note down dates you visited your dentist, what your problem was, what your dentist said, any course of action your dentist took, and any cost involved in seeking further treatment. This will help you if you come to make a compensation claim.
You should also keep a record of any medication you’d bought to treat the problem or its symptoms yourself, as well as any required visits to your doctor or the hospital.
Even if your dentist fixes the issues they caused, you’re probably still entitled to compensation for the distress, pain and discomfort their original treatment caused you.
Will my dental negligence claim be successful?
The amount you’ll be awarded depends on several factors, which will be taken into consideration when you bring a claim against your dentist.
Your dental history will be considered, as well as your own potential contribution to the injury you sustained (by not following recommendations given to you by your dentist, for example).
The type of injury you sustained, and the severity of the resulting pain will be considered, as well as the trauma you suffered (both physical and psychological) and your prognosis for recovery. Any remedial expenses will be considered.
Last year, a lady was awarded £160,000 in compensation after she’d suffered 17 years of dental negligence. We can’t promise you’ll be awarded a sum that high, but we will do our very best.
How do I make a claim for compensation from my dentist?
The best way to do this is to speak to an expert in compensation claims. Presented with the evidence, they’ll be able to tell you if you have a claim and how much they think you might be entitled to. They’ll file a claim on your behalf and do their very best to get you a compensation claim amount you deserve.
Dental negligence and misdiagnosis are considered personal injuries and claims for compensation will be treated as such.
JMR solicitors are experienced dental negligence claim experts. For more information, visit our Personal Injury Solicitors page. For more information or to speak to someone, you can contact us here.