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Cosmetic Dental Negligence

Claim in Cosmetic Dental Negligence…

Cosmetic dentistry is often marketed as a “solution” to peoples smile problems. However, most dentists would say that having a solid foundation of healthy teeth and regular routine of good oral hygiene is far more important. In fact the need to have a solid foundation of healthy teeth and gums is often overlooked by some clinics. This can lead to all manner of problems.

Nobody can afford to waste money on expensive dental procedures that are not going to last. The pursuit of these perfect smile treatments then, can turn into a Cosmetic dental negligence claim which can be a traumatic experience.Pursuing a dental cosmetic negligence claim can result in compensation for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment as well as treatment costs to put things right.

You will also recieve expenses and refunds for what has gone wrong, enabling you to pay for any further treatment required due to the negligence you have suffered, and helping to ease the pain and suffering of your ordeal. There may also be future costs to cope with in any dental cosmetic negligene claim. The fact that your corrective treatments will require both a fee for annual maintanence is not unique to cosmetic claims but for future treatment for such things as implants and crowns that may also need replacing. It is crucial that you have an expert identify these costs or you may seriously under settle your claim.

What Are Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Common treatments

  • crown and bridgework issues
  • dental surgical gum re-contouring
  • cosmetic veneers (including composite veneers)
  • Cosmetic bleaching/tooth whitening/polishing
  • replacements for amalgam fillings
  • implants and associated treatments.

Cosmetic dentistry or Cosmetic Dental Surgery frequently  includes a range of procedures  such as those, above however, we are aware that the range of techniques available is constantly changing. The Maryland Bridge (now all but discontinued across much of the world) was very much in vogue when we began dental negligence work in the early 2000’s however, now these devices are all but extinct. It is inevitable then, that if we publish a list of cosmetic dental surgical techniques and cosmetic problems or failures associated with cosmetic devices that it will be almost instantly out of date. If you have undertaken a procedure that is not listed below and you suspect Dental cosmetic negligence call we will almost certainly be able to assist.  If you get lost among this detail just return to the dental negligence homepage and you will be able to find your way again.

What Goes Wrong in Cosmetic Dentistry?

The biggest single contributor to Cosmetic Dental Negligence Compensation is the presence of a psychiatric or psychological injury. These are separate injuries within dental cosmetic negligence and frequently take the form in the patient of a change in personality or in behavior.

These behavioral changes often accompany a bout of depression. For Dental Claims on a No Win No Fee basis they often mean two very important things. Firstly they significantly raise the value of the claim and secondly they inevitably mean that further medical evidence is required in the form of a psychiatric or psychological report.

This often means a claim is slowed down but rightly so as the value and the importance of the claim considerably increases.

For the patient who has suffered cosmetic dental negligence, the damage is more important that compensation. The treatments are ruinious to thier lives, changing thier social orientation and making them a recluse in thier own homes.

Cosmetic Dental Negligence Frequently Asked Questions…

Few areas of dental negligence derive as many questions concerning the technicalities of surgery as cosmetic dental negligence and within dental negligence there are few specialisms that demand so much in terms of expert evidence. It is little wonder that enquiries surrounding cosmetic surgery of any kind take time. Our members are perfectly happy to take whatever time it takes to get your instructions clear and to fully explore the issues that you have been through, of course these things are difficult over the phone and it is inevitable that not all of the detail can be obtained in one go, however, please do not be afraid to make contact, these processes are not quick but they are not unpleasant and our members are not difficult to talkt to. In order to assist you understand the sort of thing that our members do we have listed below as many of the regularly occurring questions that we can simply click on the blue / green banners to access the answers.

Can I get on with getting my teeth fixed or should I stop treatment

Generally no lawyer, at least no good lawyer, is likely to ask you to pause treatment while they undertake their work, however, it is the case that they will typically advise you to have a good set of notes prepared if you change your treatment provider. it is simply best to have the current position preserved both in the clinical records and by photos and radiology (x-rays) this is not usually a problem as ultimately radiology is necessary for the planning stage of any treatment. It must be accepted as early as possible that the Cosmetic Dental Negligence you have suffered and the treatment you need are not on the same pathway. Of course, it may be you need the money from the claim to put things right, however, if you can you should not bank on that funding.

Will I have to go to another dentist to get a report done?

In Cosmetic Dental Negligence, eventually it is likely that you will have to attend an expert so that they can look at the damage done and then assess how much it is going to cost to put this write. It is appreciated that you already no doubt, have a dentist you trust who will do this, however, the reports necessary are very complex and have to be prepared in a way that is acceptable to the courts. Not every dentist can do this and it is a science of its own. Dental – Legal experts are few and far between and in Cosmetic Dental Negligence claims it would be foolish to try and avoid their services.

Will my teeth be fixed as part of the claim

Ultimately, you are free to have you treatment done, or not done if you wish with the compensation that the claim brings. Most people opt to have a few years off cosmetic treatment post recovery and this is perfectly understandable. Nor are you obliged to have that treatment done at the Defendant surgery – you may have work done wherever and whenever you please, or not at all. Cosmetic Dental Negligence can effect the way that people see dental treatment – it can change priorities forever.

Will the claim cost me anything?

Law Med Panel members will charge you 20% of the recovered compensation, they will never charge you more than that and they will never charge you for insurance. Your claim will be run by a Solicitor and not a unqualified clerk or paralegal (litigation executives as they are sometimes called).

How much is a Cosmetic Dental Negligence claim worth?

It is no easy thing to say at the outset how much any claim will settle for, anyone who tries is simply oversimplifying. A typical claim involving several teeth / implants and replacment cycles may be £20-30,000 but similarly a simple claim may be worth as little as £5000.


Our panel Solicitors all have to agree the same transparent and fair funding agreement. They can never charge you more than 20% of your winnings and cannot pass on insurance charges. If you lose the claim, there is no charges at all. The best lawyers and the best deal.

Cosmetic Dental Negligence and Implant Claims..

Implant Claims cross many areas of specialist practice. They are typically used in cosmetic dentistry to improve the appearance of the smile by allowing the dental surgeon to neatly position crowns for the maximum effect. In restorative dentistry they are the treatment of choice to replace missing teeth or badly decayed teeth and they can prevent tooth drifting from position and also slow or even stop underlying bone loss. In the whole, cosmetic treatments involving implants are the definitely on the rise and they typically appear in cosmetic dental negligence claims.

1. Cosmetic Dental – Tooth Whitening

The natural colour of our teeth varies greatly from person to person. In addition, our lifestyle can also have an impact. Tea, coffee and red wine are all known to cause staining when consumed on a regular basis, as is smoking tobacco. Professional tooth whitening by a dentist is much more effective than using a home whitening kit, and is also by far the safer option. Rarely does Tooth Whitening form a basis for a claim in Cosmetic Dental Negligence alone. It can form part of a wider range of treatments.

2. Cosmetic Veneers

Veneers are very similar to false nails, except that they last much longer and are usually completely invisible. A custom-made wafer-thin layer of porcelain is applied to the front of the tooth to restore its natural shape. The veneer is especially coloured to be as close as possible to your natural teeth. Typically Cosmetic Dental Negligence claims arise as a consequence of poor colour matching, failed installation and chipping.

3. Cosmetic Dental Crowns

For a single missing, discoloured or damaged tooth, a crown is often the ideal option. A crown is essentially an artificial tooth that is fitted over the remaining part of the tooth and looks just like the real thing. If you are missing the entire tooth, crowns are still an option, but you may also require a dental implant. See below for more.

4. Cosmetic Dental implants

A dental implant is a replacement root usually made out of titanium, which has the unique ability to bond with the bone to give you the firmest possible mount for replacement teeth. Implants can be used to support anything from a single crown or bridge to a complete new set of teeth.

The Most Popular Cosmetic Dental Treatments

Nursing Negligence Example

Some examples of nursing negligence would be:

  • Failing to refer a patient who is suffering from an open wound or pressure sore that is not healing.
  • Failing to gaurd against pressure sores, ulcers and weeping wounds.
  • Failing to lift a patient safely leading to fractured bones which can go unnoticed or untreated
  • Keeping a patient on antibiotics for a urinary tract infection when the infection is not responding.
  • Not keeping a patient hydrated or not noticing that a patient is dehydrated or undernourished.
  • Administering the wrong medication or the wrong dose.
  • Not reffering a patient who is not responding to medication
  • Not taking a patients consent or ignoring a patients wishes
Nursing Negligence Consequences

The consequence of negligence for the patient is nearly always injury or harm, for the responsible nurse the consequences vary but could be:

  • The Nurse will likley have to be questioned and a statment taken by the Hospitals legal department.
  • The Nurse will likely have to given an account to thier manager or supervisor
  • They may face and investigation by the NHS Trust or the Hospital.
  • They may have to face an investigation by the Royal College of Nursing and Midwifery.
  • They may have no conseqeunces at all.

Ultimately much depends on the degree of negligence or harm that has been caused.

Nurse Negligence Wrongful Death



In terms of section 6(1)(a) of the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976, the Sheriff found that Mr James McNeil (DOB 14th September 1935) died at 08:30 hours on the 22nd of October 2008 at Belhaven Hospital, Dunbar. The cause of death was (i) bronchopneumonia; (ii) pressure sores on back, ischemic heart disease, and dementia.In 1989, Mr McNeill was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and his condition eventually deteriorated in 2007. On 18th April 2008 Mr McNeill was admitted to Lennel House Nursing Home, Coldstream; Lennel House was a nursing home owned and operated by Guardian Care Homes (UK) Ltd. On admission to Lennel House an Admission Assessment Form was completed by the duty staff nurse. The assessment covered, inter alia, the risk of pressure sores; Mr McNeill was assessed as being at high risk of developing pressure sores.

On 19th May 2008 two blood blisters were noticed on Mr McNeill’s sacral cleft. These were the first manifestations of the early stages of pressure sores. In the course of the following days the blisters were treated with creams and dressings. However, the area of the wound, which was measured and recorded daily, increased. By 30th May 2008 the blisters measured 3 x 1.5cm and 1 x 1cm and were recorded as being necrotic and producing an odour, signs consistent with infection. By 9th June 2008 the measures put in place produced no improvement and the odour from the wound was now described as offensive. On 11th June 2008 the districtnurse visited Lennel House by prior arrangement. The wound now measured 13 x 4.5cm and was discharging thick yellow puss. A hole had appeared in the sacral cleft from which fluid leaked. The districtnurse arranged for Mr McNeill to be examined by a GP which examination was conducted on 12th June 2008. As a result of this examination the GP arranged for Mr McNeill to be admitted to the Borders General Hospital on 12th June 2008 in order to obtain a surgical opinion.

On 13th June 2008 surgical debridement of Mr McNeill’s pressure sore wound was carried out. The operating surgeon considered the wound to be serious and described the operation as a “planned emergency”. In his experience of having carried out 12 or so pressure sore debridements over the years, this was described as the worst which he had encountered.Mr McNeill remained at Borders General Hospital until 24th September 2008 when he was transferred to Roodlands Hospital, Haddington. On 20th October 2008 Mr McNeill was transferred to Belhaven Hospital in Dunbar. At about 06:00 hours on Wednesday 22nd October 2008 nurses attended on Mr McNeill to administer medication, including morphine sulphate, and prepare him for a bed bath. After about 30 minutes, when in course of being bathed, Mr McNeill’s condition deteriorated and he expired in the presence of nursing staff.

The Sheriff noted that from the evidence there could be little doubt that Mr McNeill’s care at Lennel House would have benefitted from better and more promptly implemented care plans and risk assessments; from being cared for by nursing staff who had the advantage of better managerial support; better induction procedures; better training especially in respect of pressure sores and the care of the elderly; better dissemination of information regarding policies and procedures; better access to specialist equipment; and from allocated time for communication as between staff on different shifts.

Focusing on Mr McNeill’s development of pressure sores, the risk of these developing would almost certainly have been reduced with earlier provision of special mattresses, cushions and organised and recorded positional changing. The Sheriff concluded from the evidence that the latest date when Lennel house nursing staff ought to have contacted the district nurse, or general practitioner, regarding Mr McNeill’s pressure sore would have been 4th June 2008. However, the Sheriff noted that in the interim period, key staff had changed at the nursing home and that following the death of Mr McNeill, procedures had been improved radically. For these reasons, the Sheriff considered it inappropriate to make any findings under the Act in terms of section 6(c) and (d).



In terms of section 6(1)(a) of the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976, the sheriff found that Nasrullah Khalid died within cell B/17 at H M Prison, Terregles Street, Dumfries on 23 November 2009 between the hours of 3.15pm and 4.55pm. In terms of section 6(1)(b), the cause of death was (a) Ischaemic Heart Disease (b) Coronary Artery Thrombosis and (c) Coronary Artery atherosclorosis. A formal determination was made under section 6(1)(c).

Mr. Khalid had suffered from a heart condition since 1996 when he had had a heart attack. The symptoms of his condition were stable angina, hypertension and atherosclerosis. For the three years prior to his death the deceased exercised regularly in Dumfries Prison gym. There was no medical reason why Mr. Khalid should not have participated in the exercise regime.

At about 1.50pm on 23rd November 2009 Mr. Khalid attended the prison gym as usual. About five minutes before the end of his routine the deceased experienced nausea and pains in the centre of his chest. He was examined by the duty nurse who concluded that he had suffered an angina attack. He was returned to his cell at 3.15pm and advised to rest and take his angina medication. At about 4.55pm Mr. Khalid was discovered lying on his bed with his eyes open and with vomit on his face. Officers commenced CPR and continued to do so until paramedics arrived about ten to fifteen minutes later. They took over the attempts to resuscitate Mr. Khalid which continued for a further twelve minutes. Throughout the procedure there was no response from Mr. Khalid. He was pronounced dead when the prison doctor arrived at 5.45pm.


Under s.6(1)(c) the sheriff found that, in the examination of Mr. Khalid at the Prison gym, it should have been established if the chest pain of which he had complained had disappeared completely. In the absence of such a finding, the prison doctor should have been contacted and an ambulance called. However, to have done so would not have guaranteed Mr. Khalid’s survival. Nor would that survival have been a probability.

What is a community nurse?

Delivering care to the elderly, disabled and vulnerable patients who are unable to travel to a hospital or doctor’s surgery, community nurses are registered nurses who have undertaken degree level training as a specialist practitioner. This course focuses on four key aspects of nursing including clinical nursing, care and programme management, clinical practice development and clinical practice leadership.

Community nurse roles and responsibilities

A community nurse is responsible for performing many of the same duties as a district nurse. These include basic care (checking temperature, blood pressure and breathing), wound management, administering injections, setting up intravenous drips and assisting doctors with examinations and medical procedures. Community-based nurses are also able to provide vital information to clients, their families and carer/s, much in the same way as district nurses, while emergency support may also be required in cases when a patient is suffering cardiac arrest or a stroke. This demonstrates the many hats a community nurse must don in their line of care.

So what is the difference between community and district nurses?

In recent times, the terms district and community have become interchangeable as a way of describing areas of villages, towns and cities, meaning that there may be no difference between community and district nurses at all.

One Final Thing!

We would suggest that if you are contemplating instructing a Solicitor (in any action – not just cosmetic dental negligence) but you are a bit concerned about calling or emailing – for whatever reason, then write down every particular about what has happened to you. Put down dates and times and names of people involved. Then months from now when you change your mind and do contact a Solicitor – you will have the details. Many claims are never brought because the patients simply forget the details and are too embarrased to contact a lawyer to discuss. Get them on paper and if you never use them no harm done.

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The Law Med Medical Panel is an unincorporated association its members are clinical negligence accredited specialists.

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