Dental Negligence

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Who Should I Choose to Run a Dental Negligence Claim?

The Dental Solicitors used by http://www.law-med.co.uk are all registered with the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and the Law Society of England and Wales, they are all also members of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Specialist Panel – Which means that they have been approved by an assessor as being specialists in clinical, dental, medical, surgical law.

As well as this specialist panel membership many panel members are also dual qualified medical professionals, either GP’s, Dentists, Hospital Doctors, Consultant Grades or Allied Health Professionals. Some may also hold specialist medical or forensic medical qualifications and some sit as Coroners or Assistant Coroners. In dental cases, the expert solicitors have years of experience in dental implants, dental infection management and periodontal disease cases. Below we have listed some of the regular questions that dental patients often ask us, just click the blue banners to read the plain English answers…

Technical Dental Negligence Claims

Whilst the result of dental negligence is almost always injury, there is more to these claims than a simple personal injury action. Dental Solicitors know that there are also routes to compensation through breach of contract law as well as tort and the variety of medical devices used in today’s dentistry means that often there is a manufacturing defect to explore as well – which often involves international manufacturing companies……

“The No Win No Fee agreement for Dental Negligence could not be clearer, if you win you will pay 20% and nothing else, if you lose you pay nothing”

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Call us today on 01904914-989 and we will transfer your call seamlessly to discuss your medical dispute with one of our Member Solicitors.

Dental Cosmetics

Dental Implants, Crowns, Veneers, Bridgework, Orthodontics, Minor Oral Surgery, etc

Restorative Dental

Fillings, Root Canal Treatments, Extractions, Periodontal (gum) treatments, Oral Cancer etc.


What Type of Dental Negligence Claim Can I Sue For?

Over the years we have seen just about every type of medical surgical and dental claim you can imagine in the whole of the medical law. Misdiagnosis,  failure to diagnose, periodontal disease, wrongful extraction, mismanagement of dental  abscess, failure to prescribe, failure to advise, poor implant placement, implantitus, periapical infection, infection management, drainage, nerve damage, coronectomies, facial palsy, tongue nerve damage, facial nerve damage, lingual nerve damage,  cosmetic deficit – in fact you name it, we have seen it. Call to discuss and let us demonstrate to you why our clients are happy to have our representation.  

Am I Eligible to Make a Dental Negligence Claim?

Every dentist, NHS or Private, has a duty to perform their duties using the most appropriate dental procedures with both reasonable care and skill. If you have not had the benefit of this reasonable care and skill but instead have been treated with what you believe is negligence then you may have a claim to recover your treatment costs along with a separate award for pain suffering and loss of amenity and even future treatment costs if appropriate. 

Law Society Clinical Panel Members are not just dental solicitors, they are medical negligence experts too. That means that not only do you have a better chance of success with a panel specialist, you will have the benefit of their extensive knowledge of medical compensation too. 

Can I Claim No Win No Fee?

As specialist Dental Claims Solicitors, we offer a very good deal on no win no fees agreements. We guarantee that you will not pay a penny out of your own pocket and that if you win your dental claim we will deduct a maximum of 20% from it. We even pay the insurance premium that we take out to cover you. If you lose your claim we dont charge you anything at all and the insurance is written off. This is a great deal and is only possible because we have a good relationship with our insurance company, built up over years of dental negligence work. They know that we only pick the claims that we truly believe can succeed. We do not run speculative claims and if we dont think you can win your case we tell you from the outset. We have built a reputation for high quality rapid claim settlement and our services are recommended time again by former dental claim clients.

What is My Dental Negligence Claim Worth?

The amount of compensation for dental claims and teeth damage claims is not fixed and depends on factors such as which tooth is damaged and the extent of the damage.

If the teeth injury is so severe that extended treatment is required, your solicitor will also consider that while calculating the compensation due to you. There are guidelines which you can refer to but you must remember these provide a approximate idea of compensation, it is not a “written in stone” guide. 

​Compensation for damage or loss of back teeth £930 – £1,460 per tooth.

Compensation for serious damage or the loss of a front tooth £1,880 – £3,370.

Compensation for serious damage or loss of both front teeth £3,710 – £6,510.

Compensation for serious damage or loss of several front teeth £7,460 – £9,740.

Compensation for significant damage to teeth, up to £32,540.

How Long Will My Dental Claim Last?

There is no such thing as a “standard” dental claim, each one is different from the the next. However, we have tried to set out a basic structure of what a specialist dental solicitor will likely do in each claim. 

​1 – Dental records
The very first thing that is likely to happen in any claim is to obtain your medical records. Your Solicitor  will write to the dental practice you are claiming against and any other dental practices involved in your treatment and get copies of the dental records. If you have had more complex care then they may also request any other hospital or GP practice records. Getting hold of these records is often a lengthy process and can take several months, but is an essential step in proving whether you have been subjected to negligence.

​2 – Review of Dental Records 
Once obtained our records will be reviewed by the team member responsible for your claim and a dental expert will be instructed. The expert will prepare a report detailing whether you have been subjected to dental negligence, and what harm you have suffered as a result.

​3 – Examination and Reporting
In some cases, you will need to be examined by a expert in order to determine exactly what harm you have suffered and how this can be put right. However, this will not be necessary in all cases.

​4 – Letter of Claim
Following this, a detailed “Letter of Claim” will be drafted, which sets out allegations of negligence and causation to the dentist you are claiming against. They will have four months to investigate the allegations made, and will provide a substantive response during this four-month period called the “Letter of Response”.

If the other side agrees that you have been subjected to dental negligence, negotiations will begin to settle your case.

​5  – Settlement
If the  Defendant admits liability, then it is likely that the matter will be subject to an out of court settlement. We or a specialist Barrister will value the claim and we will make an offer or series of offers and the Defendant too is  likely to make offers and respond to our own. 

6 – Issuing Court Proceedings
If the defendant denies our allegations in the Letter of Claim, or refuses to negotiate settlement, we may need to issue Court Proceedings in your case. If this is necessary, the team member responsible for your claim will provide detailed advice in relation to this. We will ensure that you are guided through the process and that any queries you have are answered throughout.

Why Choose a Law Med Panel Member for My Dental Claim?

Law Med has 20 years of experience in dental negligence claims. We believe that by focusing on this area of clinical practice,  we  provide the best  service for our clients and the best outcomes in terms of dental compensation amounts in payments. We will take the time to listen to you, and take care to communicate with you using non-technical language. We work with the highest levels of efficiency and skill  to support you in your claim. We have chosen to make our mission that of providing the highest awards for the dental patient, and we are committed to ensuring that you find the claim process without undue stress or inconvenience. 
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With our specialist expertise as dental negligence lawyers and many years’ experience of ‘no win no fee’ dental claims cases, for clients who have come to us with wrongful extraction claim, implant claim, periodontal claim  and many other claims too numerous to mention, we know that each client’s case is unique. We feel that it is important for you to know what you can expect from us 

Can I talk Confidentially Without Costs or Obligation?

All calls are dealt with confidentially and your solicitor will proceed only as advice until such time that you both agree that you want to instruct them. Even then there is a cooling off period. Law Med registered Solicitors do not pressure you into making a claim. They are happy to talk to you about your circumstances and the situation you face, in most cases, its true, our solicitors are instructed. That is an inevitable result of speaking to us, we rarely fail to impress. CAll today to discuss your claim and the best way forward for you. 

“Once instructed, Panel Solicitors will share their mobile phone numbers, emails, twitter and other social media accounts, it has never been easier to stay in touch…”

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We can exchange messages by email at chat@medical-negligence-panel.co.uk or you can call on;

TEL 01904-914-989

Restorative or Cosmetic Dental Negligence?

Essentially all Claims for Dental Negligence fall into one of the above two categories. The negligence is committed either attempting to correct a problem or condition or it is committed by trying to improve the appearance of the teeth. Setting aside all the rest of the terminology – this is the easy way to break things down.

Cosmetic dentistry is often marketed as a “solution” to peoples smile problems. However, having a solid foundation of healthy teeth and 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. This pursuit of the perfect smile can turn into 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 and 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.

Below we have listed typical questions that patients often ask, just click the banners to access more plain English information – if you have a new question, be sure to raise it direct with us…


What is Dental Negligence?

Dental malpractice, or what is usually referred to as dental negligence, is best defined as an avoidable injury caused by a dentist who fails, or is negligent in his work. If you have a case where a dentist has performed poorly, negligently or inappropriately and that treatment results in dental injury or harm being caused then this can lead to a dental negligence claim for compensation. A dental negligence claim then, is a legal action that is a sort of medical negligence case that you can bring if you have been injured. Just as in clinical negligence, a dental claim can be made even if you have suffered only a psychological injury. In many cases  the suffering caused by the injury is just one small part of the claim as financial loss, expenses, treatment costs, refunds and future treatment costs, as a result of a dentist’s negligent work can all be reclaimed.  Call us at Law-Med, to determine what expenses may relate to your claim and how far the claim could extend. 

What is a Dental Injury?

Failing to diagnose or treat tooth decay or gum disease

Wrongful extraction of teeth

Surgical error, such as the mishandling of an extraction or root canal treatment

Injury involving crowns, implants or veneers

Tooth whitening claims

Damage to facial nerves or jaw during a dental procedure

Injuries associated with the use of dental anesthetic

Failing to warn patients of the risks involved in dental treatment.

damage to the gum or the cheek from incorrect techniques.

Failing to deal with an infection or abscess. 

What are Complex Dental Claims?

Negligent root canal treatment
Root canal treatment is common and is usually carried out to treat either root infections or defective fillings. Dental negligence in a root canal treatment can cause complications such as fractured teeth, dental instrument fracture and failing to remove infection before attaching the crown. If your dental practitioner provided a poor standard of treatment leading to any of these complications, you may be able to make a dental claim.

​Oral cancer misdiagnosis
Oral cancer presents symptoms including mouth ulcers, lumps in the mouth or neck, loose teeth, numbness and red or white patches. The condition must be treated quickly. If you visited your dental practitioner with these symptoms and they failed to diagnose you or delayed your treatment, you may be entitled to make a dental claim.

​Incorrect fitting of a crown or bridges
Crowns cover a damaged tooth to provide extra protection. Bridges are constructions designed to fill gaps where real teeth are missing. Poorly fitted bridgework can cause discomfort or fail prematurely. If your crown or bridge was placed incorrectly and you have suffered as a result, you should contact us about making a dental claim.

​Mistakes during oral surgery
When you have oral surgery, all the risks should be clearly explained to you beforehand so that you can decide whether you’d like to go ahead with the treatment.​

How Do I Make a Dental Claim?

In any dental negligence action you should contact a solicitor at the first opportunity in order to ensure that a fully documented investigation can commence promptly. You should be aware that these cases are at the heart of them professional negligence actions, they are not to be tackled yourself.  Law – Med Solicitors are all approved by the Law Society for their specialist credentials and they will map out for you the best procedure for investigating and preparing your case for the best and most rapid resolution. 

Will I Have to Go To A Dentist Again?

In any dental negligence action the first report by a Dental expert is on the subject of breach and causation. In short that report is concerned with whether there has been any professional misconduct. That report  is normally capable of being produced without an examination of the patient. So a review of the dental records and crucially the radiography is enough to warrant a report based on expert opinion. 

​In most cases, it will also be necessary to get a second report on the treatment required to get you back to normal and in fact to comment on the degree of injury and suffering you have had to contend with as a direct result of the negligence outlined in the first report. For this second “condition and prognosis” report, it is normally necessary to have a patient examined. 

As we move forward in terms of the quality of evidence that can be produced from imagery. Patient examinations are starting to become rare, this is largely because of the increasing availability of high quality digital imagery. In some cases then you may have to attend a clinic to have a OPG or CT scan but no examination takes place. Generally though, if your claim requires evidence to be given in court, generally a physical examination will be undertaken. 

Will I Have to Go To a Court?

It is not possible to state at the outset whether or not any action will go all the way to a court hearing or trial. What can be said is that costs of going to trial are nearly always disproportionate to the costs of a simple dental negligence action. 

​Set inside this frame, it is unlikely that most actions will end up in court, however, It can not be ruled out and every Claimant should start an action knowing that this may not be avoidable if the Defendant wishes it. 

Can Anything Go Wrong With a Dental Claim?

As long as your claim is properly investigated and supported by expert evidence then there is unlikely to be a problem. A few dentists retire abroad every year and it is often difficult to get to the indemnity of these people. They have no longer the threat of disciplinary action hanging over them and they tend to rely upon the costs and complexity of bringing them before the courts internationally. However, almost every dentist you will ever meet is perfectly aware that mistakes often occur regardless of the experience of the dentist and that is why insurance exists. They tend by and large to cooperate with the handling of both complaints and of claims. 


Cosmetic Dentistry Claims

Much of the work of the modern dental surgeon that brings the potential for a negligence claim, is that which revolves around the improvement of physical appearance. Implants, Crowns, Veneers, Bridgework and Orthodontics are the forefront of complex technical surgery. It is here that many actions begin.

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Dental Implant Claims

Dental Claims generally are complicated, that much is true, however, claims involving implants and implant failure can be highly complex indeed. The first thing for a Solicitor to note is actually how the implants have failed (if they have yet) – was it failure to osseo-integrate? Was it  that there was underlying bone or gum disease (periodontal disease)? Was there a failure in technique or in citing the implant? The next issue is what can be done about it – can the implant be refitted or must the process look elsewhere for orthodontic devices such as bridgework or denture plates – was this patient ever really a case for implants in the first place? Call us to discuss your situation, it genuinely will not take long and we can get to grips with the situation you face and the way out of it.  Or look below we have carefully curated some of the questions that we have been asked about implant claims (just click the blue boxes to read more) , if your question is not answered then tell us…


What Are Dental Implants?

​Dental implants as they are recognised now were invented in 1952 by a Swedish surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark. Today, they are considered the highest standard of care for prosthetic replacement of missing teeth in dentistry. Essentially a dental implant is a surgical fixture that is placed into the jawbone and allowed to fuse with the bones structure. The dental implant then acts as a replacement for the root of a missing tooth.In turn, this “artificial tooth root” serves to hold a replacement tooth or bridge (a crown). Having a dental implant fused to the jawbone is the closest thing to mimicking a natural tooth because it stands on its own without affecting the nearby teeth and has great stability. The process of fusion between the dental implant and jawbone is called “osseointegration.” Most dental implants today are made of titanium, which allows them to integrate with bone without being recognized as a foreign object in our body. So we can say that dental implants are replacement tooth roots made of titanium. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Instead of individual crowns, some patients may have attachments on their implant that support a removable denture.

Can I Get Corrective Treatment As Part of My Claim?

In most cases, corrective treatment is usually indicated once the claim has been subject to an expert producing a report on the patients condition and prognosis. At this point the future management of the condition and any treatment expenses can be explored. However, it is a matter for the patient whether this treatment goes forward or not.  Many patients keep the funds in the bank until they are ready or even sometimes, never undertake the treatment – that is their privilege.

What Types of Dental Implant Are There?

​Historically, there have been two different types of dental implants:

Endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal refers to an implant that is “in the bone,” and subperiosteal refers to an implant that rests on top of the jawbone under the gum tissue. Subperiosteal implants are no longer in use today because of their poor long-term results in comparison to endosteal dental implants.

While the primary function of dental implants is for teeth replacement, there are areas in which implants can assist in other dental procedures. Due to their stability, dental implants can be used to support a removable denture and provide a more secure and comfortable fit. In addition, for orthodontics procedures, dental mini-implants can act as temporary anchorage devices (TAD) to help move teeth to a desired position.

These mini-implants are small and temporarily fixed to bone while assisting in anchorage for teeth movement. They are subsequently removed after their function has been served.

For patients who have lost all their teeth due to decay or gum disease of the upper and/or lower arch, an option is available to provide a very stable and comfortable prosthesis using a minimal number of implants. One such is example is the “All-On-4” technique that was named by implant manufacturer Nobel Biocare. This technique gets its name from the idea that four implants can be used to replace all teeth in a single arch (upper or lower).

The implants are strategically placed in areas of good strong bone, and a thin denture prosthesis is screwed into place. The All-On-4 technique provides teeth replacement that is stable (not removable) and feels like natural teeth compared to the older method of traditional (removable) complete dentures. Without a doubt, implant dentistry has allowed for more treatment options to replace single and multiple missing teeth with long-term stability and contributes to improved oral health.

What Happens During Implant Surgery

During the consultation  and planning stage, the dental surgeon will visually examine the site in the mouth where a dental implant is being considered as well as look at dental imaging studies (X-rays, panoramic films, and/or CT scans). At this time, the quality and quantity of jawbone is assessed to determine if more bone is needed at the site. Once it has been established that a dental implant can be placed in the desired location, the patient will return for surgical procedures for the dental implant(s). During all surgical procedure appointments, the patient is usually given local anesthetic to numb the surgical area as well as any other sedatives necessary for comfort and anxiety.

The first stage of oral surgery often involves a tooth or teeth extraction. Oftentimes, the site of a dental implant still has an existing damaged tooth present. In order to prepare for placement of a dental implant, the tooth will need to be extracted. More often than not, an “alveolar bone graft” (cadaver or synthetic bone) is placed to achieve a solid base of bone for the implant. This site will be allowed to heal for two to six months. For a site that has no tooth and bone loss is present, it will require a different bone graft that is placed on top of existing jawbone (“onlay bone graft”). This procedure is more involved and usually requires about six or more months of healing. In some instances, when enough bone is present, the damaged tooth can be extracted followed by the implant placement procedure at the same appointment. This procedure is called “immediate implant” placement.

In the situation where an implant is to be placed in the maxilla (upper jaw) in the back or posterior region, sometimes the available amount of bone may be limited by the presence of the maxillary sinus (air-filled space found in the bones of the face). “Sinus augmentation” or “sinus lift” is performed to raise the sinus floor and graft more bone into the sinus. This will make more bone available to support a dental implant.

Once adequate, strong bone is present, the site is ready for the implant. At the implant placement appointment, the dental implant (titanium post) is placed into the bone with a special drill and tools. A “healing cap” is placed over the implant, the gum is stitched up, and the healing phase begins. During this healing phase, a temporary denture can be made to replace missing teeth for aesthetic purposes. Healing time depends greatly on the quality of bone present. Healing time is usually anywhere from two to six months. During this time, the implant becomes integrated with the bone. It’s important to avoid placing any force or stress on the dental implant as it heals. Follow-up appointments to check the surgical site are typically done to ensure that no infection exists and healing is taking place.

After the required healing period, the dental implant is tested to determine whether it was successfully taken up by the surrounding bone. Once this has been confirmed, a prosthetic component is connected to the dental implant via a screw. This component is called an “abutment.” It will serve to hold the replacement tooth or “crown.” The dentist will take an impression (mold) of this abutment in the mouth and have the implant crown custom-made to fit. The implant crown is either cemented on or secured with a screw to the abutment.

Why Does Anyone Need A Dental Implant?

Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or all of the teeth. The goal of teeth replacement in dentistry is to restore function as well as aesthetics. When it comes to tooth replacement, generally, there are three options:

removable dental appliance (complete denture or partial denture),

fixed dental bridge (cemented), and

dental implant.

Dentures are the more affordable option for replacement teeth but are the least desirable because of the inconvenience of a removable appliance in the mouth. Furthermore, dentures can affect one’s taste and sensory experience with food. They are gradually becoming extinct as a treatment but at present they are still in use. Dental bridgework was the more common restorative option prior to the relatively recent shift to dental implant treatment.

The main disadvantage to bridgework is the dependence on existing natural teeth for support. Implants are supported by bone only and do not affect surrounding natural teeth. Deciding on which option to choose depends on many factors. Specifically for dental implants, these factors include

location of missing tooth or teeth,

quantity and quality of the jawbone where the dental implant is to be placed,

health of the patient,

cost, and patient preference.

​A dental surgeon examines the area to be considered for the dental implant and makes a clinical assessment of whether the patient is a good candidate for a dental implant. There are great advantages to choosing a dental implant for tooth replacement over the other options. Dental implants are conservative in that missing teeth can be replaced without affecting or altering the adjacent teeth. Furthermore, because dental implants integrate into the bone structure, they are very stable and can have the look and feel of one’s own natural teeth.

How Much Should a Dental Implant Cost?

The cost of a single dental implant can vary depending on the region of the UK and who is performing the procedure. A conservative cost estimate for a single dental implant is £1500.00 £2500.00. This cost includes the surgery for placement of an implant, all the components, and the implant crown.

Dental insurance typically does not pay for dental implant placement. Some dental insurances may help pay for the implant crown portion. Unfortunately, in many cases, dental insurance considers dental implants to be an elective procedure even though dental implants have become the standard of care for replacement of missing teeth.

Dental implants have become a favored option for tooth replacement because they offer a conservative approach and provide predictable results with success rates close to 98%.

What Goes Wrong With Implant Surgery?

With any surgery, there are always some risks and potential complications to the patient or to the success of a dental implant. Careful planning is important to ensure that a patient is healthy enough to undergo oral surgery and heal properly. Just like any oral surgery procedure, bleeding disorders, infections, allergies, existing medical conditions, and medications need careful review prior to proceeding with treatment. Fortunately, the success rate is quite high and failures usually occur in the unlikely event of infection, fracture of the dental implant, overloading of the dental implant, damage to the surrounding area (nerves, blood vessels, teeth), poor positioning of the dental implant, or poor bone quantity or quality. Again, careful planning with a qualified surgeon can help avoid these problems. In many cases, another attempt can be made to replace a failed dental implant after the requisite time for healing has taken place.

What Is An Implant Claim Worth?

A lot more than you realise. The cost is not just the refund on the implant / implants, nor is it just the costs of the implant and an amount for the injury of having them badly fitted. It is all those things plus the future replacement costs of having crowns placed on the implants every 10-15 years until you die. Of course that depends on the circumstances of the implants but it is a factor in many claims where bone loss has made future placements impossible.

A simple implant on a twenty-something female could be refunded at £3000 but then the injury may well be twice that and she could be looking at £6000 in future treatment costs. For each implant of course the costs rises. There is no set amount here, so it is essential to be circumspect and also to ensure you get the right lawyer. who knows there way around these complications. 

Dental Nerve Damage

Often hand in hand with Cosmetic Implants is a risk of nerve damage. A large branch of facial nerve fibers lay beneath the line of teeth in your lower jaw. A good dentist will thoroughly investigate the position of these nerves before attempting to place a implant. However, radiology can sometimes trip up the unwary or negligent dentist and regrettably the resulting nerve damage can occur. 

Facial Nerve Paralysis Claims

In 99 % of cases, trigeminal nerve, inferior dental nerve or lingual nerve damage self heals in a few weeks or even a few months. However, in some cases the damage is permanent and simply cannot be repaired, or cannot be repaired safely. This can lead to facial paralysis, drooling, speech difficulty and even a chocking hazard. 

Needless to say such litigation is technically complex, long and difficult to navigate, these are claims for specialists and not for dabblers and they have issues of rapidly changing issues of law and causation behind them. Do not waste time with an ordinary lawyer who does a bit of everything, instead instruct a Specialist Dental Solicitor who is aware of the difficulties in bringing such a case.

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Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, or gum disease (sometimes inappropriately called gingivitis)  is one of the most complex areas of dental treatment and therefore also fertile ground for dental claims. There are, it is accepted,  many potential causes of the disease and therefore, treatments for periodontal disease can also be quite wide ranging. Some people are more susceptible to periodontal conditions than others and this also means that just having good oral hygiene may not be enough for some people. 

​The first line of attack for sufferers is our dentist. A dentist will perform a series of checks on our gum health every time that we go for a check up. this will involve probing the gums to test for its integrity.

This probing results in a score for each section of our gums and gives the dentist an overall view of the health of gums and whether or not it is improving or deteriorating.  This scoring and examination process  will enable the dentist to help us by providing suitable advice or with specialist cleaning etc and keep this may keep the disease at bay. However, if your dentist fails to spot the early indication of the disease,  it can lead to deterioration and ultimately, severe injury. 

​Periodontal disease, unless treated, can lead to tooth loss and to other conditions such as heart problems and systemic infection. If you believe that you have suffered or are suffering periodontal disease and your dentist has not picked up on this then you may have a claim. Get in contact for a free assessment. 

The British Periodontal Examination is frankly just the starting point for a Dental Surgeon who wants to keep an eye on  your gum health. Non Negligent Surgeons should also be considering regular bite wing radiography and if they have the facility a full OPG image of your mouth. They may even wish to consider specialist periodontal consultant referral. 

​From a Claims perspective of course, dental negligence Solicitors will be on the look out for these things having been missed in your dental history.

However, all dental claim clients should be aware that Dental Claims are not easily won, ultimately, there is a reliance that you the patient will have done everything you could to have avoided the disease, it is for this reason that Solicitors frequently find the Courts are prepared to make awards that have been considerably reduced if you have missed or refused treatment or you a regular smoker etc.

These are issues often manipulated by Defendant Dental Lawyers. It is wrong to dismiss these tactics. Ulitmately, if they can show that have recieved stop smoking advice from your GP and / or you have continued to smoke then it is of little value complaining that your dentist didnt give you the same advice.

Ultimately, these claims are competitions of evidence and the party that “wins” that evidential competition will “win” the claim.

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Dental Negligence FAQ

What is dental negligence?

​Dental negligence is perhaps best described as an injury that has been caused by a dentist because they failed to take reasonable care. Any case where a dentist has performed badly or  toward a patient, could potentially lead to a negligence compensation claim. This could include work carried out by anyone at the clinic.

What is dental malpractice?

​Dental malpractice is what Americans frequently refer to instead of Dental Negligence, it is however, gaining ground in the UK as a “turn of speech” as more and more searches are performed online using American search engines.   

What is a dental claim?

​Its slang really, as technically this could refer to a claim on a dental insurance policy. In the circumstances of negligence though, it refers to the process of evidencing a legal action for negligence against a dentist. This action is the “claim” for the purposes of “bringing a claim” – Its confusing yes, just call us if you get stuck with all this, it’s a lot easier to talk it through.

How long does a dental negligence claim take?

​Typically between 18 and 24 months but a lot depends on the dentist, if they fight the claim, it could take longer, if they admit the claim (most do) it could be wrapped up within 3-6 months (that would be a very quick though).

Can you sue a dentist for breach of contract?

Yes. You could even sue them for both breach of contract and negligence (assuming they are responsible for both) some claims cannot succeed in negligence but could in contract, it’s a difficult decision that and one that needs a lot of thought and investigation first but it is possible.

How to sue a dentist?

Don’t try it yourself, 2. Find a Solicitor you Trust. 3. Tell them the full story and let them do it for you, most claims settle because most dentists are reasonable sensible people who have just made a mistake, however, what you are entitled to and what the value of a claim is not a matter for an amateur, even most dentists don’t understand the complexities.

Can I claim against an NHS dentist?

​Yes.

​In fact it makes no difference whether you are a private patient or a NHS patient, or whether you paid £25.00 or £2500.00. You are still entitled to the same compensation, clearly your refunded charges will be different but the compensation for your injury won’t be.

How to complain about a dentist

​Write to the practice setting out your concerns, give them at least 3 weeks to acknowledge it. If they don’t or you are not happy with what they say, call us or any other dental solicitor If you are happy with the response – might be worth a call to us anyway, ultimately sometimes a refund is not good enough. 

​You could complain to NHS England (assuming your dentist was treating you in a NHS clinic) If you still don’t get a decent response, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, by calling 0345 015 4033

If you feel the Dentist is a risk to other patients and the complaint is much more serious then, you can contact the General Dental Council directly, who are the regulatory body for all dental professionals in the UK.

How much money might I get for dental negligence?

​You will get a total from your refunded treatment fees, an amount for the pain and suffering and how it has affected you, an amount for future treatment costs and amount for expenses, you will get interest on top. How much this all adds up to will be different for everyone as the injuries are different. However a typical moderate claim usually pays out around £7500.00 a small one about £2500.00 and a big one could be £300,000.00 or more.

What are the reasons to sue a dentist

​Generally, these fall into 3 groups.

​Misdiagnosis – ie they have done the wrong work or given the wrong advice.

Failure of diagnosis – ie they just haven’t done the work or given the right advice.

Careless treatment – resulting in a traumatic extraction, a badly performed root canal treatment or even permanent nerve damage.

How long is dental work guaranteed for?

​That depends on the work, there may be different guarantees for the dental work than for the materials used.  So for instance if you have fitted: Crowns, Bridges, Veneers or Inlays these may have different guarantees to fillings or dentures. Also some treatments (Implants) have failure guarantees that sometimes mean in immediate refund if they don’t integrate.

​Dental work generally though is difficult to pin down in terms of say “how long should a filling last” as it really depends on the size of the filling and where the filling was.

How long do I have to make a dental negligence claim?

​First, forget the 3 year limitation rule that you may have read about, many solicitors just don’t understand dental claims and you can find yourself rejected for the wrong reasons. In dental work perhaps more than any other, its impossible for a patient to know when something has gone wrong. Not always of course, but regularly years can pass before anything comes to light. Don’t worry about this call and discuss and we should be able to flesh out the date. If not then we can look at the records for you, however, just don’t be put off calling.

There are a great many solicitors out there offering no win no fee agreements.  We have a unique 20% deduction agreement with our members. This 20% applies only if you win and never anything more. If you lose, then there is nothing to pay at all.

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Mr Graham G Balmforth, LLB, Dipfms, Msc (F.Med) Solicitor Advocate
Mr Graham G Balmforth, LLB, Dipfms, Msc (F.Med) Solicitor Advocate

A Dual Qualified Solicitor and Barrister, Mr Balmforth has a background in litigation and advocacy surrounding complex facial injury – including those actions involving surgical and dental error as well as catastrophic facial accidents and cosmetic injuries.

About Us

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

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