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”law med
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Dental Implants, Crowns, Veneers, Bridgework, Orthodontics, Minor Oral Surgery, etc
Fillings, Root Canal Treatments, Extractions, Periodontal (gum) treatments, Oral Cancer etc.
What Type of Dental Negligence Claim Can I Sue For?
Am I Eligible to Make a Dental Negligence Claim?
Can I Claim No Win No Fee?
What is My Dental Negligence Claim Worth?
How Long Will My Dental Claim Last?
Why Choose a Law Med Panel Member for My Dental Claim?
Can I talk Confidentially Without Costs or Obligation?
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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?
What is a Dental Injury?
What are Complex Dental Claims?
How Do I Make a Dental Claim?
Will I Have to Go To A Dentist Again?
Will I Have to Go To a Court?
Can Anything Go Wrong With a Dental Claim?
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.
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?
Can I Get Corrective Treatment As Part of My Claim?
What Types of Dental Implant Are There?
What Happens During Implant Surgery
Why Does Anyone Need A Dental Implant?
How Much Should a Dental Implant Cost?
What Goes Wrong With Implant Surgery?
What Is An Implant Claim Worth?
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, 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.
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?
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.
The Law Med Medical Panel is an unincorporated association its members are clinical negligence accredited specialists.
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