Advice on making a dental negligence claim

With a limited provision of NHS dentistry in the UK, many people pay privately for expensive dental treatments. More often than not, someone suffers a poor outcome due to treatment and is left with either an exorbitant bill for remedial treatment or, worse still, a problem that cannot be remedied. 

Such mistakes in dental treatment can have long-term effects and can be painful, and are likely to cause psychological trauma. If you’ve experienced pain and suffering due to mistakes in your dental treatment and plan to fill a dental negligence claim, here’s our advice. 

Making Your Claim 

According to NHS dental statistics for the UK, only half of the adult population were seen by a dentist in two years before December 2018. The global outline of dental care shows that periodontal disease is expected to be the 11th most widespread disease around the world and dental treatment amounts to 5% of total expenditure for many high-income states. 

Scientific thinking has also changed, and it is now considered that many other diseases and illnesses could stem from a failure to care for your dental health. But while these numbers prove that we could be doing more to look after our teeth, visiting a medical specialist can be challenging, especially if you feel nervous or hesitant at the idea of treatment. 

But what can you do if a visit to the dentist goes wrong? If you, or someone you care for, has experienced damage to the teeth or the dentist neglected the signs of gum disease, which has resulted in tooth loss, you’re qualified to make a dental negligence claim. 

Suing for dental negligence 

To sue your dentist, the first thing you should do is to contact a person with experience in dental law, to discuss your experience and see if you’re eligible to file a claim. This will vary from one individual situation to another and the nature of the complaint, along with the severity of the injury and pain. 

Note that the period for a dental negligence claim will vary from one case to another, but the normal dental negligence claim might even last between 19 and 24 months to settle. 

You can sue your dentist if you feel that he or she has been careless, and you have suffered as a result, then it might be possible for you to file a claim against your dentist. This might be the case if you have suffered dental pain or unavoidable injuries and received additional treatment that was only necessary because you received low-quality treatment. 

You can sue an NHS dentist 

Whether you are a private dental patient or an NHS patient, if your doctor was negligent, then you may qualify for a lawsuit against them. If the poor dental treatment was served in an NHS hospital, you would be filing a lawsuit against the NHS trust in this case. 

The compensation amount that you could receive in a successful claim will depend on a series of factors, such as:

  • The type of claim, e.g., negligence, misdiagnosis, or poor technique by the dental professional 
  • The longevity and severity of the injury, pain and suffering you experience as a result of a dentist’s action or inaction 
  • The amount required for the further treatment necessary to remedy the damage caused by the original negligence 

The average compensation amount for medical negligence ranges from £2000 and more, with some clients being awarded more than £200,000 in compensation, depending on the severity of the case. 

Why sue a dentist? 

Well, if you’ve been unfortunate enough to experience low-standard dental care or treatment from a dentist, you may receive compensation and be able to file a lawsuit against that dentist. Some of the reasons people choose to file a lawsuit against their dentist include: 

  • For injuries caused by negligent dental procedures or by carelessness 
  • For late diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or a complete failure by your dentist to diagnose a serious dental condition, which resulted in avoidable injury, suffering or pain
  • For loss of earnings as a result of having to take off work time for corrective treatment due to negligence of your dentist 

Filling dental negligence on behalf of a child

Parents can pursue claims on behalf of children who have suffered dental negligence. The lawsuit is usually completed by the parent or guardian after a child in their care has suffered injuries following a negligent dental treatment.  

Bringing a dental negligence claim on behalf of a child has no time limit, but once the child reaches the legal age of 18 years, then they are considered an adult with a limit of three years to file a dental negligence claim. 

Proving your dental negligence claim

Before a dental negligence lawsuit can begin, you and your legal advisor must assess whether your dentist was careless. You can do this by proving that a responsible dentist, nurse, or hygienist would not have made the same error. 

Your dental negligence attorney will then review if you have suffered an injury as a result and consider whether any of the following happened during your treatment: 

  • There was no diagnosis 
  • Improper dosage of medication 
  • Dental surgery was carried out badly 
  • Teeth removed without a good reason 
  • Serious mistakes with regard to treatment 
  • Failure to identify and manage gum disease 

Mistakes often happen in a dental practice, but a specialised dental negligence lawyer can assist you in acknowledging if this has been dental negligence. Often dentists understand these implications and have the necessary professional insurance to cover them if they have been negligent. If you’ve recently experienced physical and mental suffering or financial loss, don’t hesitate to contact an expert solicitor as soon as possible.