Dental Negligence Claims
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Dental Negligence Claims
When you go to the dentist for dental treatment, you expect the dentist to carry out dental work to a high standard. But sometimes dental professionals make mistakes, and if you’ve suffered an injury as a result of dental negligence, you could be eligible to make a dental negligence claim.
Dental negligence compensation claim
Whenever we go the dentist we are putting our trust in them and assuming that they will do all they can to keep our teeth healthy, and to carry out any restorative work or treatment with care.
Just like other medical professionals, dentists have a duty of care to their patients, meaning they should be competent and give patients quality care and treatment. You should be able to claim for medical negligence compensation if you receive substandard care, or suffer an accident or injury caused by your dentist’s incompetence.
It does not matter whether you are treated by an NHS dentist or receive your treatment through a private dental practice; all dentists have a duty of care they are required to adhere to.
What is dental negligence?
If you have ever experienced a dental procedure that went wrong or left you with unexpected (painful) complications, then you’ve suffered dental negligence.
Dental negligence is a form of medical negligence that occurs when a dental professional fails to provide the level of care that you rightfully deserve when you sit in the dentist’s chair, resulting in harm or injury to you, the patient.
You trust your dentist to diagnose your dental condition accurately, perform procedures skillfully, and ensure your safety throughout. However, if your dentist deviates from the expected standard of care, whether through misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication mistakes, or hygiene failures, you may find yourself dealing with the consequences of dental negligence.
But here’s the good news: when dental negligence happens, you don’t have to bear the burden alone. You have the right to seek compensation for any financial damages and losses you’ve suffered as a result of their negligence.
At NoWinNoFee.com, we understand the distress and frustration that dental negligence can cause. We’re here to guide you through the process and help you fight for your rights. To find out more about dental negligence claims, or to make a medical negligence claim, call 0800 234 6438 today.
You’ll speak to a fully trained legal advisor who will determine if you could be eligible to claim compensation for your dental injuries. If they believe you have a successful claim to pursue, they’ll partner you with a specialist personal injury solicitor who will represent you on a no win no fee basis, and fight to get you the full compensation you deserve.
Importance of making dental negligence compensation claims
If you’ve experienced negligent treatment, or been injured at the hands of a dental professional, through no fault of your own, it’s important you claim dental compensation.
First and foremost, it’s about seeking justice. You have the right to be treated with the utmost care and professionalism by your dentist. But when you’ve experienced dental negligence, it can leave you feeling frustrated, hurt, and even betrayed. By pursuing a compensation claim, you’re holding the responsible dental professional accountable for their actions, or lack thereof.
Secondly, it’s about getting the support and help you need. Dental negligence can lead to physical pain, emotional distress, and financial burdens. Whether it’s corrective procedures, dental implants, ongoing treatment, or therapy to address the emotional impact, claiming dental negligence compensation can provide you with the financial compensation to cover these expenses. It can ease the monetary load and help you get the necessary support to recover and move forward with your life.
Furthermore, claiming compensation can bring about positive changes in the dental industry. By shedding light on cases of negligence or dental malpractice, it raises awareness and encourages dental professionals to prioritise patient safety and improve their practices.
Your claim can play a part in preventing similar incidents from happening to others in the future. It’s about making a difference and protecting the rights of patients like you.
Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. Your dental negligence lawyer will be by your side the whole time, guiding you through the process, listening to your concerns, and fighting for your rights. They’ll work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve and help you on your journey towards healing and recovery.
What legal responsibilities does my dentist have?
Your dentist has many important legal responsibilities when it comes to your dental care. These include:
Duty of care
Your dentist has a duty of care toward you. This means they are legally obligated to provide you with a reasonable standard of care. They should use their professional skills and knowledge to ensure your well-being and deliver the quality of treatment you expect.
One crucial responsibility your dentist has before carrying out any dental work is obtaining your informed consent. Your dentist should take the time to explain the nature of the proposed treatment, any potential risks or side effects involved, and alternative options available to you. You should have a clear understanding of the treatment you’re about to undergo, so you can make an informed decision about your dental care.
Your dentist must protect your personal and medical information, ensuring that it remains private and secure. You should feel comfortable sharing your dental history and concerns, knowing that your dentist will handle your information with the utmost care and professionalism.
Maintain dental records
Your dentist should keep accurate and detailed records of your dental treatment. This includes documenting diagnosis, treatment plans, procedures performed, and any medications prescribed. These dental records serve as an important reference for your ongoing care and can be crucial in case of any legal issues or disputes.
If you believe that your dentist has failed to meet these legal responsibilities, and you’ve suffered dental negligence as a result, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Can I make a dental negligence claim against any dentist?
Whether you receive treatment from NHS dentists, or dental nurses via NHS dental services, or you receive treatment at the hands of private dentists, if your dentist fails in their duty of care towards you, you have every right to make a dental negligence claim against them.
NHS dentists are expected to adhere to the professional standards set by the National Health Service and provide a reasonable level of care in line with those standards. If you believe that the treatment you received fell below the expected standard, resulting in harm or injury, you may have grounds for a dental negligence claim.
Private dentists are also required to provide a certain standard of care. They have a duty to exercise their professional skills and knowledge to a level expected of a competent dental practitioner. If you can demonstrate that your private dentist breached this duty of care, leading to harm or injury, you may be eligible to pursue a dental negligence claim against them.
Common types of dental negligence cases
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
This occurs when your dentist fails to accurately diagnose a dental condition or delays diagnosis, leading to incorrect or delayed treatment. For example, your dentist may overlook signs of oral cancer or misinterpret an X-ray, resulting in a delay in necessary treatment.
According to the NHS, one of the most common cancers in the world is oral cancer. It presents as lumps in the mouth, mouth ulcers, loose teeth, and numbness. Oral cancer misdiagnosis, or delayed mouth cancer diagnosis can result in you having to undergo complicated, unnecessary treatment.
Surgical errors are mistakes made during dental surgery or invasive procedures. Surgical errors can include nerve damage, extraction of the wrong tooth, perforation of the sinus, or improper placement of dental implants. Such errors can lead to significant pain, complications, and the need for remedial treatment.
Administering anesthesia is a crucial aspect of many dental procedures. However, negligence in administering or monitoring anesthesia can result in complications such as allergic reactions, nerve damage, or even life-threatening situations like an overdose. Anesthesia errors can have serious consequences and require immediate attention.
Your dentist may prescribe medications to manage pain, infection, or other dental issues. However, errors in prescribing, administering, or monitoring medication can occur, for example, if they get the incorrect dosage, you experience adverse drug interactions, or your dentist failed to factor in your medical history or allergies.
Infections and hygiene failures
Dental professionals have a responsibility to maintain a clean and sterile environment to prevent infections and promote patient safety. Negligence in maintaining proper hygiene protocols, inadequate sterilisation of equipment, or failure to follow infection control measures can lead to infections, such as gum disease or oral infections.
Types of injuries that can result from dental negligence
Dental negligence can lead to various types of injuries and complications. For example:
During a dental procedure, such as an extraction or implant placement, negligence can result in nerve damage. This can cause persistent pain, numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the affected areas, such as your lips, tongue, or jaw.
Failure to maintain proper hygiene standards or inadequate sterilisation of the dental equipment used on you can lead to infections. Common infections include gum infections (periodontal infections), abscesses, or oral infections. These can cause you severe pain, swelling, and may require you to have additional treatment.
Oral or facial injuries
Improper use of dental instruments, surgical errors, or accidents during procedures can all result in you sustaining oral or facial injuries. This can include damage to your teeth, gums, jawbone, or soft tissues. Injuries such as fractures, dislocations, or lacerations can all cause pain, functional impairments, and aesthetic concerns.
Wrong tooth extraction
Negligence during tooth extractions can lead to the unnecessary removal of healthy teeth or extraction of the wrong tooth. Losing a healthy tooth can have significant implications for your oral health, bite alignment, and overall well-being.
Anesthesia is commonly used during dental procedures, such as root canal treatment, to ensure your comfort. However, negligence in administering or monitoring anesthesia can result in complications. These may include allergic reactions, adverse drug interactions, respiratory problems, or even life-threatening situations.
TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorders
Improper dental treatments, such as poorly designed dental restorations or bite adjustments, can lead to TMJ disorders. These disorders affect the jaw joint and can cause pain, jaw stiffness, clicking sounds, difficulty in jaw movement, and headaches.
How to identify injuries resulting from negligent dental treatment
Identifying injuries resulting from negligent dental treatment can be challenging, but there are key signs to look for:
Persistent or worsening pain
Numbness or tingling
Swelling or inflammation
Difficulty in chewing or speaking
Changes in tooth appearance or sensitivity
Understanding the impact of dental negligence
Dental negligence can have a profound impact on multiple aspects of your life, and have far reaching consequences. Not only can it leave you in physical pain and discomfort, it can cause you emotional distress as well as undermine your self-confidence, making you feel self-conscious or embarrassed, preventing you from fully enjoying social activities.
Then there’s the financial burden. Additional treatments, corrective procedures, and ongoing dental care needs can lead to unexpected expenses. Not to mention the potential loss of wages due to time off work for these additional dental appointments.
There’s also the potential for long term oral health implications, because after a bad experience at the dentist, it can understandably shake your trust in dental professionals. You need to build trust and find a new dentist. And if you don’t your teeth can suffer.
To find out more about making a dental negligence claim, call 0800 234 6438 and speak to a trained legal advisor today. They will give you free, impartial advisor about pursuing a claim, and they will never pressure you into going further than you want to.
What to expect during the dental negligence claims process
When you pursue a dental negligence claim, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what to expect during the process. Here’s a general overview of what’s likely to go down:
- Initial consultation: Your journey begins with an initial consultation with a dental negligence claims specialist. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your case in detail and provide all the relevant information. Your solicitor will listen attentively, assess the validity of your claim, and offer guidance on the next steps.
- Gathering evidence: To support your claim, your legal team will work with you to gather the necessary evidence. This may involve obtaining your dental records, seeking expert opinions from dental professionals, inviting you to go for a medical assessment, and collecting any relevant photographs or documents. The strength of your evidence is crucial in building a compelling case.
- Letter of claim: Once your legal team has gathered the necessary evidence, they will draft a formal letter of claim. This letter outlines the details of your case, including the negligent treatment you received and the resulting harm. It is sent to the defendant, typically the dentist or dental practice involved, initiating the legal process.
- Negotiation and settlement: In many cases, the defendant’s legal team will respond to the letter of claim with their own investigation and response. This often leads to negotiations between the two parties, aiming to reach a fair settlement.
- Court proceedings (if necessary): If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your case may proceed to court. Your legal team will guide you through the court proceedings, representing your interests and presenting your case before a judge.
- Resolution and compensation: Once your case is resolved, whether through negotiation or court proceedings, you will receive the compensation determined by the settlement or court decision. This compensation is intended to help you recover financial losses, cover medical expenses, and provide support for any pain, suffering, or long-term effects caused by dental negligence.
How much compensation could I claim for dental negligence?
When determining the compensation amount for dental negligence, several factors are taken into consideration. These factors can influence the final settlement and are important to understand. Some key factors that can affect dental negligence compensation include:
Impact on physical and mental health
This includes the severity of the injuries, the pain endured, and any resulting disabilities or limitations. Compensation takes into account the impact on your overall health, both in the short term and long term.
Financial losses and expenses
This includes additional medical expenses, costs of corrective treatments or surgeries, medication costs, and any necessary rehabilitation or therapy. It may also account for any loss of earnings due to time taken off work for treatment or recovery.
Compensation for pain and suffering
This can include compensation for the discomfort, stress, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of life experienced due to your dental injuries and their consequences.
Long-term consequences and rehabilitation costs
Some dental negligence cases result in long-term consequences that require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, or specialised treatments. The compensation amount you receive may take into consideration the need for future medical expenses, such as follow-up surgeries, prosthetics, or dental implants. Rehabilitation costs, including physical therapy or counseling, may also be included in the calculation.
In dental negligence cases, compensation is typically categorised into two types: general damages and special damages.
These are non-financial losses that are more difficult to quantify. They typically include physical and emotional pain, suffering, and any impact on your quality of life. The amount awarded for general damages depends on the severity of the negligence, the nature and duration of your injuries, and their long-term effects.
Special damages refer to the financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a direct result of the dental negligence. This may include costs of additional dental treatments, medication, rehabilitation, travel expenses for medical appointments, and any loss of earnings due to time off work. These damages are more quantifiable and can be calculated based on actual expenses and financial records.
To guide the assessment of compensation amounts, the Judicial College Guidelines provide a range of compensation figures for various types of injuries, including dental injuries. They take into account the severity of your injury, the impact on daily life, and the expected recovery time.
Loss of both front teeth – £4,350 – £7,630
Fractures to the jaw – £6,660 – £45,540
Moderate psychiatric damage – £5,860 – £19,070
To accurately determine the potential compensation you could claim for your dental negligence case, it’s crucial to consult with a dental negligence lawyer. They will carefully assess the details of your case, consider all relevant factors, and provide an estimate based on their experience and knowledge of similar cases.
What can my compensation be used for?
You can use your compensation how you see fit: to cover your medical expenses, rehabilitation and therapy, lost wages, getting back on with your life.
To find out more about making a dental negligence claim call 0800 234 6438 and begin a personal injury claim today.
Why make a no win no fee dental negligence claim through NoWinNoFee.com
NoWinNoFee.com are partners of National Accident Helpline, a part of National Accident Law, a firm of personal injury solicitors, with specialist dental negligence solicitors among their numbers.
When you call 0800 234 6438, you will speak with one of their trained personal injury advisors who will provide you with free expert advice about whether you might have a successful dental negligence claim or not.
If they are confident you have a dental claim to make, they will put you in touch with a specialist dental negligence solicitor. You are under no obligation to pursue a claim, and the trained legal advisor you speak to will never pressure you into making a claim. They will simply provide you with free, impartial advice about the claims process.
If you do decide to go ahead and claim dental negligence compensation, your dental negligence solicitors will represent you with under a no win no fee agreement, meaning you will only pay the solicitor’s fee. This success fee could be up to a maximum of 25% of the awarded compensation. Before agreeing to pursue compensation, your solicitor will advise you of their success fee amount. We may receive a marketing fee for our services.
Medical Negligence FAQs
- Are there time limits for make a dental compensation claim?
- What evidence do I need to support my claim?
- Can I still pursue a claim if I signed a consent form?
- How long does a dental negligence compensation claim take?
- Can I get compensation for dental negligence?