Can I sue my dentist for negligent treatment?
30th April, 2020
Expert Information

Paying a visit to the dentist, whether for a routine check-up or for treatment, is important to maintain the condition of your teeth. While the experience can be daunting for some, many are safe in the knowledge that the appointment will be carried out to the highest standard. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and you could become the victim of dental negligence through no fault of your own.

If your dentist fails to provide a reasonable standard of care that results in an injury to yourself, you may be eligible to make a claim.

How to spot dental negligence

Not all dental treatment goes to plan and this can result in a poor outcome despite the treatment being acceptable. It is only when injury arises because your treatment has fallen below the standard that any reasonably competent dentist would provide you with that you can make a claim.

In the UK, anyone who provides dental care must be listed on the General Dental Council register by law. As dental professionals, there are nine principles they must follow:

  1. Put patients’ interests first
  2. Communicate effectively with patients
  3. Obtain valid consent
  4. Maintain and protect patients’ information
  5. Have a clear and effective complaints procedure
  6. Work with colleagues in a way that is in the patients’ best interests
  7. Maintain, develop and work within their professional knowledge and skills
  8. Raise concerns if patients are at risk
  9. Make sure their personal behaviour maintains confidence in them and the dental profession

These principles should be adhered to when you visit the dentist, otherwise dentists are at risk of failing to provide an acceptable standard of care.

 

If you believe there has been a clear breach of duty and you have
been injured as a result, you may want to seek legal help.

 

Types of dental negligence claims

Some examples of dental negligence that we have dealt with:

  • Cosmetic dentistry – Dentist removed excessive amounts of enamel when preparing a patient for veneers resulting in permanent damage
  • Periodontal (gum) disease – Local dentist failed to treat developing periodontal disease resulting in widespread tooth loss
  • Root canal treatment claims – These can be associated with several recognised complications however , we have pursued successful claims for failure to drill to an adequate depth; fill the root canal or cause multiple attempts due to poor technique
  • Tooth extraction – During the course of a routine extraction the Claimant’s jaw was fractured in several places due to excessive force being applied
  • Oral cancer claims – We represented a client who suffered a delay in diagnosis of oral cancer because her dentist failed to recognise the early signs and symptoms

How to sue a dentist for bad work

When any claim is processed, the following principles must be taken into consideration:

  • There was a Duty of Care – The dentist’s legal duty to treat you safely
  • There has been a Breach of Duty of Care – The dentist failed to provide reasonable care whether by action or inaction
  • Causation – The action (or inaction) by the dentist that caused you an injury
  • Damage – This is the harm or injury that you have suffered as a result of the dentist’s actions

If you believe there has been a clear breach of duty and you have been injured as a result, you may want to seek legal help. At Patient Claim Line, we can help you find out if you have a legitimate claim or not.

To find out how the claims process works, we have outlined a few steps that need to be taken:

STEP 1 – Initial enquiry

If you think you have been the victim of negligence, contact our team and we’ll see if you have grounds for a case. We will listen carefully and ask the appropriate questions to ensure we can help.

STEP 2 – Case acceptance

If we accept your case, you’ll then have access to a team of highly-skilled dental negligence solicitors who can provide you with a wealth of experience and knowledge.

STEP 3 – Medical records

From here, the next step is to apply for your medical records to get a clearer picture of what happened. We’ll request all records on your behalf and pay for any charges.

STEP 4 – Medical evidence

The next step is to obtain an independent medical report to comment on what happened. If the report shows negligence occurred, we will also get evidence on how it has impacted your life thereafter.

STEP 5 – Negotiation

Once we have all the evidence, we will then negotiate with the negligent party to recover any losses owed to you.

STEP 6 – Compensation

Our team will aim to get the best possible settlement for you, including all out of pocket expenses such as loss of earnings, rehabilitation, and more. We will also look for compensation in relation to how your day-to-day life has been impacted.

Your rights to compensation

If you can show that you have been injured by substandard dental treatment, then you will be entitled to compensation.

The amount that you receive depends on the severity and complexity of your case, so when putting your claim together, make sure you have all the relevant information. At Patient Claim Line, we have the best dental negligence solicitors working in the UK and with our help we can get you the compensation you deserve.

If you’ve been the victim of dental negligence and want to make a claim, discover how Patient Claim Line can help in our how it works section.

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