I Was Harmed Due To Dental Negligence, Could I Make A Compensation Claim?

Dental medical negligence, or dental malpractice, is an incident involving a patient being harmed by their dentist due to the dentist making mistakes, failing to follow procedure, or overlooking the best interests of their patients’ health. It is not acceptable for patients to be harmed this way. If you have been injured by dental negligence, then you could be entitled to make a dental medical negligence claim. Legal Helpline is here to help you. Using this guide, and a number of others like it on this site, we hope to inform you of when and how they have the right to seek compensation.

Our panel of medical negligence solicitors has dealt with countless dental medical negligence cases. With their vast experience and specialist knowledge, they are a great option to choose if you are thinking of trying to make a claim. If you want to find out more about how you can do this, read through this guide and get in touch for a free consultation. Our number is 0161 696 9685, or you can also contact us through our website to arrange a callback.

  1. A Guide To Claims For Dental Medical Negligence
  2. What Is Dental Medical Negligence?
  3. Dentists Duty Of Care And Standards In The UK
  4. How Common Is Dental Medical Negligence In The UK?
  5. Causes Of Negligent Dental Care
  6. Types Of Medical Negligence
  7. Could I Make A Claim Against An NHS Dentist?
  8. Could I Make A Claim Against A Private Dentist?
  9. Dental Medical Negligence Compensation Claims Calculator
  10. Special Damages You Could Claim From A Dentist
  11. Steps To Take If Harmed By Negligent Dental Care
  12. Why Make Your Claim With Us?
  13. No Win No Fee Claims For Dental Medical Negligence
  14. Begin Your Claim Against A Dentist Today
  15. Dental Negligence Resources

A Guide To Claims For Dental Medical Negligence

Dental medical negligence compensation claims

Dental medical negligence compensation claims

All dental patients are entitled to receive safe and quality care. And in the vast majority of cases, they do receive this. However, in a rare few cases, something goes wrong and a patient suffers some kind of harm as a result. When this has been caused by a mistake made by the dentist, this is known as dental medical negligence. This guide explains how you could be awarded compensation for this thanks to our panel of medical negligence lawyers.

To start off, we will explain what dental medical negligence is, how it can happen and what its effects might be. Then we will explain what a dentists’ legal duties to you are, and how these can be violated by negligence. We have also included an insightful section on how commonplace dental medical negligence is as well.

Moving on, we will explain what the differences are between making a medical negligence claim against a private dentist and an NHS dentist. We will discuss some of the legal details of making a claim too, and how there can be different degrees of negligence and different levels of culpability, as well as the impact they can have on the amount of compensation you could receive.

We have included a medical negligence compensation calculator in this guide to help give you an idea of how much compensation you may be entitled to receive, as well as details on the different types of financial damages you could be allowed to claim for as well.

Above all, this guide will explain how Legal Helpline can benefit you. We will explain how No Win, No Fee claims work, as well as some of the other benefits of making your claim with us. You’ll also find a number of links to other articles and guides on our site which may be useful for you to read, as well as other guides from other websites. If you’d rather speak to us directly, please call us on 0161 696 9685, or click here and complete our contact form.

What Is Dental Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence occurs when a doctor fails to provide a patient with the level of safe and effective treatment expected of them, either through incompetence or malice. It can often lead to the patient suffering injuries or a decline in health. Dental medical negligence is medical negligence carried out by a dentist, or a negligent act that occurs in a dentist’s practice.

Mistakes in a dentist’s practice can include, amongst many other circumstances, performing a drilling procedure wrongly, removing teeth incorrectly, applying the wrong amount of painkillers or anaesthetic, or misdiagnosing a health problem with teeth or gums. Dental medical negligence can result in injuries such as a patient suffering from missing or damaged teeth, damaged gums, infections of the teeth or gums, retaining awareness and sensation during operations on the mouth and teeth.

Dentists’ Duty Of Care And Standards In The UK

As a medical practitioner, a dentist has a duty of care over the people they are examining and treating. That means that while you are receiving treatment from them, they are responsible for your well-being and a certain standard of medical care is expected of them. When a dentist treats a patient, it is considered unacceptable for that treatment to cause any preventable or unnecessary harm to their patient. If a patient is harmed by dental negligence, even if it was a genuine mistake or accident committed by an inexperienced dentist, it could be considered a breach of the dentists’ duty of care and may constitute grounds for making a compensation claim. You can learn more about the standards expected of dentists here.

How Common Is Dental Medical Negligence In The UK?

The important thing to remember is that if you receive dental treatment from either a dentist in the NHS or a private practice you will most likely receive quality treatment. Your chances of being a victim of dental medical negligence are very low. 

Generally, less than 10,000 cases of medical negligence are recorded each year in the UK. The numbers have increased somewhat in recent years. But that should be taken into context. Firstly, the number of people being seen by dentists is increasing, particularly in the cosmetic sector. Cosmetic dental procedures usually involve more invasive surgery, often to the gums and jawbone.  Medical negligence is more likely to occur in such procedures, and the harm can be more serious too. More than half of the UK’s adult population, around 22.1 million people, saw a dentist in the two months leading up to December 2017. Which just goes to show how uncommon dental medical negligence really is.

Causes Of Negligent Dental Care

There are many different ways that dental medical negligence could occur and many different ways it could impact patients. A few examples include:

  • Failing to diagnose symptoms of tongue or mouth cancer;
  • Extracting the wrong tooth during a tooth extraction;
  • Causing nerve damage in the teeth and/or gums;
  • Causing damage to the root canal of a tooth, for example allowing a root canal to become infected;
  • Failing to perform a cosmetic dental procedure correctly;
  • Performing a dental procedure without the patient’s express written consent.

Types Of Medical Negligence

There are many different types of medical negligence that can occur across the healthcare sector. Surgical negligence, misdiagnosis, hospital and nursing home negligence, to name a few.

There are also different degrees of negligence. Not all cases involve one side being wholly culpable for the negligence. There is contributory negligence for example, where you may be deemed to have been partially at fault for causing the negligence and/or its consequences to occur.

There are cases where the dentist will not be the one found responsible for inflicting the patient’s injury. It may be that a third party is found to be vicariously liable, such as a medical equipment supplier company, for example. The most serious form of negligence is gross negligence. This is where the practitioner has displayed the most blatant disregard for the patient’s wellbeing. Such instances may include operating while under the influence of alcohol, or deliberately causing harm to the patient.

Could I Make A Claim Against An NHS Dentist?

NHS doctors, including NHS dentists, are bound by the same professional duty of care as all other doctors. So a claim can be made not just against an individual dental practice, but against the NHS as an institution. The NHS operates NHS Resolution, essentially the legal arm of the NHS, to handle litigation. Against such a large organization you will need an experienced and professional medical negligence lawyer, such as the ones we can provide.

Making a claim against the NHS is a matter of proving that you have suffered a health problem and proving that it occurred as a result of negligence by an NHS dental practitioner.

Could I Make A Claim Against A Private Dentist?

Medical negligence claims can be made against private dental practitioners just as easily as NHS dentists. The same principles apply. As a doctor, a private dentist is obliged to provide you with medical care of a certain calibre. Allowing the patient to come to harm by making oversights or by disregarding the patient’s wellbeing, causing infections or misdiagnosis, for instance, is a violation of that duty of care. If you can provide proof that harm ensued because of negligent dental care, then you may have grounds to make a compensation claim against a private doctor.

Dental Medical Negligence Compensation Claims Calculator

Your compensation will depend on the severity of the injury you suffered and how much it is going to affect you physically, mentally and cosmetically in the long-term. Given all of these factors will have to be assessed by doctors and medical negligence solicitors, we can’t give you an accurate figure of how much your case might be worth at this point. But we can give you an idea using the compensation calculator below, which lists some examples of what kind of compensation can be awarded for various types of injuries which might be inflicted by dental medical negligence

InjuryNotesCompensation
Damage to teeth (i)Loss of or serious damage to several front teeth£8,200 to £10,710
Damage to teeth (ii)Loss of or serious damage to two front teeth.£4,080 to £7,160
Damage to teeth (iii)Loss of or serious damage to one front teeth.£2,070 to £3,710
Damage to teeth (iv)Loss of or damage to back teeth.£1,020 to £1,600
Facial scarring (a)Very severe scarring for young claimants which causes serious scarring and psychological harm.£27,940 to £91,350
Facial scarring (b)Cases of disfigurement where there is psychological harm.£16,860 to £45,440
Facial Scarring (c)Cases where the disfigurement is reduced with cosmetic surgery or the psychological harm is reduced in time.£8,550 to £28,240
Facial scarring (d)Less significant scarring, such as a scar that can be easily concealed.£3,710 to £12,900
Facial scarring (e)Cases where the scarring is trivial and there is no psychological harm.£1,600 to £3,310
Jaw fracture (i)Very serious jaw fractures prolonged treatment and permanent damage causing lasting difficulty eating and talking..£28,610 to £42,730

Special Damages You Could Claim From A Dentist

Dental medical negligence claims can also help victims claim back any financial losses or expenses that have been incurred as a result of their injuries. In more severe cases, it may be possible to claim loss of any future earnings too. Some of the things that can be claimed for include:

  • Paying for further medical treatment to undo the damage caused by dental negligence. This can include anything from cosmetic surgery to painkillers.
  • Any travel expenses resulting from the medical negligence, such as travelling to reach doctors appointments.
  • Pay lost through taking time off work, such as through sick leave or making time for hospital appointments.
  • In cases of severe and lasting injuries, it may be possible to claim loss of future earnings if the claimant can’t return to their previous job, or if the injuries will hamper their ability to work again. 

Don’t forget to store all receipts and invoices, such as bus tickets, taxi receipts, wage slips and bills so that you have evidence to back up your compensation claim.

Steps To Take If Harmed By Negligent Dental Care

Here are some of the steps we advise you to take if you have been hurt as a result of dental negligence or malpractice.

  • Have your injury assessed by a doctor.
  • Make sure you have all of the dentist’s practice information, their name, their staff’s name and the name of the company or organisation the practice is a part of.
  • Make sure you have a record of the financial cost of the injury, such as the costs of any subsequent medical treatment, earnings lost through time taken off work and so forth.
  • Contact a medical negligence solicitor or medical negligence claim expert for advice on what to do next. You can reach ours with the contact details at the bottom of this page.

Why Make Your Claim With Us?

There are plenty of different firms out there who offer medical negligence claims to people. Legal Helpline stands out from that crowd. With decades of experience, our panel of expert solicitors are specialists in dental negligence claims. They will not rest until they win for you the maximum amount of compensation possible. They will guide you through the complexities of the legal process, unravelling legal jargon on the way. And if at any time you have a query or would simply like an update on your case, there’ll be on hand to take your call. So get in touch with us today for a free consultation. Our panel of solicitors is ready to help you achieve justice.

No Win, No Fee Claims For Dental Medical Negligence

You may have some concerns that your ability to make a medical negligence claim would be curtailed by having to pay legal fees. Well, worry not. If you make a claim with a solicitor from our panel, they will offer you the chance to enter into a No Win, No Fee Agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA is designed to offer you maximum financial protection. You will not have to pay any fees upfront or during your claim. And if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees incurred by your solicitor in pursuing your case. If your claim is successful, your solicitor may ask for a small contribution toward their fees. This contribution is known as a success fee and would be deducted from the compensation you are awarded at the end of the claim. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped.

Begin Your Claim Against A Dentist Today

Starting a dental negligence claim is simple. All you need to do is call our friendly team of advisors. You can do that by either calling 0161 696 9685, or by requesting a call back by filling out this form. Our team will discuss your case with you and will advise whether or not they believe you have grounds to make a claim. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so get in touch. We look forward to representing you.

Dental Negligence Resources

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Guide To Your Rights As A Dentists Patient.

 

Guide by JY

Edited by REG