A Guide To Making Dental Negligence Compensation Claims

By Cat Stardew. Last Updated 17th July 2023. If you’ve suffered harm because of a negligent dentist, you may be interested in making a claim for dental negligence. In this guide, we will discuss when you could be eligible to claim compensation and the criteria that your case must meet in order to be valid. We will also explain the duty of care that your dentist owes to you and how breaching this duty could result in avoidable harm.

Dental medical negligence compensation claims

Dental medical negligence compensation claims

We’ll also discuss compensation for dental negligence claims and how legal professionals value different areas of dental negligence payouts. Following this, our guide explains the different kinds of evidence that you can use to help strengthen your claim.

Finally, our guide explores the benefits of working with a solicitor on your claim. Our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors take on claims from all over the country, which means you aren’t limited to working with legal professionals in your area.

Our friendly advisors are on hand to help if you have any further questions. To learn more or get started on your claim, get in touch today:

Select A Section

  1. Dental Negligence Compensation Claims
  2. Dentists Duty Of Care And Standards In The UK
  3. Causes Of Negligent Dental Care
  4. Dental Negligence Compensation Claims Payout Examples
  5. Special Damages You Could Claim From A Dentist
  6. Steps To Take If Harmed By Negligent Dental Care
  7. No Win No Fee Claims For Dental Medical Negligence

Dental Negligence Compensation Claims

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.

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.

Dental Negligence Compensation Claims Payout Examples

If you suffered unnecessary harm due to a negligent dentist, you may wish to know how much you could claim. Dental negligence compensation claims could have two heads: general damages and special damages. We’ll explain special damages in the next section.

General damages seeks to payout for your pain and suffering. This could also cover any loss of amenity.

When legal professionals assign value to this head of dental negligent cases, they may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document provides examples of injuries alongside potential compensation brackets.

Our table below contains examples of injuries that may occur due to a negligent dentist. As different factors can affect dental negligence compensation, it is worth remembering that the table provided is only for illustrative purposes.

Facial scarring (a)Very severe scarring for young claimants which causes serious scarring and psychological harm.£29,780 to £97,330
Facial scarring (b)Cases of disfigurement where there is psychological harm.£17,960 to £48,420
Facial Scarring (c)Cases where the disfigurement is reduced with cosmetic surgery or the psychological harm is reduced in time.£9,110 to £30,090
Facial scarring (d)Less significant scarring, such as a scar that can be easily concealed.£3,950 to £13,740
Facial scarring (e)Cases where the scarring is trivial and there is no psychological harm.£1,710 to £3,530
Jaw fracture (i)Very serious jaw fractures prolonged treatment and permanent damage causing lasting difficulty eating and talking..£30,490 to £45,540
Damage to teeth (i)Loss of or serious damage to several front teeth£8,730 to
Damage to teeth (ii)Loss of or serious damage to two front teeth.£4,350 to
Damage to teeth (iii)Loss of or serious damage to one front teeth.£2,200 to
Damage to teeth (iv)Loss of or damage to back teeth.£1,090 to

Call our advisors for a more accurate estimate of your dental compensation.

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.

Dental Medical Negligence – Time Limit For Claiming

An important step in the dental negligence claims process is ensuring that you are within the relevant time limit. The time limit for medical negligence claims is three years and is set out by the Limitation Act 1980. This begins on the date the medical negligence happened or on the date that you connect the avoidable harm you suffered with a medical professional breaching their duty of care.

You may still be able to claim if it has been more than three years, as the time limit comes with some exceptions. For example, in cases of dental negligence in minors, the time limit does not begin until the claimant’s 18th birthday. From then, it runs until they turn 21. While the time limit is frozen, a litigation friend can claim on their behalf at any time.

Similarly, the time limit remains indefinitely frozen for those who lack the capacity to make a claim for themselves. If they recover the capacity required, then the time limit begins on the date of their recovery. If not, their claim can be made by a litigation friend.

Contact our team of advisors today to find out if you are within the correct time limit to make a claim for dental negligence.

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.

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.

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