What is Dental Negligence?

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Dental malpractice, or dental negligence, can be defined as an avoidable injury caused by a dentist who fails to take proper care. Any case where a dentist has performed poorly, negligently or inappropriately which results in avoidable harm being caused to a patient leading to a dental negligence compensation claim.

Can I make a claim against my dentist?

If you have received poor treatment from a private or NHS dentist you may be entitled to claim dental compensation. (see time limits below).

dentist showing a patient her xray. dental negligence.

Most common types of dental negligence claims

  • undiagnosed periodontal disease
  • not diagnosing and treating gum disease
  • dental implant negligence
  • negligent root canal treatment
  • extracting the wrong tooth
  • not extracting a decayed tooth which leads to further decay
  • negligent wisdom teeth extraction
  • negligent orthodontic treatment
  • poor quality products and incorrect techniques used in a tooth whitening process
  • incorrectly administering anaesthesia
  • causing nerve damage during a surgical process
  • inserting crowns or fillings poorly
  • failure to identify and refer suspected cases of oral cancer
  • misinterpretation of x-rays and test results

Informed consent

Your dentist is responsible for informing you of any of the risks involved with your treatment or proposed treatments as well as possible side effects and risks to your health. If you are treated and not made fully aware of these risks beforehand and something goes wrong, you could have grounds for a compensation claim.

How is dental negligence proved?

in order to prove that a dental professional has performed in a negligent way, several factors must be considered as follows:

  • was the ‘duty of care’ breached by the dentist?
  • was any advice given negligent or inadequate?
  • was the treatment given incorrect or executed poorly?
  • has unnecessary pain, distress or discomfort arisen due to incorrect or inadequate treatment?

You may be able to claim compensation in cases where the dentist has not performed their duty professionally and you have suffered loss or pain as a result. You need to prove that if the correct treatment or advice was given, the outcome of the procedure or lack of procedure would have been different. Claims will not be successful if the same outcome would have been reached even if the right treatment or advice was given.

What are the time limits to starting legal action?

The normal rule is that a patient has 3 years in which to file a claim after the injury or dental negligence happened. There are certain exceptions that can be made, such as instances where the patient is under the age of 18, or where they were represented by a loved one due to diminished mental capacity.

It is advisable to seek professional representation as soon as you are able in cases where you believe dental negligence was the direct cause of your pain or suffering.

It is important that you instruct a firm of Solicitors who have the right expertise to advise you and support you through the claims process. Jobling Gowler Solicitors are your local clinical negligence specialists. We have the skill and expertise to deal with your dental negligence claim. Please contact our Clinical Negligence Team who will be happy to arrange an initial free consultation. please call 01625 614250 or complete the enquiry form below: