Dental Negligence Compensation Claims Explained

Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Money Savings Advice Dental negligence compensation

Are you one of many people who suffer the consequence of poor dental treatment each year? Do you believe that the treatment you received was below standard and as a consequence, negligent? If you have a valid claim, then you can pursue personal injury compensation based upon pain/suffering and financial loss.

There are many different types of dental treatment from a simple polish to a filling, extraction to the creation of dentures, and much more. All dental assistants/technicians have a legal obligation to provide a high level of care to each patient.

In the event that this level of care is below expectations, then there may be potential to pursue compensation in the event of illness/injury.

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How Do I Pursue Compensation for Dental Negligence?

The first thing you need to do is prove negligence by your dentist, and then you can pursue compensation. Negligence is measured by comparing the standard of treatment you received compared to the standard of treatment you should reasonably expect to receive.

In other words, the level of treatment expected from other dental practitioners of similar experience and training. There are some compensation claims where it is perfectly obvious there has been substandard treatment, but you still need to prove negligence.

What Are the More Common Dental Negligence Claims?

Dental negligence claims can take in a whole range of different issues such as:-

  • Substandard extractions
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Lack of pain relief
  • Inappropriate treatment
  • Failure to diagnose an abscess

It is also perfectly legitimate to make a claim for compensation where treatment has been delayed to the extent where it has impacted your overall dental health. For example, if treatment for an abscess was put off time and time again (for no good reason), then this could develop into more serious medical issues.

What if I Don’t Attend My Dental Checkups?

If for whatever reason you failed to attend your regular dental checkups and were to develop a serious medical condition, it would be difficult to prove negligence against the dental practitioner.

While those involved in dental treatment have a legal obligation to deliver a high standard of care, patients also have an obligation to attend dental checkups where potential issues can be diagnosed at a relatively early stage. It is not the role of the dental practitioner to force you to attend dental checkups/dental treatment.

Can I Pursue My Dentist for Failing to Notice an Abscess?

Compensation claims relating to abscesses are fairly common, especially where the dentist has failed to notice the abscess in the early days. An abscess is a painful infection just under the gum, which is fairly easy to treat, if caught early, by draining and injecting antibiotics.

However, if the abscess goes unnoticed, it can create huge problems such as excruciating pain, pus leakage, swollen gums and in some cases, it can lead to teeth extractions. So, if you are able to prove that your dentist missed an abscess at an earlier checkup, then you may well have a claim for compensation.

Under Anaesthetic, the Dentist Removed More Teeth Than We Had Agreed, Can I Claim Compensation?

Like any compensation claim, you would need to prove a degree of negligence before pursuing it. If the additional teeth had been removed for no apparent reason without your consent, then you may have a claim for compensation.

However, it is highly likely that the dentist would have noticed additional issues which were perhaps not evident prior to giving treatment. In this case, where a similarly experienced dentist with a similar level of training would have taken the same action, it would be difficult to prove negligence.

In a perfect world, your dentist would have explained all of the potential issues before treatment. However, like all medical practitioners, dentists are trained to expect the unexpected on occasion. At this point, they would use their professional opinion to do what they feel is best for the patient.

Should I Use a Claims Management Company?

The personal injury claims sector has expanded dramatically over the last 20 years or so. Even relatively “simple” negligence claims can become a little more complicated when trying to prove substandard treatment. As a consequence, it is advisable to contact a personal injury claims company to see if you have a viable claim.

What Type of Evidence Do I Need to Pursue a Claim?

When pursuing any type of dental/medical negligence claim, you will need to provide evidence such as:-

  • Details of treatment received
  • Injury/illness as a consequence of treatment
  • Details of the shortfall in standard of care
  • Witness statements
  • Photographic evidence
  • Details of the long-term treatment plan

Where a dental practitioner has previously been prosecuted for negligence, this can present a pattern of substandard care to use as evidence. Remember, it is up to the claimant to prove that the defendant was negligent.

Will I Need to Go to Court?

There is evidence to suggest that many bona fides compensation claims are never pursued because claimant’s fear they may have to give evidence in court. If you have a strong case for compensation, the likelihood is that negotiations will occur prior to any court hearing often resulting in an out-of-court settlement. As a consequence, the vast majority of claimants will not even see the inside of a courtroom.

How Much Does It Cost to Pursue Compensation?

If you approach a claims management company with details of your negligence claim and evidence, they will review your case. In the event, they believe there is a minimum 60% chance of success they will likely offer you a “no win, no fee” basis on which to proceed.

This means that you have no financial liability/costs in the event that the claim is unsuccessful. If you are successful, the claims management company will be able to apply for costs from the defendant and a share of your compensation (known as their “success fee”). The details of the “success fee” would have been negotiated prior to pursuing the claim and tend to be in the region of 25%.

What Level of Compensation Can I Expect?

While the exact level of compensation will depend upon the injuries received, significant chronic tooth pain as a consequence of an untreated abscess, extended over a number of years, could result in compensation up to £30,390.

Summary

While dentists have an obligation to provide a high level of care to all patients, patients also have an obligation to attend regular checkups. If for example, an abscess was missed as a consequence of the patient refusing to attend checkups, then it would be difficult to see how the dentist was negligent.

However, where the abscess was missed on a previous checkup, leading to excruciating pain and deterioration in general dental health, this may be grounds for compensation.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Medical Negligence Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for the negligence they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Mark has been writing professionally for over ten years for the financial sector. Having started in the financial world as a stock-broker in central London and then moving to equities trader Mark is one of our senior financial writers who has a vast knowledge of multiple financial sectors.

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