By Cat Wayne. Last Updated 25th October 2023. When we go to the dentist we expect to receive a safe standard of care. However, things don’t always go to plan and you could get hurt. This guide offers a comprehensive look at dental negligence claims.
Our guide will look at the compensation you may be owed and the different damages you could be compensated for. Although you may have already used a personal injury claims calculator to work it out, we’ve included another option that could provide an estimate of your claim value.
Additionally, we’ll explore how you could make a medical negligence claim. In this article, we will establish the evidence that would be needed to prove a medical professional provided substandard care and what proof could be used to prove that your injury was a result of medical negligence.
However, if you have any questions after you’ve finished reading, you can contact our team of advisors. They can provide free legal advice to help you understand the options you may have.
Furthermore, if they feel you have a valid claim, they can put you in touch with a solicitor from our panel who could represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.
For more information, contact us on the details below:
- Telephone 0800 652 3087
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- When Could I Make A Dental Negligence Claim?
- Oral Cancer Care Negligence
- Time Limit For Dental Negligence Claims
- Calculate What Dental Negligence Claims Are Worth
- Negligent Dentist Compensation – Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Related Guides
All dental professionals owe their patients a duty of care, which means that the treatment they provide must meet a minimum standard. The General Dental Council (DNC) outlines some of the standards and guidance that registered dentists are expected to meet and follow.
In order to claim compensation for dental negligence, you must be able to demonstrate that:
- You were owed a duty of care
- This duty was breached
- As a result, you suffered avoidable or unnecessary harm
In some cases, harm is unavoidable. For example, if your tooth is infected, it may need to be removed. In this case, you are unlikely to be able to claim. However, if your dentist pulled out the wrong tooth, you could make a claim.
To find out if you are eligible to claim, contact our team of advisors today. They can offer further information on the dental negligence claims process. Alternatively, read on to learn more about dental negligence payouts in the UK.
Negligent Peridontal And Gum Disease Care
Periodontitis is an infection in the gums. It is usually a complication of untreated gum disease. The symptoms may be unpleasant such as swollen, sore, and infected gums. Additionally, if it’s left untreated, it could lead to the loss of teeth.
The assessment of gum disease might involve a thorough examination and sending you for an X-ray in some cases.
If a dentist fails to recognise some of the early signs and provide you with advice and treatment to prevent further complications then they may have acted negligently.
Dental Nerve Injuries
Nerves in the teeth are found in the pulp which holds nerves and blood vessels in the centre of the tooth.
Nerve damage could result in pain and discomfort when eating and drinking.
Any of these nerves could be damaged if a dentist was negligent when performing the following procedures:
- Injecting anaesthetic
- Tooth removal or replacement
Negligent Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry could include treatments to improve the look of someone’s teeth that they choose to have. However, in some cases, cosmetic dentistry is necessary to a person’s overall gum health.
For instance, having a crown put in to protect a damaged tooth or a root canal to treat an infection at the centre of a tooth.
No matter whether you choose to have dental work done or it’s a necessary part of your treatment plan, you are owed a duty of care. However, this duty of care could be breached. For example:
- A crown being put in wrong or fitted poorly
- Performing unnecessary procedures that caused more damage to the teeth
Negligence In Restorative Dentistry
You may be looking to make a dental negligence claim for a restorative procedure that went wrong as a result of your dentist’s failings.
For instance, you may have lost or damaged a tooth. If so, you may have been offered restorative dentistry care.
If so, your dentist could have been negligent by:
- Filling the wrong tooth causing more damage
- Damaging the nerves of a healthy tooth
- Causing a jaw fracture when having dental surgery
According to the NHS, oral cancer involves a tumour growing anywhere in the mouth. For instance, it could grow on the tongue, inside the cheeks, on the roof of the mouth, the lips, or the gums.
Symptoms may vary but they might include ulcers, lumps, loose teeth, changes in speech, or white or red patches. If you notice any of these symptoms you should seek advice from your dentist.
Failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing oral cancer can lead to it being left untreated which may mean symptoms worsen. Although dentists have a duty of care to prevent you from coming into further harm, there may be occasions where they breach their duty of care.
- Failing to conduct a thorough examination or not listening to the symptoms of your condition therefore not providing a diagnosis
- Not sending you for further tests when showing signs of a serious illness
- Negligently misdiagnosing you with another condition causing cancer to progress without treatment
If you’ve experienced something similar, contact our team for more information. They can advise you on the next steps you may need to take to make a dental negligence claim.
We understand that you may not be claiming for an injury you suffered recently and it may have been a while ago. However, it’s important to note that when making a claim, there are time limits in place.
The general time limit is three years. This is either from:
- The date of the negligence
- The date you obtained knowledge that the negligence either caused or contributed to your injury
However, there are some exceptions to this. For instance, if someone is under 18, the three-year time limit is frozen until they turn 18. During this time, a parent, guardian, or solicitor may claim on behalf of them by acting as a litigation friend.
Alternatively, they will have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to start a claim for themselves.
Additionally, if the person injured lacks the mental capacity to claim and won’t regain the mental capacity, the three-year time limit is frozen indefinitely. While it’s frozen, someone could act as a litigation friend for them.
However, if they do regain their mental capacity, the three years starts from the date of recovery.
Please find more information in the table below. Also, if you have any questions regarding the time limits, you can contact our team on the number above for more information.
|General Time Limit
|Three years from the date you were in the accident or the date you obtained knowledge that someone else's negligence caused or contributed to your injuries
|Under the age of 18
|3 years from the date of your 18th birthday
|3 years is frozen until you turn 18 and someone could claim as a litigation friend on your behalf
|Lack the mental capacity and regain the mental capacity
|3 years from the date of recovery
|3 years is frozen until you gain mental capacity, someone could claim as a litigation friend during this time
|Lack the mental capacity and don't regain it
|3 years is frozen indefinitely and someone can act as a litigation friend to claim on your behalf
When making a dental negligence claim, you may be awarded compensation for the injuries you suffered under general damages. They cover the physical and emotional suffering caused by your injuries including the effect they may have had on your quality of life.
Though you can use a dental negligence compensation calculator for an estimate of your claim, this might not always be entirely accurate, as some do not take special damages into account.
The table below, however, can show you what you could potentially receive in general damages in a successful dental negligence claim in England and Wales.
The compensation ranges are taken from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), last updated in April 2022.
The JCG features compensation ranges based on awards given in previous personal injury court claims. Please be aware that the below figures do not represent the final settlement you could be awarded.
|Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
|£59,860 to £100,670
|All elements of your life are detrimentally affected.
|Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
|£23,150 to £59,860
|Your ability to work is likely to be affected as are your personal relationships.
|Fractures of jaw (I)
|£30,490 to £45,540
|Serious fractures will require extensive treatment.
|Fractures of jaw (II)
|£17,960 to £30,490
|Less serious symptoms than the bracket above, however there will still be severe pain.
|Fractures of jaw (III)
|£6,460 to £8,730
|You will have suffered a simple fracture.
|Damage to teeth
|Up to £38,130
|Teeth may deteriorate and you might suffer chronic pain.
|Damage to teeth (I)
|£8,730 to £11,410
|Several front teeth are affected by your injuries.
|Damage to teeth (II)
|£4,350 to £7,630
|You may have lost two front teeth or had damage to them.
|Damage to teeth (III)
|£2,200 to £3,950
|One front tooth will have been damaged or lost.
|Damage to teeth (IV)
|£1,090 to £1,710
|Your back teeth are damaged or lost.
Special Damages For Dental Negligence Compensation Claims
In addition to general damages, your claim for negligent dental compensation may also consist of special damages. Special damages are awarded to reimburse you for any expenses incurred due to being harmed by the negligent dentist. To recover your expenses, you should provide evidence, such as receipts.
Examples of expenses you could recover as part of a dental negligence claim include:
- Your loss of earnings for time spent off work to recover or for treatment. This can also include your pension contributions.
- Any cosmetic procedures you may require to repair the damage.
- Travel costs, such as taxi fares to attend your appointments.
- Prescription costs.
If you would like a free valuation of your potential dentist negligence compensation claim, including special damages, please contact one of the advisors from our team.
If you are eligible for negligent dentist compensation, you may find it beneficial to have a solicitor supporting your claim. One of the solicitors from our panel could help you. They have years of experience handling various dental negligence cases in the UK. Additionally, they may offer their services under a type of No Win No Fee arrangement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
When working with a No Win No Fee solicitor, they won’t charge any upfront or ongoing fees. If your solicitor is successful with your claim, they will take a success fee from your compensation award. The percentage they can take as a success fee is capped by the law. However, should your claim not be successful, your solicitor won’t ask you to pay for their services.
To find out more about dental negligence payouts, get in touch with our advisors. In addition to providing free advice, they could connect you with one of the solicitors from our panel.
To speak to an advisor:
If you require more information on making a medical negligence claim, our guide could help.
- For further information on dental negligence, see our guide.
- Did your dental injury happen while you were under the NHS’s care? If so, our guide on hospital negligence claims could help.
- For more information on the General Dental Council, see their website.
- Visit the NHS resolution website for more information on how they handle medical negligence claims.
- For more information on making a complaint about an NHS service, see the government website.
We hope you found our guide on dental negligence claims useful. Thank you for reading.