Dentist Pulled Wrong Tooth Out How To Claim Compensation? – Settlement Amount Payouts – What To Do?

By Megan Uley. Last updated 9th December 2022. Have you suffered harm after a dentist pulled the wrong tooth out? If you have gone to the dentist for a tooth extraction, and they removed the wrong one, you might be able to make a claim. However, you will need to prove that the dentist breached their duty of care, and as a result you suffered unnecessary harm.

Wrong tooth extraction

Wrong tooth extraction

In this guide, we will discuss what a dentist’s duty of care is and the rights you have as a dental patient. Additionally, we will discuss the potential settlement amount for when a dentist pulled the wrong tooth and the criteria that must be met to be eligible to claim compensation.


Please do not hesitate to contact our team of advisors if your treatment from the dentist has gone wrong and you would like to discuss about starting a medical negligence claim. Our friendly advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help answer any question you may have about your potential claim.

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What Is A Wrong Tooth Extraction?

There are three major ways in which a wrong tooth extraction in the UK could occur. Firstly, it could be that the wrong tooth was extracted completely. Secondly, it could be that a tooth was extracted in error, and thirdly it could be that something else went wrong during tooth extraction, damaging your oral health. If you have found yourself in the position to be asking how much compensation for wrong tooth extraction, it could mean you have been left without a healthy tooth or that your oral health has been worsened in some way because of dental negligence. If this is the case, then you could look into claiming the wrong tooth extraction compensation.

What Rights Do I Have As A Dental Patient?

In terms of what rights you have if you’re looking for compensation for wrong tooth extraction, let us take a look at what the General Dental Council has to say. According to them, before agreeing to any dental treatment, you should be asking these questions:

  • Is the treatment going to be NHS or privately funded?
  • What is the price? You have the right to see a price list if one is not displayed.
  • What does the treatment involve? You should be able to request a plan for treatment in writing.
  • Are there any other treatment options?
  • Have you told me everything I need to know for an informed decision to be made?
  • Can you provide a statement of manufacture if I am having a dental appliance made?
  • Can you answer my concerns?

If these questions have been answered to your satisfaction, you could decide whether treatment could go ahead.

You also have the right to a dentist registered with the General Dental Council and one that abides by the standards of care as a minimum.

What Reasonable Standards Of Care In Dentistry Should I Expect?

In some dentist’s surgery, the reasonable standards of care you could expect set out in their documentation, which could also include a wrong tooth extraction policy. Before you begin to ask whether you could claim compensation for wrong tooth extraction, it might be best to understand these standards of care. They include:

  • Dental professionals must be of good character and have the relevant training and qualifications.
  • Specialist dentists with the relevant training and qualifications relating to their specialism should be registered on the specialist list.
  • Dentists with experience in orthodontics, for example, may not call themselves a specialist unless their name is on the specialist list.
  • Dentists should keep skills up to date by continual training and professional development.
  • They must put patients’ needs and interests first
  • They should ensure they can communicate effectively with patients
  • They should always get the relevant consent for treatments
  • They should protect and maintain up to date and accurate patient information
  • They should have a robust procedure for complaints
  • They should collaborate where needed with other colleagues to meet the patient’s best interests
  • They should raise concerns if they feel a patient may be at risk
  • They should ensure that behaviour inspires confidence in the patient for their dental professional and the dental profession itself

What Should I Do After the Extraction Of The Wrong Tooth?

Get restorative treatment – Initially, you should get treatment to correct the procedure, if possible, along with any other damage that has been incurred because of the wrong tooth extraction. It could be wise to get a copy of the details of what has been done to correct the tooth extraction for evidence.

Note down the details – It might be a good idea to collate information about the original treatment together. This should include details of the dentist that pulled the tooth and the assistants, and anyone else who was in the room at the time. You might also wish to take note of the owner of the dental practice’s details too. This could help your medical negligence lawyer ascertain the liable party.

Note down financial costs – Besides keeping details of the treatment you’ve had to correct any issues, you should also keep the costs. Not only that, but you could keep details of other costs relating to the wrong tooth extraction too, such as lost wages, travel and medical costs. When you ask how much compensation for wrong tooth extraction, these costs could be included in your claim.

Find a medical negligence injury solicitor – If you’re thinking of making a personal injury claim, you could look for a medical negligence solicitor with experience in private or NHS negligence, depending on whether your treatment was NHS or private. Please speak to us if you need legal representation after your dentist took out the wrong tooth.

What Could Be The Effects Of Having The Wrong Tooth Extracted?

There are 3 kinds of effects that could be had on people who have had the wrong tooth extracted, whether a wisdom tooth extraction goes wrong, or a canine extraction goes wrong, or any other tooth extraction is incorrectly performed.

Physically – Obviously, there could be some pain from the tooth extraction, but you could also be missing a tooth that cannot be replaced by natural means. You might have to go through further dental surgeries for correction, and this might cause you more pain. You might also have to wait for a bridge to be fitted if this is the treatment deemed best to rectify the lost tooth. A bridge can’t be fitted until the gum has been fully healed from the extraction, so you could have to face having a gap for anything up to 6 months.

Emotionally – This brings us to the next point. Many people who face losing a tooth could see it affecting their self-esteem. This is because their smile could be very important to them, and a tooth loss could cause a loss of confidence. They may be afraid to smile, and it could cause mental health issues too.

Financially – If you were working in a customer-facing role, or your smile made a good part of your living – for example, if you were modelling, a change in your appearance could lead to having to have time away from work. This could also mean you suffer financially. When asking how much compensation for wrong tooth extraction, financial costs could be included in your claim.

Are Wrong Tooth Extractions Common?

According to the General Dental Council, there were 2399 complaints against dentists in 2007. Many of these complaints could involve dental malpractice, which could include wrong tooth extractions. Statistics have also shown that approximately 83 per cent of wrong tooth treatments relate to WTE (Wrong tooth extractions). As costs for dental treatments have risen significantly since 2007, it could be the case that people are no longer willing to put up with poor dental treatment, and many could consider making a complaint, especially if they have paid significant fees to have the treatment and that treatment was substandard.

Dental Never-Event Surgery Checklists

A never event is something that should not happen if proper procedure is followed. The NHS defines these events as entirely preventable serious incidents due to protective systems that should act as a barrier for these events occurring should these protective systems be implemented. Within the year leading up to March 2017, according to NHS England, 445 of these types of events were recorded. A staggering 42 percent of these concerning surgery on the wrong site, with 46 reports of wrong tooth or teeth being extracted.

In recent times, there has been a development of a toolkit to prevent wrong-site extraction. This has been developed by the Faculty of Dental Surgery and Dental Practice and is named LocSSIPs to avoid wrong-site extraction.

It covers first that all dental patients’ personal details are recorded and the teeth to be extracted. This should then be checked by the assisting dental nurse, who should check the patient’s details and all the treatment details, dates, and signatures on the consent forms. Sign in, Time out, Sign Out, and Debrief stage should be read aloud by the coordinator for the checklist. This is usually the assistant to the dentist. All of the team must confirm all checks have been taken care of.

The checklist then loosely follows this format:

  • Correct patient – This should be the correct identification of the patient, including name, date of birth etc. If a wrist band has been given to the patient, this should also be checked.
  • Correct procedure – Checks should be made on the record, diagnosis, treatment plan, radiographs, and consent form to ensure all are present and consistent. An oral examination should be done. The patient should confirm consent, any medical issues and allergies should be checked, including details of bleeding disorders etc., where the treatment plan should also be present and reviewed. The equipment should then be checked to be present, working correctly and confirmed as sterile. Local anaesthetic or sedation equipment must be checked, and the monitoring equipment also must be confirmed to be present and correct.
  • Time Out – This is where a verbal time out should be called by the dental assistant. Everyone must stop before treatment is affected. The team must confirm that they have the correct patient, the correct site, the correct procedures, and all documented on the consent form.
  • Sign Out – All instruments and swabs must be counted out, all specimens must be labelled correctly, the procedure should have been documented in the records correctly, then patient recovery and, if needed, discharge needs should be identified and addressed.
  • Debrief – All team members should review any issues or whether any problems needed to be addressed. They should also consider whether anything could have been done to make the procedure more efficient or safer.

Could I Claim Damages For The Extraction Of The Wrong Tooth By A Dentist?

Should you have suffered because your dentist took out the wrong tooth, you may wish to contact someone, such as a personal injury solicitor, with experience in dealing with compensation for wrong tooth extraction. There are, however, time limits in place for claiming for extraction of the wrong tooth. We will cover this a little further down this guide. Regarding how long your medical negligence claim may take, cases could take around 12-18 months to complete, although some could vary. This is why we would advise that you take action quickly once you have discovered the dental negligence you’ve faced.

In terms of what you could claim damages for, two types of damages might affect how much compensation for wrong tooth extraction you would receive:

General damages payments could be identified as those payments that aim to compensate you for physical and mental harm because of your tooth extraction.

Below we have created a table using the figures listed in the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is to help you understand how much you could claim in general damages. The JCG assigns compensation amounts to various injuries and is used by many legal professionals to value claims. However, you should only use this table as a guide.

Type of HarmNotesAmount
Damage to Teeth An untreated abscess that causes significant tooth pain for several years. The teeth condition also deteriorate. Up to £38,130
Damage to Teeth (i)Several front teeth have been seriously damaged or lost.£8,730 to £11,410
Damage to Teeth (ii)Two front teeth have been lost or seriously damaged.£4,350 to £7,630
Damage to Teeth (iii)One front tooth has been lost or seriously damaged.£2,200 to £3,950
Damage to Teeth (iv)The back teeth have been damaged or loss. How much is awarded is bases on a per tooth basis.£1,090 to £1,710
Fractures of Jaws (ii)The person will have difficulties opening their mouth and eating due to a serious fracture.£17,960 to £30,490
Fractures of Jaws (iii)A full recovery following a simple fracture in the jaw that required immobilisation.£6,460 to £8,730
Psychiatric Damage Generally - ModerateThe person will have suffered with various issues, however the prognosis is good and improvements will have been made.£5,860 to £19,070
Psychiatric Damage Generally - Less SevereHow long the person suffered with various effects, and how much daily activities were impacted will determine how much is awarded.£1,540 to £5,860

Special damages payments could be identified as covering financial costs pertaining directly to your claim, such as dental repair costs, losses of earnings, travel expenses etc.

Dental Medical Negligence Claim Time Limits

When it comes to the medical negligence personal injury claims time limit, in most cases, this is three years from the date of an incident. However, there are some exceptions. The table below might help you understand this, but if you have queries on this, please call our team for advice and further assistance.

Situation/PatientTime Limit
Adults aware of WTE immediately3 years from incident date
Children aware of WTE immediately3 years from incident date if adult claims on their behalf. 3 years from 18th birthday if not.
Adults not aware of WTE until later3 years from date of discovery (the date the WTE was discovered)
Children not aware of WTE until later3 years from date of discovery if adult claims on their behalf. 3 years from date of discovery/18th birthday if no adult has clamed. Please do call us for clarification on this.
Any other incidentCall Medical Negligence Assist

Finding A Solicitor To Handle A Wrong Tooth Extraction Settlement

You may need to consider various things when you are searching for the wrong tooth extraction compensation solicitors. The first is that you might prefer to choose a No Win No Fee service when making a tooth extraction went the wrong claim. We explain this in the section below. The next is finding someone with the relevant experience to handle a wrong tooth extraction OSCE claim. We could offer advice and support on providing such a solicitor to extract the wrong tooth by dentist claim. With years of experience and plenty of advice to offer, we could help connect you with a medical negligence lawyer to handle the claim on your behalf, whether it is NHS negligence in tooth extraction you’ve suffered or through a private dental practice.

No Win No Fee Compensation Claims For Wrong Tooth Extractions

When you’re looking for a personal injury solicitor for your wrong tooth extraction settlement, you may wonder whether you could afford to claim compensation for a wrong tooth extraction. After all, if you’ve lost wages etc. because of your wrong tooth extraction, because of time you may have had to take off work to get the issue dealt with, you might not be in a financial position to put money up to retain the services of a personal injury lawyer.

If you put your details in a personal injury claims calculator, this could give you an idea of how much you could receive as a rough estimate, but how would you know whether this would cover the costs of your legal representation if it is not an accurate figure? However, there is an option you could take that would enable you to begin a claim straight away, and you would not need any money upfront. If you chose to work with a No Win No Fee solicitor, this payment structure enables you to pay the legal fees, which will be pre-agreed as a percentage of your settlement once the claim has been settled.

This means you would not be left out of pocket once your compensation payment was made, as the solicitor would take only the pre-arranged percentage. There are other benefits to working in this manner, too – your solicitor’s fees would be impacted by how much compensation for wrong tooth extraction you would get. This means that they would likely be working for the maximum amount possible to benefit both claimant and lawyer.

To find out more about this and speak to someone who could help you claim after your dentist took out the wrong tooth, why not get in touch with Medical Negligence Assist today on 0800 652 3087. We can be reached at any time of day, any day of the week, and we could provide all the assistance you need, from answering questions about wrong tooth extraction root cause analysis to wrong tooth extraction management and what your dentist should or shouldn’t do.

Medical Resources And Reference Materials

NHS – Dental treatment gone wrong – This page from the NHS details what to do if your dental treatment goes awry.

About dental extraction – See this publication from the Royal College of Surgeons on Extraction.

GOSH- Guide to tooth extraction – Young person’s extractions are covered here.

Dental negligence claims – This guide covers negligence in dental care and claims that could be made.

British Association of Oral Surgeons – This page advises professionals in the field of oral surgery.

Medical compensation for negligence – Our guide on medical negligence could also be of interest.

NHS negligence – This guide covers claims made against the NHS.

Article by Joe Edited by Jay.

Dentist Took Out Wrong Tooth FAQs

What is dental negligence?

This is any injury to your teeth that comes about due to your dentist’s actions or lack thereof.

What happens if a dentist pulls the wrong tooth?

If this happens, the victim has every right to claim compensation due to unnecessary pain and suffering.

Can a tooth extraction go wrong?

It doesn’t happen very often, but it is a possibility, which could definitely lead to a claim.

What can you do if a dentist damages your teeth?

It is possible to ask another dentist to remedy the problem before claiming. After all, if the first dentist acts with negligence, theoretically, a second dentist could resolve the issue.

Thank you for reading our guide on claiming compensation after the dentist took out the wrong tooth.