How You Could Claim For A Missed Tooth Fracture
Did your dentist misdiagnose a fractured tooth? Were you made to suffer further harm that could have been avoided had the correct treatment been implemented? If so, you may be able to make a personal injury claim for dental negligence.
This guide provides victims of third-party negligence with free, impartial advice on how to claim compensation for harm because of a missed tooth fracture. The guide offers information on the types of tooth fractures, how a cracked tooth can be fixed, and other reasons why misdiagnosed tooth fractures happen.
When you are ready to begin your claim, please contact an adviser from our expert team on 0800 652 3087.
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Missed Tooth Fracture Compensation Claim
- What Are Misdiagnosed Dental Fractures?
- Causes Of Misdiagnosed Dental Fractures
- Causes Of Dental And Tooth Fractures
- Symptoms Of A Cracked, Broken Or Fractured Tooth
- How Tooth Fractures Are Diagnosed And Treated
- Eligibility To Claim Compensation For Dental Negligence
- Missed Tooth Fracture Claims Against A Dentist
- Missed Tooth Fracture Claims Against Hospitals
- Patient Rights Under Dental Care
- Dental Negligence Compensation Claim Time Limits
- Missed Tooth Fracture Dental Negligence Claims Calculator
- No Win No Fee Missed Tooth Fracture Dental Negligence Claims
- Start A Claim
- Supporting Resources
We place our trust in the hands of medical professionals who treat us. When this trust is broken and you suffer unnecessary pain due to the negligence of a dentist, you may be entitled to seek compensation. All medical professionals are held to a code of ethics, failure to uphold anything less than reasonable standards of care and treatment, could be seen as an clinical malpractice.
Throughout this guide, we look at how a No Win No Fee personal injury lawyer could help secure missed tooth fracture compensation for you providing you can prove negligence on the part of the dentist who treated you. We answer some of the more common questions, such as:
- “Can a fractured tooth be saved?”
- “What is a tooth fracture?”
- “How do you know if your tooth is fractured?”
- “What happens if you have a fractured tooth?”
- “What are the rights and responsibilities of a patient?”
Even if you have additional questions after reading this guide, you can call a member of our team for further advice. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a friendly adviser waiting to talk your call.
You may be wondering what a misdiagnosed tooth fracture is, and how could you receive compensation for dental negligence? A tooth fracture is a form of injury that occurs in the hard shell of a tooth and is a type of injury that can present itself in various different forms, such as a crown tooth fracture, horizontal crack in the tooth or a hairline crack in the tooth. When you visit a dentist, you should expect them to treat such injuries with care and to a high standard. Unfortunately, sometimes these standards are not met.
One example of a breach in the duty of care owed to patients is a misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis or missed fracture could happen for a number of reasons, such as when patients have sustained more than one injury. In such circumstances, it could be that an underlying fracture like a hairline or stress fracture is not as evident because it is overshadowed by more severe injuries.
Regardless of how severe a tooth fracture might be, it is vital for the patient to receive the correct treatment as soon as possible. If medical professionals neglect their responsibility to accurately diagnose an injury and you are made to suffer avoidable harm as a result, it could entitle you to make a personal injury claim for compensation against the responsible party.
There are a number of different reasons why a misdiagnosed tooth fracture could occur. For example, some extenuating factors which could lead to a missed broken tooth include:
- Misinterpretation of X-ray results
- Loss of X-ray in transit between radiographer and dentist
- Unable to identify fainter fracture lines
- Failure to refer a patient for the relevant scans to begin with
The list above is not exhaustive and there are further contributing factors which could lead to a missed broken, cracked or fractured tooth. To find out whether you have valid grounds for a compensation claim, please discuss your circumstances with an adviser from our team.
In many cases, teeth are likely to crack for a variety of reasons. For example:
- Teeth grinding
- Weakened integrity from oversized fillings
- Chewing hard foods (ice, nuts, hard sweets)
- High impact/trauma to the mouth (car accidents, sports injuries, falls)
- Abrupt temperature changes
It’s important to remember that while the examples above are some of the more common causes of a fractured tooth, there are additional causes not given in this which could lead to an injury of this nature.
There are a number of symptoms associated with a cracked tooth. The pain may come and go which may make it more difficult for a dentist to locate the problem. The severity of symptoms may range depending on what type of injury it is. Some symptoms include:
- Pain while biting, chewing or releasing bite
- Sensitivity to heat, cold or sweetness
- Swelling, especially around the gum of the affected tooth
- Come-and-go pain
In some cases, it is possible for a cracked tooth to display little or no symptoms. However, you should seek advice from a dentist as soon as possible if you do experience any one of the symptoms detailed above. The sooner you receive treatment, the better the outcome.
For a cracked, broken or chipped tooth to be diagnosed, your dentist may ask you questions about your dental history before conducting various tests. As not everyone will display typical symptoms and X-rays may not detect a cracked tooth, it is important for a dentist to conduct a thorough assessment of your injuries. Your dentist should do the following:
- Questions: Ask about your dental history. Whether you grind you tooth, eat hard foods
- Visual Examination: This will be an extensive examination of your injuries, particularly with magnifying lenses
- Physical Examination: A doctor may use a dental explorer across the tooth for any suspected cracks
- Dental Dye: The dye on the tooth will make cracks stand out more than usual
- Probe: A dentist may also probe gums to look for inflammation, vertical cracks and irritation
- X-Ray: Although X-rays cannot necessarily reveal the crack itself, they can help indicate whether a crack is present by pointing out poor pulp health
- Biting: You may be asked to bite down on the suspected cracked tooth to see how you react
There are a number of different tooth fracture types which is why it’s important to prescribe the correct treatment immediately.
- Craze Lines: Small cracks in the enamel that are very shallow and appear of no concern. These are particularly common in adults and cause no pain to the individual
- Fractured Cusp: A piece of the tooth’s chewing surface, often around the filling, which rarely damages the pulp or causes much pain
- Cracked Tooth: With regards to fractured tooth root symptoms, the crack will typically extend to the root of the tooth but does not tend to separate into two pieces. It is important to diagnose this early to save the tooth entirely, as it is no longer treatable when the crack extends below the gum line
- Split Tooth: This injury often results from long-term progression of a cracked tooth. The tooth will have two distinct segments which can be split apart. The position and extent of the crack will determine whether the dentist can save any portion of the tooth
- Vertical Root Fracture: Vertical root fracture tooth symptoms include cracks that begin at the root of the tooth, rather than the surface, and extend upwards throughout the tooth. These injuries do not often show symptoms and can be difficult to find
The chosen course of treatment would depend on the severity of the injury. For a fractured cusp molar treatment or a cracked tooth, a crown can be used to protect the crack from spreading. For other injuries, it may be necessary for a root canal, endodontic treatment, or endodontic surgery to remove the fractured portion of a tooth.
Although a tooth fracture could be misdiagnosed at any given moment, there are specific factors which must be met for your claim to be valid. First and foremost, a medical negligence solicitor must be able to prove you, the patient, was owed a duty of care by the medical practitioner in question. Secondly, there must be clear evidence that there was a breach in this duty. Finally, your legal representative must be able to show that you were made to suffer as a result.
This could be through a wrongful diagnosis, missed diagnosis or the wrong course of treatment. However, if a medical practitioner was able to rectify a wrongful diagnosis quickly without causing further harm, it is unlikely you will have valid grounds for a dental negligence claim.
To make a claim against a dentist or any medical practitioner, a personal injury solicitor must be able to prove you were made to suffer following a breach in the duty of care on the part of a dentist. With regards to NHS negligence of dentistry in particular, this could result from a number of different common errors. For example, if a patient is wrongly treated for a fractured tooth, the end results could be serious. This is particularly important with regards to gum disease treatment and tooth extraction when intensive care is needed to ensure the infections do not spread across the whole mouth.
If the wrong treatment/care is given to a patient and they are made to suffer avoidable injuries as a result, it could be seen as dental negligence.
Even when hospitals are increasingly chaotic during busy periods, all hospital staff must provide an acceptable quality of care at all times. This is especially true for Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments. However, you should note that regardless of how busy these departments may be, hospital staff must uphold reasonable standards of care at all times. Failure to do so could be seen as NHS negligence. If any standard less than acceptable care is administered, it could increase the risk of harm and injury to patients being treated.
If you were made to suffer avoidable harm and suffering following an act of negligence from a third-party that could have been avoided had the correct treatment been put in place, you could be entitled to compensation. Click here to read our detailed guide to hospital malpractice.
Under the NHS Constitution, patients have the right to a number of different things. It is the NHS’s responsibility to uphold these principles at all times and to provide high-quality care to all patients. The constitution states patients have the right to:
- Free and accessible healthcare where required
- Treatment of a professional standard
- Maintenance of patient confidentiality
- Nationally approved treatments, medicines and other such programmes
Click here to read more about the NHS Constitution for England.
In order to pursue a valid claim, you must begin proceedings within the relevant personal injury claims time limit. Generally speaking, this time limit is 3-years for personal injury claims.
However, there are certain circumstances which affect this time limit. For example, if a child is a victim of medical negligence, they will have from their 18th birthday to their 21st birthday to pursue a dental negligence claim on their own accord, if a claim has not been made on their behalf by a parent or guardian.
In addition to this, in the event that a condition is misdiagnosed or diagnosed at a later stage, the claims time limit will begin from the date of a successful diagnosis. These measures apply especially to psychological cases that may take time to develop, such as PTSD.
If you require further advice about time limits surrounding medical negligence claims, please contact an adviser from our team.
In the table below, you will find examples of injuries which may result from dental negligence. Known as General Damages, the settlement amounts associated with each bracket are taken from Judicial College Guidelines.
|Damage To Teeth||Significant||Up to £35,790||This bracket will apply to cases of chronic tooth pain which extends over a number of years. As such, an injury of this nature may result from an untreated abscess and cause significant deterioration to the teeth overall.|
|Damage To Teeth||Serious (Several Front Teeth)||£8,200 to £10,710||The individual will suffer a loss or serious damage to several front teeth to qualify for this bracket.|
|Damage To Teeth||Serious (Two Front Teeth)||£4,080 to £7,160||There will be serious damage or a complete loss of two front teeth.|
|Damage To Teeth||Serious (One Front Tooth)||£2,070 to £3,710||Only one front tooth will suffer serious damage or be lost.|
|Damage To Teeth||Loss/Damage||£1,020 to £1,600||The back teeth will suffer damage or be lost entirely. The amount in this bracket is per tooth.|
While you could use an online personal injury claims calculator, these tend to provide only general estimations of potential compensation amounts. As every claim is unique, we advise all our clients to discuss their circumstances with an adviser from our expert team for a more accurate estimate on the level of dental negligence compensation they could be awarded in a successful claim against the responsible party.
If you decide to use a personal injury solicitor from our panel of experts, they will provide their services on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. This is a financial agreement which states that in the event your personal injury claim is unsuccessful, you will not be held to pay the solicitor’s legal fees.
To cover the costs of a successful medical negligence claim, a “Success Fee” would be deducted from the final settlement amount. Furthermore, there are no hidden fees or start-up costs associated with beginning a personal injury claim, which means the financial risks of pursuing a claim are significantly reduced.
To contact a specialist from our expert advisory team, consider the communication options below. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to all our potential clients and impartial legal advice on what steps to take next.
- Call Us: The number to call is 0800 652 3087
- Claim Online: Begin your online claim by completing an enquiry form
- Live Chat: You can connect with an online claims’ adviser instantly via our online chat
- Call Back Form: For a call back from an adviser at a time that suits you, fill out a call back form at the top of this page
An NHS guide to the main treatments carried out by dentists.
Chipped, Broken Or Cracked Tooth
How your dentist will treat chipping, breaking or cracking in the tooth.
Wrong Dosage Claims
If a doctor prescribed the wrong dosage, you could make a compensation claim.
Orthopaedic Negligence Claims
Find out how to claim compensation for orthopaedic negligence.
Misdiagnosis Of A Fracture Claims
If you are suffering further injuries following a misdiagnosis or missed fracture, you could claim compensation.
Article by HH