Your teeth and your smile may be very important to you, and keeping them looking and feeling healthy is part of your everyday routine, but even if you are as careful with your dental hygiene as possible, dental negligence can have a heavy impact on your health and happiness. In fact, the extent of dental negligence can actually go deeper than the roots of your teeth, because any sort of catastrophic clinical negligence can negatively affect your health.
There are two main types of claim which mistreated dental patients may make: Misdiagnosis and/or failure to act, and Inadequate/Insufficient Dental Technique.
Misdiagnosis cases are cases where your dental practitioner fails to identify the root cause (excuse the pun) of a dental problem, or identifies the cause incorrectly. This can lead to incorrect treatment being administered, which can exacerbate the original problem or cause further oral damage. Correct diagnosis is an important part of patient care, and is something which should be expected by all patients.
Inadequate Dental Technique Cases
These cases stem from your dentist not using the correct techniques. Poor technique in dental cases can lead to serious complications.
An example of an inadequate dental technique case may involve a dentist extracting a perfectly healthy tooth or partially extracting a tooth but leaving some of the root sections.
What Issues May Be Eligible For Dental Negligence Claims?
Failed Cosmetic Procedures –
When patients elect to have cosmetic procedures, they are hoping to improve their smile; however negligence on the part of the cosmetic dentist can leave some patients with serious dental issues.
Before a patient submits to any procedure like veneers, crowns or bridges, it is essential that the dentist conducts a thorough assessment of the patients’ existing oral health. Failure to do this can result in a dentist carrying out a procedure which is almost certain to fail. For example, dental implants require the patient to have a certain bone density in the jaw. If this is not present in a patient, the implants will not fuse with the jaw, and the procedure will fail, leaving the patient in a worse state than before they started.
Botched Extractions –
If you have experienced any complications relating to a tooth extraction, you may be able to make a claim. This includes the extraction of healthy teeth.
A botched extraction can lead to damage to adjacent teeth, nerve damage, or even blood poisoning. There are some cases where an extraction without complications would have been impossible, and in these cases, a claim will likely not be possible. However, if you speak to a competent dental negligence claims solicitor, they will be able to advise you on the likelihood of being able to make a claim.
Root Canal Treatment Errors –
Root canal treatments can be difficult and unpleasant for a patient at the best of times, but if your practitioner uses inadequate dental techniques then they will not be able to achieve the results which you desire. Failure to remove the whole root or to fill the canal properly after the removal can lead to persistent tooth ache or severe infections of the jaw which can be very difficult to treat.
Advanced Gum Disease –
If you have been seeing your dentist for a number of years, yet they failed to identify or properly treat the early stages of gum disease, you may be able to make a claim.
Advanced gum disease can lead to tooth loss and/or serious oral infections. Many of the restorative treatments are costly and can also be very painful for the patient. Contacting a solicitor who is skilled in dental negligence claims is the best way to win advance gum disease claims.
If you need to know for certain that you indeed have a valid claim for dental negligence, then you should contact a specialist personal injury solicitor who will advise you of the best route moving forward. If you are however in anyway concerned about contacting a solicitor straight away then seeking advice form your local CAB office may be your first step.