If you are experiencing problems with your teeth, gum or jaws, or if you have suffered any wider health consequences, because of the negligence of your dentist, then you may be eligible to make a dental negligence claim. These claims can be against both general dentists and cosmetic dentists, as both types of dentist have the same duty of care to their patients. What kinds of dentistry negligence claims are made?
Cosmetic dentists do not always have the best interests of their patients at heart, and they may be more inclined to recommend products or treatments which will help to maximise their profits. These treatments may involve irreversible processes, which leave the patient in a worse position than when they began. Misselling products to patients is not only unethical, but it also undermines their duty of care to you as a medical patient. If you believe that you were mis-sold a treatment that you did not need, then you may be able to make a claim against the dentist.
One of the first steps towards getting the medical treatment that you need is to be correctly diagnosed. Failure to diagnose a problem can mean that you do not get access to the treatment that you need, at the time that you need it. For many patients, that will mean a worsening of symptoms and can mean that the initial problem is much harder to treat. If your dentist misdiagnoses your problem, this may mean that they start to administer the wrong treatment. This can lead to healthy teeth being removed, or the patient being put at risk in another way. Inaccurate dental treatment can also exacerbate the original problem.
If you have experienced negative health consequences because you have been misdiagnosed by your dentist, then you may be eligible to make a dental negligence claim.
Careless or inadequate treatment
Most dental procedures require accuracy and precision from the dentist, and if your dentist does not work carefully, then you may be put at risk. Careless dental work can include extracting a healthy tooth instead of the one that needed to be removed, or cutting the lips or gums during procedures.
Some patients have even been able to make claims because they have been left with facial scarring, after careless dentists dropped tools onto them whilst they were having work done. Inadequate treatment also covers dentists who are using procedures which are non-standard and go against their dental training.
It is important that each surgery has a member of staff who is trained to administer any anaesthetic properly, because there could be fatal consequences if it is not used properly. The amount of anaesthetic which must be administered to a patient can depend on a range of different factors, including their height, weight and medical history. Using too little can mean that the patient is still able to feel pain during the procedure, but using too much can mean that the patient never wakes up.
Failure to meet minimum hygiene standards
Both private and public dental centres must meet minimum hygiene standards in order to keep patients safe. Poor hygiene standards can lead to patients contracting serious infections, which may have medical consequences that affect the whole body. Infections which are picked up in dental surgeries can cause blood poisoning, organ failure and even death in the worst case scenarios. Other consequences can include loss of teeth, facial scarring and vomiting. As well as getting compensation, cases like this help to improve hygiene standards, so that other patients will not suffer from the same fate as you did.
If any of these incidents have happened to you at either a private or a public dentist, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Talk to a dental negligence specialist about any of these issues, or any other types of negligence that you may have experienced at a dentist, and they will be able to help to decide whether you have a valid claim.