Dental Negligence Claims
Whenever we go to see our dentist we are putting our trust in them and assuming that they will do all they can to keep our teeth healthy and to carry out any restorative work or treatment with care. Just like other medical professionals, dentists have a duty of care to their patients, meaning that they should be competent and give their patients quality care and treatment. You should be able to claim for medical negligence compensation if you receive substandard care or suffer an accident or injury caused by your dentist's incompetence.
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It does not matter whether you are treated by an NHS dentist or receive your treatment on a private basis, all dentists have a duty of care that they are required to stick to. Obviously, the majority of dentists are professional and give their patients an excellent standard of care but others do cause their patients needless pain and stress.
What exactly is Dental Negligence?
Dental negligence is when a dentist gives substandard care causing an injury, health problems or an error in dental work. Here are some examples of dental negligence:-
- Carelessness - If a dentist is not concentrating properly while performing dental surgery or treatment, they can injure the patient.
- An error with medication - A dentist may make a mistake with the dosage of a drug or even give a patient the wrong medication. A patient could also suffer personal injury from a dentist giving them a drug that they are allergic to when it is clear from their patient notes that they should not be given this drug.
- A missed diagnosis or delay in diagnosis - A dentist can be found to be negligent if they miss a problem or condition which they should have spotted and the patient goes on to suffer as a result. A delay in diagnosis could lead to a patient losing a tooth or teeth and having ongoing problems, such as pain.
- A dentist removing a healthy tooth or the wrong tooth.
- Instrument problems - A dentist could be found to be negligent if they use instruments that have not been properly sterilised or if a patient swallows an instrument.
This list is not exhaustive and you should be able to claim for medical negligence if you have suffered pain or an injury because your dentist was incompetent in some way.
Can I get compensation for Dental Negligence?
As in all cases of personal injury, you should consult a specialist personal injury lawyer who has knowledge and expertise in the area of medical negligence. They will be able to assess you case and let you know whether your dentist was negligent. You will need to prove that you suffered an injury or accident at the hands of your dentist and that they were negligent, in other words they failed in their duty of care and did not provide you with the care that another dentist would have.
It is imperative that you consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident so that you can start the claim process and so that your solicitor can gather the evidence needed to support your case. Your solicitor should be able to work on a no win no fee basis, also called a conditional agreement.
The amount of compensation you will be able to claim depends on all kinds of things, including the extent of your injury or the pain you have suffered, whether you have had to take time off work and have lost earnings, whether you have had to pay for extra dental treatment or other expenses, and the impact that your injury has had on your life. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on this.
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