Our client, a 59 year old woman from the South East, was awarded £13,000 in an out of court settlement after the defendant allowed the substance used to fill tooth roots during root canal treatment, to enter her sinus causing prolonged infection.
Mrs H first attended the defendant, Dr F, in August 2003 complaining that one of her teeth which supported a bridge was painful to the touch. Dr F advised Mrs H to have root canal treatment on the tooth to clear out the infection.
The root canal treatment was performed in October 2003 and an x-ray taken after the treatment showed that the gutta percha –substance used to fill the roots– had extended 1cm beyond the root of the tooth and was protruding into her sinus.
Mrs H wasn’t aware of this and went back to Dr F in November 2003 complaining of pain in the area around the root treated tooth. Antibiotics were prescribed but they didn’t help and Mrs H returned to Dr F the following week complaining that the pain still hadn’t cleared up.
At an appointment in September 2005 Dr F had made a note in the records to watch UL6 – the tooth which had been root treated – however, no rationale or diagnosis was recorded. 11 months later Mrs H visited Dr F complaining that the area around the tooth was swollen.
In January 2009 Mrs H attended the practice for an examination and was seen by a different dentist who took an x ray and noticed that there was a cloudy area around the sinus. Mrs H was immediately referred to a specialist who confirmed that a “pin” was protruding into her sinus causing a constant drip on the left side of her nose and a very unpleasant smell characteristic of a recurrent sinus infection.
An attempt was made by another dentist to remove the substance which was protruding into her sinus causing the infection and to repeat the root canal treatment, however this wasn’t successful and the tooth had to be removed in October 2011.
Dr F denied liability for the blunder but Mrs H is glad that she was able to bring a claim against Dr F for the sinus infections which she had suffered between 2003 and 2011, and to begin corrective treatment to replace the extracted tooth.