DISFIGURED 22 YEAR OLD MAN LEFT WITH FACIAL SCARRING DUE TO DENTIST IN WEDNESBURY
A 22-year-old West Midlands man from Wednesbury has received £13K in damages after his dentist failed to diagnose a discharging lesion on the side of his face which has left him with permanent scarring.
Sam Smith, 22, a Trainee Accountant of Wednesbury, West Midlands visited his dentist, Dr Mavi, of Crankhall Lane Dental Practice in 2008 as he was complaining of aching and sensitivity in his lower left 6 tooth. Mr Smith described the pain he felt when he drank or ate anything hot or cold to his dentist, who placed a large filling in the tooth, and he was given antibiotics. Nothing else was discussed such as root canal treatment and as he was only 14, an extraction was considered out of the question.
In 2009, Mr Smith returned to Dr Mavi with swelling in the same tooth and gum and at this point Dr Mavi offered to remove the tooth, but Mr Smith was not happy with having a tooth removed at the age of 15, so he was once again prescribed antibiotics. Dr Mavi did not tell Mr Smith that unless he was given further dental treatment, the infection would not go away, in actual fact, the only way to get rid of this infection would have been to either have root canal treatment or extract the tooth. Mr Smith was given the impression that the anti-biotics would cure the infection, not just relieve the pain.
A year later in 2010, Mr Smith went to is his local GP complaining of an infection on the left side of his face and the doctor at this point diagnosed a lesion which was weeping with discharge and pus, he was prescribed anti-biotics.
Mr Smith then went to a new dentist with the same problem where X-rays were taken and showed a large area of decay at the root of the lower left 6 tooth, he also returned to his doctor as the lesion on his face due to the infection in the tooth was still not healing, so he was referred to a skin clinic.
In 2011, Mr Smith went to see yet another dentist and showed him his very visible external swollen lump on the lower left side of his face. He was referred to a specialist Maxillo-facial clinic regarding the facial swelling and scarring where they told Mr Smith this was a direct result of severe dental infection that would need to be resolved before they could treat the facial lesion.
Sam then returned to the dentist to have his tooth removed. Dr Mavi’s incorrect advice and treatment meant that the infection had burrowed deep inside his left cheek and that Sam had been “fobbed off with antibiotics” and told to leave the lump alone.
Mr Smith said: “I was in agony, I had so much pain, and my face was swelling up. I was a teenager and at a very sensitive age, I felt like everyone was looking at me and this hideous lump on my face. I didn’t want to go out or attend school or anything and I had no confidence.
He continued: “I never thought that a dentist would be responsible for something so awful. You put trust in a medical professional and you think you are doing the right thing, not at any point did I assume that the dentist was ignoring a real problem and making my life a misery”
Jennie Hales of Dental Law Partnership said: “Not only did Sam lose his Lower left molar tooth, he also had 8 courses of anti-biotics and has been left with permanent facial scarring. For a young man of 22, he has also had an avoidable extraction of his tooth. This should not happen to anyone, especially at the hands of a trusted professional”.
Mr Smith said: “When I spoke to Dental Law Partnership, they made me realise that my dentist had been at fault and I had a case, it made me feel much better knowing people were there to listen, understand and take away the pressure and resolve my case”.
An out of court settlement of £13K against Dr Mavi was agreed and he did not admit liability.