LOCAL LADY LEFT IN EXCRUCIATING PAIN AND LOSES TOOTH AFTER DENTIST FAILS TO TREAT DECAY
31-year-old Miss Gemma Asquith from Pontefract, West Yorkshire, loses tooth after local dentist fails to treat decay
Dentist also botched the placement of a filling and root canal treatment
Miss Asquith was left in excruciating pain and unable to eat on one side of her mouth
£9,500 received in compensation
Miss Gemma Asquith, a 31-year-old administration worker from Pontefract, West Yorkshire, has won £9,500 in compensation from her local dentist with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership. Miss Asquith suffered from excruciating pain after the dentist failed to spot and treat decay for many years, then botched the fitting of a filling and root canal treatment. The pain got so bad Miss Asquith couldn’t eat on one side of her mouth, and had to have the tooth extracted.
Miss Asquith had been visiting Dr Asha Ellis of Ellis Dental Practice in Pontefract, West Yorkshire for regular check-ups. She had been a patient at the practice since she was a child. She always believed she was in good hands, but problems with her dental health started to become apparent in 2014, when Miss Asquith began to experience severe shooting pains at a tooth where Dr Ellis had placed a filling.
“It was agony,” Miss Asquith recalls. “The tooth was really sensitive and it was particularly painful when I ate or drank. I saw Dr Ellis for an emergency appointment and she prescribed antibiotics.”
But the pain at Miss Asquith’s tooth persisted and she was back with Dr Ellis only a few days later. This time she was told she needed root canal treatment.
“Dr Ellis said there wasn’t enough of the tooth left to re-fit a filling, so I’d need root canal treatment,” Miss Asquith explained. “I thought it was strange she hadn’t recommended this earlier, but I trusted her and wanted the pain to stop. So I went ahead with the root canal treatment.”
But almost immediately Miss Asquith realised something wasn’t right.
“The tooth quickly became discoloured,” Miss Asquith said. “It was extremely painful, felt loose and parts of it started coming away. I couldn’t chew on that side of my mouth either.”
She went back to see Dr Ellis on numerous occasions but found her unhelpful and lacking compassion.
“She just wasn’t approachable or friendly,” Miss Asquith said. “She didn’t really offer much help. She just said I should have the root canal treatment redone or have the tooth extracted. In the end I couldn’t take the pain anymore so was referred to have the tooth extracted at another dental practice. I had lost all trust in Dr Ellis.”
Unhappy with the treatment she had received from Dr Ellis, Miss Asquith contacted the Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of her dental records revealed that decay had been clearly present at Miss Asquith’s tooth as far back as 2006, but instead of treating it the dentist had just placed a filling over it in 2009. The decay led to all the problems Miss Asquith experienced with her tooth.
By 2014, Dr Ellis recommended root canal treatment at the tooth in question. However, the root canal treatment she undertook was shown in X-rays to be poor. In addition, the filling she had originally fitted in 2009 had been inadequate all along. All this led to the excruciating pain Miss Asquith experienced and to the unnecessary loss of her tooth.
“It’s unbelievable,” Miss Asquith said. “To think this whole ordeal was because Dr Ellis never treated decay at my tooth is very upsetting. Then the filling she provided and the root canal treatment weren’t even done properly. Putting the endless pain and not being able to eat properly aside, I’ve missed work because of all the endless dental appointments. I’ve also lost a tooth for absolutely no reason. I’d still have it if Dr Ellis had done her job properly.”
Tyla Westhead of the Dental Law Partnership commented: “What our client went through was completely unnecessary. If the dentist had provided proper treatment in the first place all the problems she experienced could have been avoided. We hope the compensation she receives goes some way towards paying for any corrective treatment required.”
The Dental Law Partnership took on Miss Asquith’s case in July 2016. The case was successfully settled in May 2017 when the dentist paid £9,500 in an out of court settlement. The dentist did not admit liability.