£28k Payout for West Sussex Woman After Neglect by Dentist and Hygienist
A woman from Emsworth has been awarded £28,000 in compensation after poor dental care left her suffering from chronic gum disease.
Helen Jepson, 46, sued Dr Joe Perold and hygienist Lesley Allen, both from Cowplain Dental Practice in Waterlooville, after the pair failed to diagnose and treat her properly. Helen must now undergo long-term specialist treatment.
Helen said: “I went to see Dr Perold in October 2003 for a regular check-up. He told me that me that my gums were inflamed but he didn’t think there was anything to worry about.”
Helen returned to the dental practice six months later for another routine check-up and to have a scale and polish. All appeared to be well.
In February 2005, about a year later, Helen went back to the dentist and had some X-rays taken of her teeth by Dr Perold. These showed that she suffered some bone loss in a lower left molar tooth, which is a sign of gum disease. Dr Perold failed to identify this.
She explained: “Dr Perold told me everything was OK. I had a scale and polish that month and then another two during appointments in May that year and then in February 2006, where Dr Perold told me my mouth was looking good.”
Eight months passed without incident until Helen returned to the dental practice in October with concerns about signs of wear on several of her teeth.
Helen again: “I can’t explain it but my teeth looked and felt odd. Dr Perold told me that I had some plaque on my teeth which I shouldn’t be too concerned about.
“I thought they’d spotted something wrong when I had two hygienist appointments and check-ups in quick succession in 2007, but nothing came of it,” Helen said.
Helen was seen by a different hygienist at the practice the following March, who noticed that her gums bled during the check-up.
X-rays taken by Dr Perold in a subsequent June appointment showed that Helen had lost further bone from three of her teeth.
Neither Dr Perold nor Lesley Allen diagnosed Helen with gum disease, despite her attending the practice a further eight times between October 2008 and April 2010.
In July2010 Helen was back at the dental practice because of problems when she ate.
She said: “I bit my lip every time I chewed my food. I knew something wasn’t right and could see that my upper-right incisor wasn’t in line with my other teeth. I asked Dr Perold to refer me to an orthodontist but he told me it would right itself.
“At my appointment in June 2011 Dr Perold first raised the subject of gum disease. It was particularly shocking He X-rayed me and talked about significant bone loss in two of my teeth. He asked if I wished to continue with my hygienist or see a specialist. I knew then it was time to get a second opinion.”
Helen registered at a different practice soon after where a specialist diagnosed her with advanced chronic gum disease.
“I found out that nearly all my teeth on my upper-left and upper-right side were affected. I’d lost 70% of bone in two of them, I don’t know how they could have missed it,” Helen said.
Helen is now undergoing specialist treatment for the gum disease.
Leading dental negligence specialists, The Dental Law Partnership (DLP), took on Helen’s case and was presented with evidence that showed she had suffered as a direct result of the treatment she had received from the pair.
DLP solicitor Daniel Kinnear said: “X-rays clearly showed the poor condition of Helen’s teeth. Dr Perold and Ms Allen had the opportunity to diagnose and treat this over a number of years but failed to do so. Helen will now lose a number of teeth because of their inaction.”
Helen said: “I trusted them both and they let me down badly. I will try to move on now, but still have more treatment ahead of me because of their mistakes.”
Neither Dr Perold nor Ms Allen admitted liability.