Mouth cancer only accounts for 2% of all cancer patients in the UK, but unfortunately if left undiagnosed can lead to serious illness or death. Dentists on average are more likely to diagnose mouth cancer than doctors are and should be looking for any symptoms at each routine check-up.
If your dentist has failed to alert you to the symptoms of oral cancer, ignored them or completely overlooked the signs – this can be identified as dental malpractice or dental negligence.
Unfortunately, failure or delay in diagnosing oral cancer can happen, but the experts at the Dental Law Partnership are here to help you claim compensation for your injuries that could have been avoided if your dentist had spotted the signs when they should have.
What should my dentist be looking for?
When your dentist examines your mouth at a dental check-up, as well as identifying cavities and gum disease, and providing dental treatments, your dentist should also be on the lookout for any worrying symptoms such as:
Persistent pain in the mouth
Pain or difficulty in swallowing
Changes in your voice or speech problems
Tissue inflammation or redness
Unexplained weight loss
Bleeding or numbness in the mouth
Tissue that appears whiter than normal
Ulcers that refuse to go away
A tooth or teeth that becomes loose for no reason
Difficulty moving the jaw.
Your dentist should be able to spot these symptoms, investigate, and should tell you straight away if they find something out of the ordinary. Anything out of the ordinary should not be left but either treated or referred immediately. Your dentist should see to it that all appropriate tests are carried out at their end and that you are referred to a specialist as appropriate.
As oral cancer is a serious disease and if left untreated can result in death or severe damage, it’s vital that your dentist be aware of these symptoms and advise you of your best course of action when they do find them.
Contact the Dental Law Partnership
If your dentist fails to diagnose any of these symptoms you could be facing serious illness as a result. Dental malpractice is a serious issue especially when regarding oral cancer as you may not find out you have a serious condition until it is too late to do something about it. If it is found that your dentist is at fault for allowing the cancer to go untreated or undiagnosed, you could be eligible for compensation.