Our client, a 42 year old woman from the South East, was awarded £12,500 in an out of court settlement after she suffered permanent nerve damage following wisdom tooth extraction.
Mrs A attended her dentist in April 2010 as she was experiencing pain around her wisdom tooth on the lower right side. Her dentist decided that extraction of the lower right wisdom tooth was the best option so referred her to the hospital to have just that tooth extracted.
In June 2010 Mrs A visited the hospital to have a consultation with a surgeon. There were no clinical notes taken at the appointment but an X ray taken on the day shows that the root of the lower left wisdom tooth was located very close to a nerve posing a very high risk of damage to the nerve on the left side if this healthy tooth was removed. Despite this, the surgeon advised Mrs A to have all four of her wisdom teeth extracted, not just the one on the right which was causing her pain.
Mrs A went back in October 2010 to have the four teeth extracted by another consultant at the hospital. While Mrs A did sign a consent form the extraction of the teeth, it did not contain any specific warning of the increased risk of damage to the nerve which ran very close to the lower left wisdom tooth.
Less than two weeks after the extraction Mrs A attended her regular dentist complaining of severe pain at the sites where her lower wisdom teeth had been. 11 months later her lower left lip was still numb due to permanent nerve damage as a result of the extraction of the healthy lower left wisdom tooth.
The hospital trust admitted liability for the blunder and the Dental Law Partnership was able to bring a successful claim for dental negligence against the trust.
Mrs A said “You naturally trust the judgement of dental surgeons, if I’d have know what would happen I wouldn’t have had the bottom left wisdom tooth extracted. At least I now have the damages to compensate me for the pain I have suffered.”