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Case Study

DENTIST’S UNTREATED TOOTH DECAY LEAVES WOMAN WITH SCARRED FACE

• 49-year-old Lisa Goodchild, from Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, developed a lump on her face, facial swelling and permanent scarring after her dentist botched treatment
• She suffered four months of agony and was even worried the lump was cancerous
• £15,500 awarded in compensation

Mrs Lisa Goodchild, a 49-year-old therapist from Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, has won £15,500 in compensation from her local dentist with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership.

Her dental problems began when she was eating a meal in August 2014.

“I was eating spaghetti bolognese of all things,” Mrs Goodchild said. “I bit down and had this almighty pain coming from one of my teeth that Dr Parrott had placed fillings at before. The pain was so bad I had to make an emergency appointment in the middle of a Saturday night. I then went to see Dr Parrott, who was my regular dentist, on the Monday.”

Dr Parrott prescribed antibiotics but they didn’t make any difference. So Mrs Goodchild was back in the dentist’s chair complaining of pain just over a week later.

“But Dr Parrott didn’t offer any treatment,” Mrs Goodchild explained. “She just told me to go and see my doctor and indicated it wasn’t a dental related problem. It did seem rather odd, but then you naturally trust dentists know what they’re doing.”

Her doctor prescribed painkillers, but Mrs Goodchild had to return another three times in September 2014 after a lump on her jaw developed and started to rapidly grow in size.

“The doctor prescribed some really strong painkillers,” Mrs Goodchild recalled. “But they just didn’t stop the pain I was in. Then when the lump developed my doctor told me I needed to go to hospital for further investigation. I was then referred under the NHS two week wait Cancer Pathway, so I was really worried it could be something worse.”

While waiting to see a specialist, Mrs Goodchild had to visit A&E twice because of the agony she was going through.

“The pain was horrific,” Mrs Goodchild said. “I couldn’t sleep, eat, I could barely think. It was dominating my life. I was finally sent for MRI and CT scans, but the results didn’t show anything.”

In desperation, Mrs Goodchild continued to go back and forth between her doctor and the hospital seeking treatment for the pain and the swelling. But no one could explain her agony.

“Then in December 2014 the lump burst,” Mrs Goodchild said. “I went back to hospital because it was discharging pus. Finally, a new doctor took one look at me and said I needed root canal treatment. I couldn’t believe it after Dr Parrott had led me to believe it wasn’t a dental problem at all.”

Mrs Goodchild contacted the Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of her dental records revealed that Dr Parrott had failed to spot and treat acute symptoms of infection and failed to undertake adequate testing given Mrs Goodchild’s symptoms. This resulted in prolonged pain and suffering and the development of the lump that burst, resulting in a permanent scar on Mrs Goodchild’s face.

“To think four months of agony were so easily avoidable is unbelievable,” Mrs Goodchild said. “I even had the stress of thinking I could have had cancer. I was so relieved when I was finally told root canal treatment would stop the pain, but I’ll still have a scar left on my face for life. The whole experience was hell, from the pain to the inconvenience of being in and out of various appointments for four months.”

The Dental Law Partnership commented: “The distress and pain our client experienced was completely unnecessary. If the dentist had carried out adequate treatment in the first place, all her problems could have been avoided.”

The Dental Law Partnership took on Mrs Goodchild’s case in 2015. The case was successfully settled in 2018 when the dentist paid £15,500 in an out of court settlement. The dentist did not admit liability.