• A man from the North East has lost teeth and will lose 9 more after poor treatment from his dentist.
• The man initially visited the dentist for a bridge, which failed and had to be replaced
• His dentist failed to spot and treat gum disease and delivered substandard root canal treatment.
• He swallowed a crown which was then re-attached after it passed.
• £52,000 awarded in compensation.
A man from the North East has been awarded £52,000 in compensation from his local dentist with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors the Dental Law Partnership. Mr R had a tooth extracted and is expected to lose 9 more in future after his dentist failed to spot and treat periodontal disease, performed poor root canal treatment and fitted substandard bridgework that needed to be replaced.
Mr R visited his dentist at the dental practice, between December 2009 and July 2016.
“I initially went to see my dentist because I didn’t like my teeth,” Mr R said. “This meant I didn’t smile much so I wanted to see if I could do something about it. I wanted a nice smile. I could see the practice from my front window so I asked him what he would be able to do. He showed me some impressive before and after shots, so I trusted he’d do a good job.”
His dentist began preparing Mr R’s teeth for crowns and bridgework in early 2010 and the bridgework was then fitted to Mr R’s upper jaw in July that year.
“Initially I thought the bridgework was great,” Mr R said. “It was straight and white, which was just what I was after. The bridgework did seem to take a long time to fit in place, but I thought that was normal and didn’t question it.”
Then in 2011, Mr R had to visit his dentist again because he was suffering from toothache. The dentist carried out the root canal treatment at UR7 over the course of 5 years between 2011 and 2016 but unfortunately Mr R’s toothache persisted.
His dentist indicated he’d done all he could when I saw him,” Mr R said. “But I found out later that the pain following the root canal treatment was because he’d left the tooth open for nine months afterwards! The pain was horrific because he’d never finished the treatment!”
Sadly Mr R’s problems continued. In 2013 he had three front teeth extracted earlier than should have been the case to prepare for more bridgework, this time at his lower jaw, which was fitted in November 2014. But following this, Mr R had to return for more root canal treatment because of yet more excruciating toothache.
“I was at work one day in May 2016, and one of my original front teeth just snapped in two,” Mr R recalled. “I accidentally swallowed the crown as I was eating at the time, so I went to see my dentist. He told me not to worry and to just wait until it passed. I could then bring it back in to be re-cemented if I didn’t want to be charged for another crown.
“I couldn’t afford to spend yet more money on my teeth, so I then spent several days having to inspect faeces looking for the thing. Day number six, I found it. I brought it back to my dentist who duly re-cemented it in place,” Mr R continued.
Mr R saw his dentist three more times in the coming months for yet more root canal treatment, but eventually lost confidence in his dentist altogether.
“I went to see a new dentist because the state of my teeth wasn’t improving,” Mr R said. “He couldn’t believe what he was looking at. He immediately told me there was significant bone loss throughout my jaw due to periodontal disease. The upper bridge had also fractured and would need replacing. I couldn’t believe it.”
Mr R contacted the Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of his dental records revealed that his dentist had planned poorly and consequentially fitted substandard bridgework, conducted poor root canal treatment at one of Mr R’s teeth and failed to treat gum disease. As a result of his dentists failures to treat gum disease, coupled with the poorly executed bridgework and crowns, Mr R has avoidably lost one tooth, lost others earlier than should have been the case, and will avoidably lose up to nine more in future.
“I’m traumatised by the horrible treatment I received,” Mr R said. “I suffered for years, and will continue to suffer because of all the lost teeth and corrective treatment I need. My trust was totally betrayed. It took a lot of courage to have the bridge fitted initially, but I hated my teeth so I went for it. Now my worst nightmare has come true.”
Tim Armitage of 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 his problems could have been avoided.”
The Dental Law Partnership took on Mr R’s case in 2016. The case was successfully settled in 2019 when the dentist paid £52,000 in an out of court settlement. The dentist did not admit liability.