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Case Study

MAN SUFFERS AGONY AND LOSES TOOTH AFTER BOTCHED ROOT CANAL TREATMENT

• 41-year-old Mark Boyce lost a tooth after his dentist botched root canal treatment
• He suffered days of intense agony and passed out due to the pain
• £10,000 awarded in compensation

Mr Mark Boyce, a 41-year-old online marketer from Enfield, North London, has been awarded £10,000 in compensation from his local dentist with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership.

Mr Boyce visited Dr Anthonie Viljoen at North Square Dental Practice, Edmonton, North London, in February 2015.

“I began to feel a bit of pain at one of my teeth, so I made an appointment to see my dentist,” Mr Boyce said. “He told me that I needed root canal treatment, which he started that day. A week later I returned so he could finish the procedure. I thought that would be it. I didn’t have the impression that something had gone wrong.”

But unfortunately in October 2015 Mr Boyce was experiencing toothache at the same tooth again.

“It started off as a weird itchy sensation coming from inside my tooth,” Mr Boyce recalled. “But then it became excruciatingly painful. I was a bus driver at the time and I was on my morning shift and had to pull over because of the pain. I couldn’t concentrate because the agony was so intense – I had to stop driving.

“I called my wife who had to come and pick me up to take me home. I was taking so many painkillers to try and stop the agony but the only thing that temporarily subsided the pain was freezing cold water. That night I couldn’t sleep, and when I looked in the mirror in the morning my face had swollen up like a beach ball.”

That day, Mr Boyce passed out at home from the pain coming from his tooth. After paramedics came to his home and brought him to with Oxygen, he was admitted to A&E where he was told he needed an emergency dental appointment.. Mr Boyce attended an out of hours clinic the next day where he was prescribed antibiotics t, but over the following days his pain and swelling persisted. Mr Boyce attended an Urgent Dental Service who took X-rays and prescribed antibiotics again but Mr Boyce’s excruciating pain continued. Finally, an infected area had to be drained in hospital via an incision in his gum and his tooth had to be extracted.

“Before the extraction you could fill my mouth with pus by putting pressure on the tooth,” Mr Boyce said. “It was horrible, but by this time I just wanted my tooth out. I was prepared to deal with the embarrassment of having a gap if it would stop the pain.”

Mr Boyce contacted the Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of his dental records revealed that Dr Viljoen had failed to provide root canal treatment of an adequate standard, which led to Mr Boyce’s severe agony, infection, and eventual extraction of the tooth.

“I have never experienced so much torture,” Mr Boyce said. “The pain was indescribable, but also the emotional and mental trauma. I still have recurring nightmares about dentistry and having teeth pulled out. I was off work for a few weeks because it affected me so badly. I haven’t been able to smile as freely since this happened either because it’s made me self-conscious. I’m just glad it’s all over.”

Georgina France 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 would have been avoided.”

The Dental Law Partnership took on Mr Boyce’s case in 2015. The case was successfully settled in 2019 when the dentist paid £10,000 in an out of court settlement. The dentist did not admit liability.