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How Much Can I Claim for Dental Negligence?

If you’re thinking about opening a dental negligence case, you might be wondering what the average settlement for dental negligence is. The level of compensation is a key factor for many people when considering starting a claim.

At the Dental Law Partnership, we’ve seen thousands of cases during our time in the industry. We were founded in August 2000 – since then, we’ve become market leaders in dental claims. Our business is made up of both dentists and solicitors – just one of the things that makes us unique.

When it comes to how much you can claim for dental negligence, there is no one definitive answer as, of course, cases vary. However, we’ve done our best to give you as much information as we can here. If you decide you’d like some legal advice or to make a claim, get in touch with our expert team today!

See if you have a case for dental negligence:

How Much Compensation Could You Expect to Receive for a Potential Claim?

If you decide to pursue a claim against your dentist for dental negligence, you may be in with a chance of being awarded compensation.

Every situation is different, meaning there’s no set amount for what the average settlement for dental negligence is.

It’s common for settlements to average between £10,000 and £12,000 – however, it’s highly dependent on the situation itself, so this isn’t a given.

You also need to be aware that if you decide to take legal action and your claim is accepted, this isn’t a guarantee that your claim will be successful. It’s also not an assurance that you’ll receive the compensation amount you would like, but we will do our very best to get the justice you deserve.

If, for any reason, your case is not successful, you will be covered by our no-win, no-fee guarantee and won’t need to pay any legal fees.

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How Does the Dental Negligence Claims Process Work?

In order to understand more about how you’ll receive compensation if your claim is won, you’ll need to know how the dental negligence claims process works. Every case is different, so there may be situations in which the steps below differ slightly, but the basic premise will stay the same.

This is what you can expect when you contact The Dental Law Partnership to make a dental negligence claim:

  1. Your first contact with us will usually take the form of a telephone interview. All your details will be taken down by a member of our Customer Service Advisor team who will assess whether your situation is pursuable.
  2. Your case will then be assessed by our expert team. In some cases, you’ll get an instant response as to whether we’re taking your case forward during the initial call; other times, we may need to run some further checks and will get back to you.
  3. Once your case has been accepted, your information will be passed across to one of our paralegals. They will collect your dental records together and any other evidence needed to establish a timeline for your case. Our team of dental legal advisers will work through the chronology of your case and assess it further. As our team is made up of ex-dentists, we have an extensive knowledge of the industry.
  4. After this assessment, your case will then be assigned to an experienced solicitor if it’s deemed to be strong enough. Your dental negligence solicitor will draft a ‘letter of claim’ – this letter will be sent to the defendant, who then has four months to respond.
  5. Once the defendant has responded to the letter of claim, your allocated dental negligence solicitor will negotiate with them to settle your claim and work out how much your dental malpractice settlement will be.
  6. If the defendant doesn’t respond or the negotiations break down, there’s a chance the case may go to court. If this happens, you may be required to attend and give testimony yourself. This is quite rare though, as most cases are settled outside of court.
  7. Once the case has been resolved, you’ll receive your settlement. At this point, we’ll also take our fees. We work on a no-win, no-fee basis, which means that you won’t pay anything at all if your claim is unsuccessful.

The length of the case and the average settlement for dental malpractice will differ depending on your individual circumstances. However, during our time in the business we’ve helped thousands of people to gain the justice they deserve – you can find out a little more by browsing through our past case studies.

If you have any more questions, get in touch with the Dental Law Partnership for expert legal advice.

How Is a Settlement Calculated?

Every dental malpractice case is different – whilst we can’t state what the average settlement for dental malpractice is, there are a few things we take into account when a claim is made. This might help to give you more of an idea of how the process works.

Some of these factors include:

You may also be able to claim for some expenses. For example, if you have to travel via train to visit an expert as part of your case, your train fare may be reimbursed.

If you’d like to speak to a member of our legal team to find out more about how our dental claims process works, call a member of our team on 0808 301 8732.

Damage Control

If your legal claim against a negligent dentist is successful, you will be awarded damages. Two types are available:


General Damages

General damages are the most common. This term refers to compensation that is awarded that can’t be tied to a set monetary cost.

In the dental world, general damages relate to dental treatments that have been incorrectly performed on the patient. There’s a wide range of problems that can be caused by poor dental treatment, which would be classed within this category.

Examples of situations under the general damages umbrella:

However, ‘general damages’ is a broad category, so this list is by no means comprehensive.


Special Damages

Special damages are slightly different, although they’re no less important. Instead of referring to the physical consequences of poor dental care (such as severe pain), special damages relate to any extra costs you might have incurred as a result of the treatment.

This includes:

Again – these are just a few examples of situations in which you could claim for special damages. If you’d like to find out whether you have a valid claim for damages, our friendly team will be happy to help!

When Will You Receive Your Compensation?

If you go through a legal case (particularly a lengthy one), you may be wondering when you’ll receive your compensation – providing that the case is settled in your favour, of course.

This will vary based on your situation – particularly, whether a settlement was reached or if you had to go to court to get justice.

However, on average, we aim to distribute compensation to you within a month of the case being settled – although this may differ. One thing you can be sure of is that we’ll do whatever we can to ensure that you receive your compensation in a timely and efficient manner.


Are There Any Extra Costs Associated with a Dental Compensation Claim?

Unless a case is taken on a pro bono basis (which is when work is carried out for free by a legal professional, usually on the basis of public interest) or undertaken by a charity, there will be legal fees to pay.

At the Dental Law Partnership, we don’t carry out pro bono work. All our work is conducted on a purely no-win, no-fee guarantee, so you will only need to pay a fee if your case is successful!

Our no-win, no-fee guarantee has been a massive benefit to our customers throughout the years. We work on a conditional fee basis.. You won’t need any additional funds to pay for your claim, opening the door to everyone who has suffered from improper treatment – regardless of background or budget.

How much will you need to pay in legal fees? This is dependent on the situation itself and the level of compensation you receive. However, before you commit to your claim, we’ll make sure you’re made aware of all the relevant details.

We aim to provide a transparent and helpful service, giving detailed advice wherever we can. All the relevant information will be included within the conditional fee agreement which you will sign before proceeding with your claim. You’ll only receive a bill for our fees after the case has been settled in your favour and your compensation has been received.

If you’d like to speak to an advisor to find out more about our fees, get in touch today on 0808 301 8732

Client Stories: Previous Settlements for Dental Malpractice

If you want to learn more about the average settlement for dental malpractice, our client stories page is the best place to start.

Whilst every situation is different, you may be able to get a ballpark figure for the amount of dental negligence compensation you could expect if your case is similar. However, even if the dental injury you’ve sustained does appear similar, there is no sure-fire guarantee that other factors wouldn’t impact your compensation settlement so these past successes should be taken as more a general guide than a precise blueprint.

We also hope that the accounts given here will give you a little more hope for your situation, inspiring you to seek the justice that you deserve.

Failure to Diagnose Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most common diseases to be diagnosed amongst adults in the UK. It can lead to bleeding and swollen gums, ulcers, wobbly teeth, pain and even your teeth falling out, so it’s important to try and address gum disease as soon as possible.

If gum disease is caught in the early stages, you can usually mitigate a lot of the damage and stop it from spreading permanently. However, if your dentist fails to notice the signs of gum disease – or they don’t notify you that you have the disease – you could have a case of dental negligence on your hands.

Your dentist has a duty of care to inform you of any issues they find during an inspection of your teeth – not informing you shows a lack of care.

Nerve Damage

Nerve injuries are another common issue that can occur as a result of poorly carried out dental procedures.

Nerve damage can be caused by a number of different procedures and may lead to the patient being unable to eat, chew or breathe properly. The face, lips, gums and tongue may go numb or feel tingly – whilst this is often temporary, in some cases, permanent nerve injury can occur. The trigeminal nerve is the most commonly affected nerve, although lingual nerve and alveolar nerve injuries are also possible.

The compensation you receive for dental nerve damage will depend on the severity of the damage and whether it’s permanent or temporary – as well as the impact it’s had on the patient’s life.

Poorly Carried Out Root Canal Treatments

A root canal treatment is a procedure carried out to treat infection in the centre of a tooth (such as tooth decay). Otherwise known as an endodontic procedure, root canal surgery can save a tooth from having to be removed – it’s generally a painless procedure.

In most cases, root canal procedures are carried out without a hitch. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most common forms of procedure performed at a dental surgery, so malpractice can occur if the standard of care drops.

Root canal surgery is often necessary if tooth decay has occurred, which is one of the most common conditions to affect both adults and children. Plaque containing bacteria forms on your teeth regularly. If plaque isn’t cleaned off adequately, it can react with sugars and acids within food to break down the enamel.

If not treated effectively, this process can lead to cavities and dental abscesses – although the latter is much more serious, affecting the pulp of the tooth. Root canal surgery is one way in which tooth decay can be treated, but if the decay has been left for too long, the tooth may need to be extracted instead.

Gum Disease Case 1

One of our clients was recently awarded £20,000 in an out-of-court settlement due to his dentist failing to diagnose and treat his gum disease condition. The client had been attending the same dental practice for several years, until he had an appointment at another dental surgery in 2009.

The new dentist found that the client had an advanced form of gum disease, with several other tooth issues also found at the same time, linked to previous treatment carried out by the previous dentist.

The original dentist denied negligence. However, when the Dental Law Partnership brought a claim against them on the customer’s behalf, £20,000 was awarded in damages – some of which went towards future treatment costs to fix the issues caused by their actions.

Nerve Damage Case 1

One of our cases relating to Nerve Damage was for a client living in Yorkshire who suffered permanent nerve damage due to dental negligence.

The patient was having a routine root canal treatment – part of the procedure involved his dentist flushing the area out with an irrigant solution containing bleach.

One of the instruments that the dentist used protruded into the gum through the root, which allowed bleach to enter his gum, causing damage to the nerve. The patient suffered from excruciating pain during the treatment, with a burning sensation and numbness occurring a few hours later.

Whilst the dentist denied liability, it was clear that the duty of care had been breached, and the patient was awarded £11,000 for his dental negligence compensation.

Root Canal Case 1

One of the most severe cases we’ve seen involved a client who had been to nearly 170 dental appointments over a period of 24 years, which is rather excessive. Our client had a bad case of tooth decay, but her dentist denied there was an issue and advised her that everything was fine.

Eventually, the client underwent root canal surgery and suffered from an immense level of pain as a result. The endodontic procedure was carried out badly and there were also a myriad of other issues from previous years – due to her dentist not taking proper care of her teeth.

Our client ultimately had to have 14 teeth removed, with more being a future possibility. As a result of her case with the Dental Law Partnership, she received £38,000 from her dental malpractice lawsuit. Whilst this payment won’t make up for the negative experience the patient had, it helped her to recover and get her the justice she deserves.

Gum Disease Case 2

If you’d like to see another example of a gum disease claim that we successfully settled for a client, look no further.

The patient attended her dentist for a period of eleven years – she had signs of gum disease from the start, but her dentist didn’t notice the issue and also failed to notify her that anything was wrong.

She eventually went to another dentist who successfully diagnosed her with gum disease, but the damage was irreparable. In the end, the client had two teeth removed and will need another sixteen extracting in the near future. Further treatment will also be required afterwards to fix gaps in her dentition.

The patient came to us and our legal team fought on her behalf to win her case. Once her claim was settled, the patient was awarded £30,000.

Nerve Damage Case 2

Another nerve damage case took place in the North West in 2009. Our client was advised by her dentist that she needed a root canal treatment to resolve pain that was occurring in her mouth.

The surgery didn’t fix the issue, and the client ended up having further treatment. Another root canal was performed on a different tooth, as well as a crown being added to the original tooth.

Nine months later, the dentist discovered that a wisdom tooth was actually causing the pain, meaning the client had suffered from several unnecessary treatments during that period. She went to hospital, where it was discovered that the dentist’s previous work had caused several issues with her teeth.

Surgery was required to fix the issue – the wisdom tooth and the original tooth that the root canal was carried out on were removed. However, the operation didn’t go to plan as the teeth were extracted poorly, which led to nerve damage.

The Dental Law Partnership secured £30,000 in compensation as there were two counts of negligence brought forward – this was due to both the dentist and the hospital acting incorrectly.

Root Canal Case 2

A similar situation occurred to a dental patient based in Staffordshire between 2012 and 2013. She attended a surgery in Burton-upon-Trent on several occasions for check-ups – no concerns were brought up on any of her visits to the practice. In 2013, she started to suffer from severe pain, and her dentist prescribed her antibiotics for an inflamed wisdom tooth.

However, the pain didn’t go away and more antibiotics were prescribed for the patient. The lady was referred to the hospital for a wisdom tooth extraction. A root canal procedure was also carried out by the dentist on a tooth on the other side of the wisdom tooth.

When she visited the hospital, the client was advised that the wisdom tooth wasn’t causing the issue – it was actually the tooth that the root canal had been performed on. The endodontic procedure had not been carried out properly and the tooth had fractured, which meant it had to be extracted by a private dentist.

Further tooth decay was also diagnosed on the patient’s other teeth and the client decided to hire a dental negligence solicitor to start a claim. The patient ultimately lost two teeth and there were fears that another tooth might be lost. Luckily, the Dental Law Partnership was able to help the client and she received £20,000 in compensation.

The Dental Law Partnership: A Background

When you start to pursue a legal claim, it’s important to ensure that the legal representation that you use is good enough to get the results you need.

At the Dental Law Partnership, our team is made up of a mixture of skilled solicitors and dentists.

This allows our team to conduct their own investigations internally, without having to rely on outside opinions from other dentists in the field. We have all the knowledge needed in-house to be able to assess whether a claim is likely to be successful or not, making the process much quicker and easier in the long run.

The Dental Law Partnership was established in 2000 – since then, we’ve grown steadily to become market leaders in our field. Over the years that we’ve been in business, we’ve represented thousands of dental patients across England and Wales, helping to bring them justice.

Our reviews are very positive, much higher than the national average for the dental law sector, showing that we’re the best at what we do. We’re very proud of our staff and the way they’ve managed to change so many lives for the better over the years.


Trust in the Lexcel Mark

In December 2002, we were awarded the Lexcel Mark by the Law Society. Lexcel is a legal practice quality mark for client care, compliance and practice management. It’s only awarded to prestigious legal firms within the UK that have undergone an independent assessment by the Law Society.

Every time that the Dental Law Partnership has been assessed by the Law Society, we’ve received full compliance across all six parts of the evaluation, which are:

As the Lexcel Mark is such a prestigious award, it shows how fantastic our service is, and how committed we are to helping our clients.

Getting justice when you’ve suffered from dental negligence is extremely important – especially if you think you may have to pay for corrective treatment in the future. If your dental compensation claim is successful, the amount received from your dental negligence payout could help to mitigate future dental costs.

If you want to learn more about our awards and accreditations, visit our dedicated page, where we talk about the accomplishments we are proud of.

The Dental Law Partnership: Making Your Voice Heard

If you’ve suffered at the hands of poor dental treatment and you think you might like to open a dental negligence lawsuit, the Dental Law Partnership is ready to help.

Since our inception in August 2000, we’ve helped thousands of people to get justice with their dental negligence claims. Our specialist team of dentists and solicitors has the knowledge needed to help you throughout the entire process, and we’ll keep you informed every step of the way.

Whilst we can’t state exactly what the average settlement for dental malpractice is, our client stories should help to give you a bit more of an idea. We work on a purely conditional basis, so you can be assured that you won’t pay anything if your case is not successful.

If you’re still unsure about whether you want to pursue a case, our testimonials show just how valuable our services can be. There’s an injury claim time limit of three years, so if you’re considering opening a potential claim, it’s important that you get in touch with us as soon as possible.

If you’d like to find out more or think you’re ready to get the process started, fill in our contact form and we’ll call you back at the earliest convenience.

See if you have a case for dental negligence:

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or call us free on: 0800 0853 823