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Dental Negligence Claims

Have you suffered from dental malpractice in the UK? If you think you have, you could be entitled to compensation and may be eligible to make a claim against your dentist.

Before pursuing a claim, it’s important to find out exactly what dental malpractice is so that you can check whether your situation is applicable.

We’ve created this handy guide to give you all the information you’ll need to start the process. If you find that you need a little more advice, our expert team are ready and waiting to help.

Experienced dental malpractice in England or Wales and want to check if you’d be eligible for a claim? Contact the Dental Law Partnership today. 

What Is Dental Malpractice?

Dental malpractice refers to an instance in which injury (whether physical or psychological) is caused by the actions of a dentist failing to take the proper care. If a dentist performs negligently, poorly, or inappropriately and avoidable harm is caused to the patient, malpractice is considered to have occurred.

Malpractice is often used interchangeably with the term negligence in the UK.

Malpractice isn’t just linked to physical harm either – it also applies if you suffer financially or sustain psychological suffering after poor dental treatment. If you think you’ve suffered from malpractice, you could have a good chance of making a successful claim against your dentist.

If you’re unsure about whether your treatment would be counted as malpractice, contact the Dental Law Partnership today and we’ll advise you accordingly.

See if you have a case for dental negligence:

The Different Types of Dental Malpractice Injury

As previously stated, dental malpractice refers to an intentional lack of care that has led to injury. The dental professional may not have intended to harm you, but if an intentional lack of care was present, the issue is likely to be classed as malpractice rather than negligence.

It can be difficult to prove that malpractice has occurred at times, but you may still be able to make a claim.

There are several different types of dental injury that can occur from malpractice that you may be able to claim for:

It doesn’t matter how big or small your injury is – if you believe malpractice has occurred, it’s worth getting some legal advice from a reputable dental negligence solicitor like The Dental Law Partnership

To find out more about our services, fill in our online contact form and request a callback.

Personal injury

This is the most common dental malpractice claim, particularly if it’s classed as an avoidable injury. Personal injury will usually occur from poor dental treatment and can even lead to subsequent injuries in the future, causing more distress along the way. Some examples include pulling the wrong tooth out or nerve damage, although this isn’t an exhaustive list.

Serious injury

Sometimes patients can be left with life-changing injuries as a result of dental malpractice – for example, if they’ve failed to diagnose oral cancer or if a serious nerve injury has occurred as a direct result of treatment.

Informed consent

As a medical professional, your dentist has a duty of care – part of this includes informed consent. This means they have a responsibility to inform you of all the risks and side effects involved with your treatment. If something happens to you and you weren’t adequately informed by your dentist before starting work on your teeth, you may be able to claim compensation.

Why Should You Make a Dental Malpractice Claim?

The decision to make a dental claim can be difficult, as you’ll need to get evidence that malpractice has occurred – you may even have to attend court yourself (although this is unlikely).

Whilst we understand that the process of making a dental compensation claim may seem troubling at first, if you choose to work with The Dental Law Partnership, we’ll work with you from start to finish throughout your case.

Making a claim will allow you to get the justice you deserve, also potentially helping other people to avoid similar harm occurring to them in the future. Another reason to consider going through the claims process is that you may be able to get compensation for your treatment.

Compensation won’t be granted from making a complaint to your dentist – a legal claim is the only way to secure recompense.

When you make a complaint against your dentist, you may be able to get poor dental treatment fixed for free under restorative measures, as long as the complaint is made within one year of the original treatment occurring.

In some cases, you may also be able to get a refund for the original treatment by taking your complaint to NHS England or the Health Board as an NHS patient. The alternative for a private patient would be to complain to the Dental Complaints Service.

However, you won’t be able to claim compensation from making a complaint, which is where we come in. If after assessment of your claim we believe that you have a valid claim, then you may be eligible for financial compensation. This is one of the major reasons to consider pursuing legal advice after dental malpractice has occurred.

Compensation amounts may differ depending on the case and the injury involved – to find out more, fill in our online contact form and a member of our legal team will be in touch.

Should You Make a Complaint to Your Dentist?

A dental malpractice claim will be filed if avoidable harm or injury has been caused to the patient – dental professionals can be held liable if this has happened. However, there needs to be sufficient evidence available to show that malpractice has occurred – you’ll need to be able to prove that your dentist was negligent.

In the unfortunate event of dental malpractice, it’s recommended that you make a complaint first, either to the dentist involved or the dental practice. You can make a complaint to the dentist directly whether your treatment was carried out under the NHS or by a private dentist.

If you don’t get a satisfactory response, there are also several organisations you can make a complaint to. This process is slightly different, depending on whether the dental treatment was carried out by an NHS dentist or a private dentist.


For an NHS complaint, you can contact NHS England or the commissioner of the service. For a private complaint, you can contact the Dental Complaints Service (DCS) or the General Dental Council (GDC). The Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) may also be able to help, no matter who your treatment was carried out by.

If you’re not happy with the complaints procedure, legal action can be considered – you don’t need to make a complaint first to seek out legal action against your dentist. At Dental Law, we have over 20 years of experience in the legal sector, and will be able to help you through the entire process of making a claim against your dentist.

We’ll work through your claim with you until the case has been fully resolved – if you’d like to start the claims process, contact us today!

What You Need to Claim for Dental Malpractice in the UK

If you’re interested in making a claim for dental malpractice, there are several things you’ll need to provide during the legal process. The main three areas you’ll need to provide evidence for are:

Breach of care

This is proof that your dentist has committed a breach of duty by acting in a negligent way. Their work will be compared with the work of other dentists with average skill, aiming to determine if your dentist’s work fell below the normal standard of care.


You also need to show evidence that your dentist’s breach of care had a direct impact on you or caused you harm. If your dentist’s poor standard of care did not directly impact the injury you’ve sustained, you won’t be able to claim against them for malpractice.


Damages refers to any money you may have paid out in order to try and fix the harm caused by your dentist who failed to provide an adequate duty of care. If you are successful, you may be able to claim damages against the dentist and recoup this money.

Evidence of malpractice will be required – usually proof that the dental care you received fell below acceptable or reasonable standards. These situations often aren’t black and white, so it might be worth collecting evidence about the correct procedures from another dental professional.

You’ll also need proof that the malpractice you endured caused an injury or a worse outcome to occur. This can be either a physical or psychological issue (as your mental health can also be affected by medical negligence). You need to be able to show that, if malpractice had not occurred, then the resulting injuries also wouldn’t have happened.

One way in which to do this would be to collect your patient records – dental surgeries are required by law to keep your dental records for a minimum of two years. Your records can be requested directly from your dental practice itself. 

It’s also a good idea to make a note of the dates of the surgery and any further appointments you’ve had to make as a result of poor care, as well as any other financial costs you’ve had to pay out.

What Happens During a Dental Malpractice Claim?

When you first contact us, we’ll assess whether your potential claim is valid by taking personal information and discussing the details surrounding your treatment.

Our skilled team is made up of solicitors and dentists, making them experts in the business and suitably placed to guide you through the claims process. We’ll also go over the evidence you have to support the claim, providing helpful advice at every step.

We aim to reach a negotiated settlement and we will endeavour to resolve your claim at an early stage, without having to proceed to court proceedings. However, every claim is different, so the length and measures involved may differ depending on the specific circumstances involved.

Our claims are paid for on a no win, no fee basis – if your claim is not successful, you won’t have to pay anything towards your legal fees.

If you’d like to find out a little more about our malpractice claims process, contact us today on 0808 258 6339.

dental negligence solicitors

When Can You Make a Dental Malpractice Claim?

You can make a malpractice claim three years from the date the negligence occurred, or when you became aware of the negligence. However, if you think you might have a valid claim, it’s worth getting in touch with us as soon as possible – as the evidence gathering process can take some time.

The main exception to the three-year time limit is if the dental patient was under the age of eighteen when the malpractice happened. In these situations, the three-year rule is applied once the patient turns eighteen.

People with mental health illnesses are also exempt for a period of time, with the three-year time limit starting from the recovery of their illness.

Dental complaints are a little different, as they have to be registered within a year of the issue happening.

What Sort of Compensation Can You Expect from a Dental Malpractice Claim?

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

Every situation is different, and there’s no set amount for how much you would normally receive for a dental malpractice claim in the UK.

It’s also important to note that, if you decide to take legal action and your claim is accepted, this isn’t a guarantee that your claim will be successful or that you’ll receive the compensation amount you would like. However, we’ll do the very best we can to secure the result you need.

Why Should You Use Dental Law for Your Malpractice Claim?

If you’re considering consulting with a dental solicitor but aren’t sure where to start, the Dental Law Partnership should be your first choice. Our team consists of a selection of world-class dentists and solicitors from across the UK, giving you the full benefit of our collective experience.

The dual scope of our expertise makes our service unique – we’ve helped many people to successfully bring claims against their dentists since our inception in 2000. There’s no need to just take our word for it either, as our client stories and testimonials speak for themselves, showing exactly how good our service is.

Dental malpractice is a serious issue and still needs clamping down on to help prevent future patients from going through traumatic injuries and psychological harm.

If you think you may have been affected by dental malpractice in the UK and you’d like to do something about it, there’s no time to waste.

Call a member of our team today on 0808 301 8732 or reach out using our online form – we’ll be in touch to discuss your claim!

No Win No Fee Dental Negligence Compensation Claims

Causes of Dental Negligence claims

Below is a selection of types of dentistry and advice on potential negligence claims.

Example of dental negligence:

Jaw fracture dental negligence claims

Whilst experiencing a jaw fracture because of dental negligence is rare, these things do sometimes happen, and you might have been let down by a denti...

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Compensation for Wrong Tooth Extraction

Although, in most cases, a tooth extraction is a fairly risk-free procedure that is performed without any issues, there can be some cases in which the...

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Infections after dental work

If you have visited the dentist recently and think that you may be suffering from an infection that has occurred after you were treated, you should re...

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Pain after dental work

Depending on the specific dental procedure you have undergone, there is often likely to be some pain, soreness or sensitivity in the affected area for...

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Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth, which are often referred to as third molars, are the last set of teeth that come through (erupt) – usually during the late teens or tw...

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Restorative Dentistry

A lot of restorative dental claims can be attributed to a dentist not diagnosing or treating tooth decay in the first place, or providing the incorr...

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Oral Cancer

At your regular dental check-ups, your dentist has a responsibility to screen for any potentially serious conditions in the mouth, including cancer. U...

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Gum Disease

If it is caught in its early stages, gum disease can usually be treated effectively. However, if your dentist fails to spot the signs, it can lead to ...

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Cavity Fillings

Fillings are a restorative dental treatment, used when a tooth has been damaged or has decayed. They are called cavity fillings because the procedure ...

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Dental fillings are used as a restorative measure in teeth that have been affected by decay or damage. It is a common procedure and most fillings are ...

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Tooth Extractions

Although the majority of tooth extractions are completed without any complications, there may be occasions where problems arise. During an extraction,...

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Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, sometimes also known as dental caries, is one of the most common conditions to affect both adults and children in the UK and can cause to...

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Cosmetic Dentistry Claims

Lots of dental treatment types fall under cosmetic dentistry. Some treatments are much more invasive than others and have varying degrees of longevit...

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Tooth Nerve damage

There are a number of dental procedures that can, if the dentist doesn’t take adequate care or is not competent enough to carry out the treatment, r...

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    If your enquiry is about a claim, we are only able to process claims for dental negligence that occurred in England or Wales

    Contact details *

    If you feel you have suffered from dental negligence in England or Wales, start your claim today.

    Start Your Claim

    or call us free on: 0800 0853 823

    Can you sue an NHS dentist?

    If you believe you have been subject to dental malpractice, first try to resolve your complaint directly with a dentist or dental practice. ‌Your complaint should be directed to the practice manager at the dental surgery. There are several ways to complain, including writing, emailing, and‌ ‌speaking‌ ‌to‌ ‌someone.

    You can also contact NHS England, which is responsible for NHS dental services, if you prefer not to go directly to the practice.

    In the event that you have been injured by a dentist, it is important to understand that you won’t be suing the NHS as an organisation. You will be bringing a claim against the individual dentist involved. Practising dentists all have to hold their own insurance policies by law to cover them in cases like this.

    Do I have a claim for dental negligence?

    You may have a claim for dental negligence if your dentist failed in their duty of care towards you and you were injured as a result. Not every failed dental treatment means that your dentist was negligent. Speak to a solicitor to find out if you are eligible to make a claim.

    To pursue a dental negligence claim that has the best chance of success, there must be evidence that shows the negligence and also evidence of how you have been hurt or have suffered as a result of what happened. Your solicitor will be able to tell you whether you have a strong claim and assess the potential amount of compensation you could receive if your claim is successful. Find out more about the different types of dental injury claim.

    How do I make a dental negligence claim?

    In order to make a dental negligence claim, you first need to have the claim assessed by solicitors, to make sure that you are eligible to do so and that you stand a good chance of success, based on the circumstances and the available evidence.

    Our expert team of dental negligence claim solicitors can find out about what happened to you, properly assess your claim and give you specialist advice on the next steps to help you seek some justice for the negligence you have suffered.

    What are the time limits for making a dental negligence claim?

    A 3-year limitation period applies to the majority of dental negligence claims. This means that you must start your claim within three years from the date of the alleged negligent act, or from the date on which you found out that the negligence occurred. For example, if you were treated by the same dentist for decades and upon their retirement, a new dentist diagnosed advanced gum disease, the limitation period would run from the date you were made aware negligent treatment had occurred.

    However, there are some exceptions to this basic rule.

    Children – The 3 year time limit does not apply to children under the age of 18- however it will run from their 18th birthday and expire when they turn 21.

    Adults without mental capacity- the time limits do not apply to adults that lack mental capacity to make their own decisions. The limitation period would only apply if and when they regained capacity to make their own decisions

    What is the dental negligence claims process?

    The dental negligence claims process starts with an assessment of your claim by a solicitor. If you decide to proceed with the claim, your solicitor will try to negotiate a settlement with the other party and the majority of claims are settled before court proceedings are needed.

    If the dental professional that you are claiming against wants to defend the claim and refuses to accept liability for what happened to you, court proceedings may be started. Even up to the day of the court hearing, a last minute settlement may be offered by the other party to avoid court. If the claim does go to court, the judge will decide on the outcome and, if they find in your favour, they will decide on the compensation amount to be awarded. Find out more about the dental negligence claims process.

    Why make a dental negligence claim?

    If you’ve experienced dental negligence, it can sometimes be a difficult decision whether or not to make a claim for compensation. If successful, you’ll be awarded money that could help you move forward and also give you a sense of some justice being done.

    Other reasons to make a dental negligence claim include helping to draw attention to the negligent act or treatment, so that the same thing doesn’t happen to other patients. Many of those who make a successful dental negligence claim find that the compensation they are awarded can pay for further dental treatment needed to resolve the issues caused by the negligence, helping to ensure they are not out of pocket because of what happened to them.

    Can I make a dental negligence claim against a private dental practice?

    If your private dentist was negligent in your treatment or otherwise failed in their duty of care towards you, you can make a dental negligence claim against them.

    Making a dental negligence claim for private dental treatment is a very similar process to bringing a claim against an NHS dentist. Find out more about how you can make a complaint about your dentist if you are unhappy.

    Can I make a dental negligence claim for someone else?

    There are some instances in which you might be able to make a dental negligence claim on behalf of someone else. For example, if your child (under the age of 18) has experienced dental negligence or a loved one who doesn’t have capacity to bring a claim themselves.

    If it is your child that you wish to bring a dental negligence claim on behalf of, you can choose to do so at the time of the incident, but this may mean that they cannot later bring a claim themselves once they are above the age of 18. The three-year time limit does not apply to dental negligence experienced by a child. The time limit begins once they turn 18 years old, so they must have made a dental negligence claim by the time they turn 21 years old to be eligible.

    Speak to a specialist solicitor if you’re unsure about whether or not to make a dental negligence claim on someone else’s behalf. We have the experience to be able to offer expert advice, based on your individual circumstances. Call us today on 0808 274 3834 to find out more.

    How much compensation could I receive for dental negligence?

    The amount of compensation you could receive for dental negligence will depend on the specifics of your claim, how seriously you were injured and the impact the negligence has had on various aspects of your life. Your solicitor will be able to assess the potential value of your claim.

    As a general rule, the more severe the consequences of the negligence for you, the higher the amount that you will be awarded for a successful claim. There are many factors that can affect compensation amounts, so it’s important to seek specialist legal advice to get an accurate idea of your potential claim value.

    What are dental negligence solicitors?

    Dental negligence solicitors like those here at Dental Law are experts at helping clients navigate the legal process. They not only handle paperwork and cases but also help clients understand their rights and responsibilities, taking cases through to conclusion and making sure that you get the compensation you deserve.

    Simply put, the role of our dental negligence solicitors is to put your mind at ease and take the stress out of managing a case.

    Do I need a medical assessment to make a claim?

    In order to assess your dental negligence claim, a dental assessment may be carried out further along in your claim.. A member of our team will book this appointment for you where you’ll attend an expert who can then provide as much supporting information as possible.

    The expert’s evaluation will include an analysis of your medical records, as they will need to identify any entries relevant to the dental injury you are claiming compensation for.

    Could I claim dental negligence for misdiagnosis of oral cancer?

    There may be grounds to bring a compensation claim for the harm caused if you or a loved one have experienced significant delays in the diagnosis of mouth cancer. ‌The dental negligence solicitors at our firm can seek expert dental and medical evidence regarding your prognosis as well as compensation for any rehabilitation needs you may need.

    In the event that a dentist fails to detect mouth cancer early enough, fails to refer the patient or fails to provide the appropriate treatment, the patient may be able to bring a dental negligence claim for dental negligence.

    Are you interested in working with us?