Hampstead Man Wins £15K Payout After Dentist Fails To Spot Tooth Decay
A man from Hampstead has been awarded £15,000 in compensation in an out of court settlement after poor dental care from a professional supposedly committed to high standards left him in need of years of dental therapy.
Richard Jordan, 64, sued Dr Howard Myers, who practised at private clinic Myers H L in Golders Green, after he failed to monitor and treat Richard’s declining oral health.
Richard now suffers from gum disease and bone loss and faces dental therapy for the rest of his life.
Dr Myers was a Dental Practice Advisor for Brent and Harrow Health Authority/PCT for ten years from 2001 and from 2003 he was an Internal Professional Advisor in Dentistry for the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
Richard commented: “There he was championing high standards of care while doing the complete opposite with me.”
Richard was unable to eat properly for two years as a result of the poor care and is now facing a significant bill to correct Dr Myers’ mistakes.
Richard said: “Dr Myers treated me for over 30 years and totally failed me. My teeth have been ruined because of him and I now need to pay for expensive repeat treatment.
“I didn’t know my oral health was getting worse and I’ve now found out I’ve lost some of the bone in my mouth. Dr Myers left me in the dark.”
Problems with Richard’s teeth began in 1982 when large parts of his mouth were inflamed and he had bleeding gums, which are both early signs of periodontitis (gum disease).
Dr Myers however did not diagnose Richard with the condition.
Richard’s teeth showed further signs of gum disease in 2000 when his gums bled during a routine oral examination.
The problem had worsened by 2005 as X-rays showed Richard was now experiencing signs of visible bone loss in his teeth. Dr Myers did not treat Richard despite this, nor did he treat the decay that was clearly visible in one of his teeth.
Richard said: “I had to see Dr Myers again in 2008 for continued problems with an upper-right tooth. It had fractured for the second time so he referred me to a clinic on Harley Street for a root canal.
“After my visit to Harley Street Dr Myers fitted a crown onto the tooth which now needs to be replaced as the fit was so poor.
“Things went downhill after that. A crown that Dr Myers put on one of my lower left teeth resulted in me not being able to floss or eat properly. Food kept getting trapped in my teeth. This lasted for two years. When Dr Myers said the best option was to grind down two upper teeth to sort things out, it was then that I realised enough was enough!”
Richard went for a second opinion and was given a full diagnosis by his new dentist in August 2011. He found out he was suffering from clear signs of gum disease and several of his teeth were badly decayed. The new dentist said that he would need four appointments for immediate deep cleaning, three root canal treatments, four crowns, and various fillings.
Richard was also told that he would need dental therapy for the rest of his life.
Leading dental negligence specialists, The Dental Law Partnership (DLP), took on Richard’s case and were presented with evidence that showed he had suffered as a direct result of Dr Myers’ treatment.
DLP solicitor Heather Williams said: “The care provided by Dr Myers was far below the standards expected of him. He made a number of errors when treating Mr Jordan, who now faces a number of repeat treatments as a result.”
Richard said: “I still don’t know how Dr Myers missed what was going on. I was a loyal patient of his and he let me down terribly. It is astonishing that he was campaigning for better dentistry standards while completely failing me!
“I’m glad my case against him has now been settled so I can think about moving forward with my life.”
Dr Myers did not admit liability.
Richard did make a formal complaint to the General Dental Council (GDC) about the treatment he had received. The GDC identified 18 failings with his treatment. They were also concerned about poor record-keeping over a prolonged period.
He was summoned to appear before the Professional Conduct Committee in 2011, but did not do so.
Richard again: “He asked to be taken off the register, so did not have to answer to the GDC.”