Local lady hides her face from schoolchildren after being left bruised from dental treatment
Phillipa Gratton, a 46 year old early years professional from Birkenhead, Merseyside has spent the last year fighting for compensation from her dentist who left the roots of a decayed tooth in her gum and fitted a bridge so poor that it resulted in Phillipa needing to wear a denture at the age of 46. Now at last, with the help of specialist solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership, Phillipa has secured £13,000 compensation.
In 2010, Phillipa visited an emergency dentist due to agonising tooth ache. Phillipa said, “I was told by the emergency dentist that he ‘couldn’t get into the canals of my tooth’ and was advised to make an appointment with my regular dentist as soon as possible – nothing is as agonising as toothache so it was a priority for me to get it sorted.”
Phillipa then visited her local dentist Dr Jean Williams of Dental World, New Chester Road on the Wirral and was given a course of antibiotics.
Phillipa commented, “Dr Williams told me that if the pain didn’t stop I would have to have my tooth out, no other options, just straight to extraction.”
What Dr Williams failed to tell Phillipa was that not only could her pain be treated but also that her tooth was completely saveable with a further root canal procedure.
“I returned twice more in the space of two weeks, Dr Williams made no attempt to alleviate my pain and just gave me two more courses of antibiotics.”, Phillipa said.
Things came to a head in August 2010 when after no improvement in the tooth, Dr Williams extracted it. Unfortunately although Dr Williams extracted the crown of the tooth, she didn’t take out the infected roots from Phillipa’s gum during the procedure, just left them embedded in the bone, and then failed to tell Phillipa what had happened.
“I thought everything had gone to plan – I was just relieved the tooth ache would stop, it never occurred to me that she had left bits of my tooth behind. Dr Williams then said she was going to fit a bridge for me to hide the gap in my front teeth which I was pleased about.”
Dr Williams did then provide a bridge for Phillipa, but still without removing the remaining roots first, a decision which caused Phillipa pain and suffering for the next 14 months before the infected roots – the source of Phillipa’s discomfort – were finally discovered.
“ I was told if anything untoward showed up in the x-rays Dr Williams took during the fitting she would let me know, I never heard anything back so I first thought the pain and sensitivity I was feeling would subside once my mouth had recovered. After 14 months I just couldn’t bear the pain anymore.”
Phillipa finally visited a new dentist who informed her nearly 2 years after the infected roots had been left behind, that they were what had caused her years of discomfort.
“Months and months of pain just because my dentist failed to carry out an extraction properly, and then to add insult to injury she carried out further work knowing full well it was going to cause me issues later on. My new dentist had to remove the bridge in order to get the roots out and the bridge was so badly fitted, and my teeth became so weak that I’ve now been left with a denture at 46. I’m still astounded that something which could have been fixed with a Root Canal Treatment has resulted in a denture. “
Ms Gratton said, “Naturally, my appearance played a massive part in how I felt. Emotionally, I was so low and couldn’t understand what had happened. I was dreading going to work as I work with small children and I knew that the bruising from the treatment and the pain and discomfort I was feeling was not something I could let these little ones see…”
She continued: “I am 40 odd years old, I have had to learn to talk and eat all over again when the denture is in my mouth. Plus, I know it’s going to be painful and costly to make me better.”
Christine Salter, Solicitor at the Dental Law Partnership said: “Our client has been through so much. She has avoidably lost one of her teeth, has had a poorly fitted bridge inserted and now wears a denture. In the future, because of the lack of care by Dr Williams, Phillipa will need implant replacement therapy to provide a permanent solution to the gap left in her teeth. We hope that by helping her get compensation she can now get the treatment she needs to recover her dental health.. ”
Phillipa concluded: ”I am so glad I chose Dental Law Partnership to help me, everything was so quick and professional. I had heard about them on the radio and online so I knew they were the right people to go to for specialist advice and expertise. I can’t thank them enough”
The Dental Law Partnership took Phillipa’s case on in May 2015 and the case was resolved in 11 months at the end of April 2016, where the dentist settled out of court paying £13,000 compensation plus costs. Dr Williams did not admit liability.
If you have been caused unnecessary pain due to dental treatment and need to talk to a solicitor, call the Dental Law Partnership today on 0808 231 8838.