Two dentists leave local lady with gum disease and conducted botched cosmetic surgery which led to the loss of 19 teeth
Catherine Broadbent, a 60 year old cook from Wolverhampton, has successfully obtained £75,000 in compensation with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership, against two local dentists. Failure to treat longstanding gum disease and the cosmetic surgery she subsequently had caused Mrs Broadbent years of pain. She now faces the prospect of losing many of her teeth.
In April 2013, when two of Mrs Broadbent’s teeth felt loose, she booked an emergency appointment with her regular dentist, Dr Nathan Turner of Bilston Dental Care, 7 Wellington Road in Wolverhampton. But she was left shocked when he said her issues were due to longstanding gum disease.
“I couldn’t believe it because I’d had regular check-ups with Dr Turner himself for the past 28 years, and he’d never once told me I had gum disease,” Mrs Broadbent explained.
Despite having missed the problem, Dr Turner simply said that treatment would be extensive and very expensive. He recommended that Mrs Broadbent had a deep clean with his hygienist and discussed the prospect of pricey tooth implants at a later appointment. But she decided it was time for a second opinion.
In June 2013 Mrs Broadbent had a consultation with Dr Hari Hermann of Elite Dental in Cannock, Staffordshire. He recommended that by removing the loose teeth and fitting a prosthetic bridge in her top jaw that would cure the gum disease. So later that month Dr Hermann ground down Mrs Broadbent’s teeth, took impressions, and installed the bridge.
“It looked good at first, and when only a few weeks later Dr Hermann approached me and recommended the same work was undertaken on my bottom set of teeth, it sounded like a good idea, but it wasn’t long before things started to go wrong, ” Mrs Broadbent said.
She added, “During the preparation of the bridges my loose teeth had been removed and replaced, but there was clearly a problem. I felt severe soreness, and extreme pain in an upper right tooth.”
Desperate to resolve the problem, Mrs Broadbent went back to Dr Hermann on numerous occasions but was told nothing was wrong.
“It was insinuated that I was imagining the problem although I was in pain, and I started to feel very depressed and lost weight.”
After many requests from Mrs Broadbent, Dr Hermann eventually agreed to take her for an X-ray which showed she had an abscess in the gum underneath one of her upper teeth. She felt it was his responsibility to fix the problem but was kept waiting, and it was weeks before an appointment with him could be arranged.
“During this time I was distraught from the pain and had yellow pus coming from my gums,” she said. Dr Hermann eventually removed the tooth, but this only led to further problems.
“I was told it would heal but it didn’t, and I suffered from severe dry socket,” she explained.
At this stage, Mrs Broadbent began getting various second opinions from other local hospitals and dentists. A full 3D imaging X-ray soon showed Mrs Broadbent was still suffering from severe bone loss and gum disease despite Dr Hermann’s assurances his treatment would cure it.
Her teeth underneath the crowns were not visible in the X-rays because the bridges Dr Hermann had installed were made with thick porcelain and metal. The crowns were too big with no gaps in between, making it almost impossible to clean her teeth beyond the gum line.
“Over the past two years in an attempt to fix the problem, I have suffered three painful root canal treatments, visits to the hygienist, and periodontal treatment,” said Mrs Broadbent. “Birmingham Hospital is now removing all of Dr Hermann’s work, but the treatment is so complex I am likely to lose most of my teeth. My life has been three years of constant pain.”
Mrs Broadbent reported Dr Hermann to the General Dental Council and he was suspended for 12 months following a hearing in July 2015, but could soon regain his licence to practise.
Heather Owen, Associate Solicitor at the Dental Law Partnership, said: “The way our client has suffered is completely unnecessary. If the dentists had diagnosed her gum disease and undertaken to fix the problem before any cosmetic treatment was undertaken her pain and distress would have been avoided. As it is the Cosmetic treatment our client was provided with was wholly inappropriate. We hope that the compensation she receives will go some way towards her ongoing treatment.”
The Dental Law Partnership took on Mrs Broadbent’s case in May 2014 and the case was successfully settled in May 2016 when Dr Turner and Dr Hermann paid £75,000 in an out of court settlement. Neither dentist has admitted liability.
If you need to speak to a legal professional about dental negligence, get in touch with the Dental Law Partnership by calling 0808 231 8838.