LOCAL LADY LOSES TWO TEETH AFTER DENTIST FAILS TO SPOT AND TREAT DECAY FOR YEARS
• 56-year-old Miss Caryl Crouch from Ipswich Suffolk, loses two teeth after her local dentist fails to treat decay
• X-rays clearly show decay was present for years but the dentist did not treat it
• Miss Crouch was left in so much pain she was unable to eat solid foods. She now has a gap between her teeth and has been left with a lisp
• £12,000 received in compensation
Miss Caryl Crouch, a 56-year-old business centre controller from Ipswich, Suffolk, has won £12,000 in compensation from her local dentist with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership. The dentist’s consistent failure to spot and treat decay left Miss Crouch in excruciating pain and unable to eat solid foods. She has lost two teeth, and now has a gap between her teeth that has left her with a lisp.
Miss Crouch had been a patient at her dental practice since she was sixteen. It was only when her former dentist retired in 2008 and she was left in the hands of Dr A when her problems began.
“When my old dentist retired he said I was lucky to have Dr A,” Miss Crouch recalls. “So I trusted her to do a good job and saw her for regular check-ups between 2008 and 2015. She always told me my teeth were fine so I never thought there was anything to worry about. I had a couple of fillings and some restorative work but I thought that was relatively normal.”
But in early 2015 it started to become clear that something was wrong.
“I had been suffering from pain so went to see Dr A,” Miss Crouch explained. “I was shocked to be told one of my teeth needed to be extracted and that I needed treatment on another tooth. Then at a subsequent appointment, Dr A said this tooth was so badly damaged it would need to be extracted as well.
“I’d been having regular check-ups so to suddenly be told two of my teeth needed to be extracted was very surprising. It just didn’t make sense. I’d even told Dr A I was suffering from sensitivity at a previous appointment.”
But Miss Crouch’s problems only got worse when Dr A extracted her teeth.
“She treated me like an animal,” Miss Crouch said. “I coughed and she shouted at me, screaming ‘I told you not to spit’. She was pulling and yanking at my tooth for a long time, and didn’t seem to be taking any care. It was a horrible experience.”
To make matters worse, Miss Crouch was in even more pain after her teeth had been extracted.
“The pain was so terrible I could only eat soft foods,” Miss Crouch said. “I ended up having an emergency hospital appointment. The doctor told me I had a dry socket, dressed the area and told me to go back to my dentist. I couldn’t face seeing Dr A so I saw another dentist at the Dental Practice. He took X-rays and said part of the root had also been left after Dr A had extracted the tooth. The dentist immediately referred me to a specialist to have the root removed properly. By this point I was scared of dentists and couldn’t face having the procedure done at the first appointment. I had to go back with my Auntie because I needed moral support.”
Miss Crouch says Dr A’s treatment has had a very negative impact on her life.
“It’s been terrible,” she said. “I couldn’t eat properly for months and was dribbling uncontrollably from one side of my mouth. I now have gaps between my teeth and people say I have a lisp, so I am self-conscious when I speak. It’s so embarrassing. I need to have implants and crowns fitted, but I don’t know whether I can face it.”
Miss Crouch contacted the Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of her dental records revealed that decay had been clearly visible at her teeth in X-rays taken as far back as 2011 but Dr A had not provided restorative work in a timely fashion. This meant it was too late to save her teeth. “The way I was treated is unbelievable,” Miss Crouch explained. “I suspect part of the reason is because I am an NHS patient. I complained to the practice manager but was just fobbed off.”
Tim Armitage of the Dental Law Partnership commented: “What our client went through is completely unnecessary. If the dentist had treated the decay in the first place her dental problems could have been avoided. We hope the compensation she receives goes some way towards paying for the corrective treatment required.”
The Dental Law Partnership took on Miss Crouch’s case in June 2015. The case was successfully settled in July 2017 when the dentist paid £12,000 in an out of court settlement. The dentist did not admit liability.