Compensation for man who faces years of painful corrective treatment after dentist’s neglect.
• 66 year-old Geoffrey White, from Maidstone, Kent, shocked to discover he needed years of painful corrective treatment after many years of dentist’s neglect
• X-rays showed dentist failed to treat gum disease, and decay present for years leading to poor condition and weakening of teeth
• £12,500 received in compensation
Geoffrey White, a 66-year old electrical technician from Maidstone, Kent, has secured £12,500 in compensation from his local dentist with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership, after there was a failure to treat gum disease and decay was left untreated for many years which means Mr White is now faced with the prospect of years of painful corrective treatment.
Between 1983 and 2014 Mr White visited Romney Place Dental Practice for regular appointments. He believed his teeth were in good condition having attended check-ups year in, year out at which Dr Martin Sagar examined him and sent him away thinking he needed no additional treatment. Trusting that he was in good hands, Mr White took Dr Sagar’s professional advice and had no idea his oral health was being neglected.
Mr White said: “He seemed very friendly and trustworthy. I was registered with him for years. My whole family – myself, my wife and my kids – were all patients of his. He never really said I needed any work done and I had no reason to doubt his professional opinion… he was supposed to be the expert after all!”
In April 2015, Mr White visited a new dentist and after examination by the new dentist, he was shocked to discover his teeth were in extremely poor condition and he urgently needed a great deal of treatment. The new dentist told Mr White that he had a lot of decay and had been suffering from gum disease for some time.
“I couldn’t believe it when my new dentist told me I needed a lot of work doing. I had only been to visit Dr Sagar about four weeks before and he’d said everything was fine,” Mr White explained. “But now I was told I would need some of my fillings replaced, root canal treatment and some teeth removed.
“The new dentist was really shocked when I told him I’d been visiting Dr Sagar regularly and had done so recently. He told me the decay should not have got to that level and if it had been dealt with in a timely manner I wouldn’t need such extensive work.”
For the next eight months, Mr White had to go back and forth to his new dentist every few weeks to have painful and traumatic corrective treatment on his teeth.
“My teeth were in such bad condition I had to keep going back to have more work done,” Mr White continued. “I’m still having to go back regularly now. It’s really horrible – they have to drill out the roots in my teeth and my jaw aches afterwards.”
The extent of the treatment he has needed has put considerable strain on Mr White and he has been advised he will need to keep going back for more treatment for the foreseeable future. Mr White feels very let down by Dr Sagar and is angry he put himself and his family in his care.
“It’s disrupting my life and causing me a great deal of stress,” he said. “I’m going to have to keep going back as well because my teeth are in such bad condition from dental disease which went untreated for so long. I am so annoyed. He has let me and my whole family down. If he had just dealt with the problems properly I wouldn’t have had to go through all this. My teeth wouldn’t have rotted away.”
Tim Armitage of the Dental Law Partnership, said: “That our client has had to go through this is completely unnecessary. If the dentist had undertaken the correct course of treatment in the first place the pain and upheaval to Mr White’s life could have been avoided. We hope the compensation he receives will go some way towards his ongoing treatment.”
The Dental Law Partnership took on Mr White’s case in January 2016. In August 2016 Dr Sagar paid £12,500 in an out of court settlement. The dentist did not admit liability.