The North West ranks as the worst area of England and Wales for poor dental work, according to research.
Nobody likes visiting the dentist, or the thought of a long appointment in the chair but the research, revealed by specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership, shows that people from the North West of England really do have more reason to be fearful than patients from any other region.
Research analysed the number of successful legal claims against dentists across England and Wales to compile the rankings. Those in the North West of England were four times more likely to successfully claim against their dentist because of maltreatment than people in East Anglia, and at least twice as likely to claim as people in London, The South West, North East and East Midlands.
The research was based on an analysis of 1,888 successful claims the Dental Law Partnership made against dentists on behalf of patients between 2013 and 2017. Over £28 million pounds was paid out in claims over the five year period with an average settlement value of £14,800. The average age of patients winning compensation was 45 years old.
The South East of England and Yorkshire and Humberside came in a close second and third place as worst areas for dental treatment. It was better news for patients in Wales and East Anglia where patients were least likely to make successful claims against dentists for poor work.
Over the five year period approximately £7,000,000 was paid out in claims in the North West, £5,380,000 was paid out in the South East, and £3,130,000 was paid out in Yorkshire and Humberside.
Typical claims related to dentists botching root canal treatment, failing to spot and treat decay, and fitting poor fillings or crowns. See the infographic below for more details of the dodgy dentists and damaged awarded in specific geographical areas:
Examples of cases recently settled by the Dental Law Partnership include 35-year-old Michael Jones from Manchester who was awarded £11,000 in compensation after three of his local dentists failed to treat decay leaving him in excruciating pain. 76-year-old retiree Valerie Huxley from Stockport was awarded £25,000 after her dentist failed to treat clearly visible gum disease, meaning she will lose seven teeth. While Miss Corina Hay, 40, from Crewe, won £5,000 in compensation after her local dentist botched root canal treatment, causing her years of pain and resulted in her losing a tooth.
David Corless-Smith of the Dental Law Partnership commented: “It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why patients are more likely to make a claim against their dentist in certain regions. One reason could be that there are more individual dentists consistently providing poor treatment in these areas. We handle a significant number of claims in every region and would urge anybody who thinks they may have been a victim of substandard dental work to look into it further.
“Dental malpractice, or dental negligence, can be defined as avoidable injury caused by a dentist who fails to take the proper care. Any case where a dentist has performed poorly, negligently or inappropriately which results in avoidable harm being caused to a patient can lead to a dental negligence compensation claim,” he continued.