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Types of Dental Injury Claim

You may be eligible for a compensation claim if you’ve suffered a dental injury, especially if your dentist has made a mistake when treating you, made an issue worse instead of fixing it, or caused further problems due to dental negligence.

Like all medical professionals, dentists have a duty of care to their patients – if you feel that you have been let down by a dental practitioner or have suffered from trauma in any way, then you may be able to pursue a dental negligence claim to get the justice that you deserve.

If you’ve had dental treatment recently and have suffered financially, physically or psychologically as a result, you could be due compensation. Dental issues tend to be more of an issue with permanent teeth, but negligence to deciduous teeth can still cause issues further down the line, and may cause psychological trauma in children. Contact Dental Law today and we can see if you have a case for a dental negligence claim.

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Common Types of Dental Negligence Injury

We’ve listed several of the more common types of dental injury below, however, if your dental trauma isn’t specifically noted here, we may still be able to help. Contact the Dental Law Partnership to see if we can help you with your claim.

Jaw Fractures & Broken Jaws

Jaw fractures/broken jaws are quite a rare form of dental injury, but they can be very traumatic. They’re often caused during tooth extraction, when too much force is used whilst extracting the tooth, leading to the jaw becoming fractured. Other procedures that can cause jaw fractures include dental implants, which can lead to nerve damage and facial trauma. However, any treatment can result in damage to your jaw if too much force is used.

Jaw fractures are a particularly painful injury and can result in a lot of other problems, such as damage to the periodontal ligament, being unable to eat, drink or talk properly (or at all) and facial trauma, as well as permanent disfigurement if the fracture is not rectified.

If you have any of the following symptoms after receiving dental treatment, then you might want to consider getting treatment as soon as possible:

  • Jaw pain
  • Malocclusion – feeling like your teeth don’t fit together like they normally do
  • Issues speaking or eating – you may not be able to open your jaw all the way
  • Teeth problems – your teeth may hurt, feel loose or fall out
  • Bleeding – particularly inside the mouth itself
  • Nerve damage – your chin, lips or overall mouth area may feel numb if the nerve has been damaged
  • Bruising & cuts – usually caused by the movement of the broken jawbone

If you do have a fractured or broken jaw, then you will need to go to the hospital to get the issue fixed. Serious injuries like fractured jaws may also cause a psychological fear of returning to the dentist, as well as physical damage. If you’ve received a broken or fractured jaw as a result of dental treatment, you might be eligible to make a compensation claim for dental negligence. For more information, head to our jaw fracture dental negligence claims page.

Pain After Dental Work

It’s quite common to feel pain after dental work and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a dental injury, as having any surgery can be painful after the anaesthetic has worn off. The area that has been worked on and the adjacent teeth will often be sore and sensitive after dental work has been completed, however if the pain doesn’t improve or seems to get worse, then this may be a sign of a larger problem.

It’s fairly normal for your gums to feel painful for a little while after dental surgery, as this is just the process of your gums repairing themselves, and you can sometimes also feel pain in your ears, tongue or cheeks – again, this can be normal, but if it doesn’t go away, you need to address the issue as soon as possible.

More serious pain may be felt in the neck or trigeminal nerve – for the latter, you’ll usually feel some numbness too. If you believe your pain has been caused by dental treatment and it won’t go away, our expert team will be able to advise you about whether you can claim it. For more information, head to our pain after dental work page.

Tooth Extractions

Tooth extractions are a common procedure to undergo and tend to be risk-free, however some complications can arise. Tooth fracture may occur, and depending on whether it’s a complicated fracture or not, this can lead to even more issues with your tooth and the other permanent teeth surrounding it.

If extraction is not completed correctly, your teeth could break and cause tooth roots to be left in the gum. Some of the common complications that can occur include alveolar fractures, enamel fractures, enamel-dentine fractures, root fractures and uncomplicated crown fractures.

Other issues that can arise from tooth extraction include damaged nerves and wrong tooth extraction – more information about the latter can be found on our compensation for wrong tooth extraction page.

If you’ve undergone an uncomplicated crown fracture, enamel-dentine fracture or any other kind of fracture during dental work and your dentist has not resolved the issue correctly, you may have a claim on your hands. For more information on tooth extractions, head to our tooth extractions page.

Wisdom Teeth Claims

Not everybody gets wisdom teeth, but those that do have them will know just how painful they can be! Wisdom tooth extraction is the most common treatment option for troublesome wisdom teeth, as the way they grow can affect your permanent teeth if they grow into them. Impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to broken teeth, tooth fragments splintering off and tooth malformation in rare cases.

Wisdom tooth extraction can be quite complicated, depending on the level of impaction, how close to the nerve the tooth roots are and how many wisdom teeth are being extracted, so complications are more likely to arise during this type of surgery. Dry socket is something that can happen after any tooth has been extracted, and it’s generally up to the patient to follow steps to avoid this from happening, unless their dentist has neglected to give them the appropriate dental care or aftercare advice.

Damage may also be caused to the surrounding teeth or the nerve, which can cause numbness and other dental complications. If you’ve had your wisdom teeth extracted recently and think you could be eligible to make a claim as a result, contact us today! For more information, head to our wisdom teeth page!

Dental Infections

Infections are one of the more common dental injuries sustained after work has been completed, which can have serious dental complications if not addressed quickly. If mistakes are made during treatment or the work is not carried out properly, a painful dental infection can occur, often leading to further issues.

You’ll usually need antibiotics to stop the spread of the infection. In some situations, infections can lead to root canal treatment being needed and even pulp necrosis, so it’s particularly important to treat infections quickly.

Several different types of infection can occur, including gum infections and dental surgery infections.

An infection can occur after dental surgery. Dental surgeries such as root canal procedures/endodontic treatments can naturally cause some pain afterwards. However, if the pain continues or an abscess appears, you may have an infection.

If bacteria get into your tooth, pulpal necrosis can happen, leading to the tooth dying. If mistakes were made during the surgery or the wrong equipment was used, then this may be something you could pursue a claim for.

Common symptoms of dental infections and abscesses include:

  • Throbbing pain – usually in a persistent manner
  • Swelling – either in your cheek, gums or face
  • Pus – this is a big sign of an infection or abscess
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing – you may also get pain when eating
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures

If you think you might have received an infection as a result of poor dental care, then you may have cause for a claim with us. For more information, head to our infections after dental work page.

Restorative Dentistry Claims

Restorative dentistry is a term used to describe dental care that restores damaged and decayed teeth, covering a range of different treatments. Some of the treatments restorative dentistry covers include root canal procedures (endodontic treatment), bridges, crowns and fillings.

As it’s such a broad category, restorative dentistry issues can lead to common complications such as infections. Many of our restorative dentistry claims come from the wrong treatment being provided or badly performed treatment, as well as the issue being incorrectly diagnosed in the first place.

If you’ve had restorative dentistry treatment recently and feel like something isn’t quite right, Dental Law are on hand to help! For more information, head to our restorative dentistry page!

Wrong Tooth Extraction Injuries

Having a tooth extracted can be stressful enough when the right tooth is extracted, so having the wrong tooth extracted is obviously a very distressing situation.

Tooth extraction is largely considered to be a risk-free procedure if done correctly, but whilst it’s still quite a rare situation, the wrong teeth are occasionally extracted. Not only do you need to get the original tooth extracted, but you may also need to deal with the repercussions caused by extracting the wrong tooth.

If the wrong tooth is extracted, the fault will usually lie with the dentist who performed the surgery, and they should make you aware of the issue straight away. If they don’t, you may notice the pain from the tooth that needed extracting is still there, or you might notice a tooth missing that wasn’t supposed to be extracted. For more information, head to our compensation for wrong tooth extraction page.

Gum Disease

Gum disease (otherwise known as periodontal disease) is quite a common issue and is not considered to be a dental emergency in the first stages. Gum disease is caused by plaque, which releases toxins that affect the entire structure of the tooth (the gums, periodontal ligament and the bone). Once it progresses, gum disease can have some rather nasty effects, including gum infections, wobbly teeth (usually leading to the loss of teeth), mouth pain, receding gums and damage to the jaw and gums, which could be permanent.

Because of the potential dental complications of gum disease, your dentist should diagnose and treat you promptly – if they don’t, you could have a serious case of dental negligence on your hands, especially if your gum disease leads to the common problems associated with the disease.

If you have dental complications from gum disease and think it could have been spotted sooner, contact us to see if we can claim for you! For more information, head to our gum disease page!

Oral Cancer

As a healthcare provider, your dentist has a responsibility to screen for cancer and other serious conditions when you go for a check-up. If your dentist has missed the signs of oral cancer, you may be able to claim compensation for this, particularly if it’s something that could have been treated at the time and you now have a poor prognosis.

Oral cancer can occur within any region of the mouth, and your dentist will be able to diagnose the symptoms, so if you have any of the following symptoms we recommend going to see your dentist:

  • Mouth pain and difficulty eating, swallowing and moving your jaw
  • Speech problems and changes to your voice
  • Unexplained bleeding and numbness
  • Loose teeth, unexplained lumps and recurring ulcers

Oral cancer can be very serious if not diagnosed quickly and treated in time, so your dentist should refer you immediately if they discover any of these symptoms. If you have oral cancer and believe your dentist should have picked up on it sooner, you could have a good chance of making a claim. For more information, head to our oral cancer page!

oral cancer

Cosmetic Dentistry Claims

As well as medical treatments, people often choose to undergo cosmetic dentistry work to change the appearance of their permanent teeth, such as veneers, bridges and teeth whitening. Examples of issues that can be caused when having cosmetic dentistry treatment include badly fitted crowns, bridges and veneers, as well as unnecessary orthodontic work. Braces and teeth straightening procedures are fairly common for people who want to make their permanent teeth straighter in the future, particularly for children when their deciduous teeth have fallen out. Sometimes braces and teeth straightening surgery are recommended when they aren’t needed, and wearing braces and retainers unnecessarily can cause more damage to your teeth.

There are lots of different procedures that are classified within the cosmetic dentistry category, so for more detailed information, our cosmetic dentistry claims page is the best place to visit.

Nerve Damage

Several procedures can lead to nerve damage, which may cause a lot of physical and psychological dental trauma, as well as being very painful. The trigeminal nerve is the main nerve that can be affected, causing numbness and issues with eating, swallowing and drinking, amongst other things. Nerve damage can be caused by various dental procedures, including tooth extraction and implant treatment, so if you’ve had either of these procedures and have the symptoms of nerve damage, you need to get your teeth looked at as soon as possible.

If you’ve suffered tooth nerve damage, there is a high possibility that you might be able to file a claim – for more information, go to our tooth nerve damage page.

General Aftercare & Other Concerns

Aftercare is another aspect of dentistry that is less thought of, but no less important when thinking about the health of your teeth. Your dentist should be able to make a diagnosis based on the condition of your teeth during your post-treatment appointment or appointments. Check-ups are specifically designed as a diagnostic procedure, to see if you need treatment and for your dentist to advise accordingly on the next steps, if there are any. If you’ve already had a procedure carried out, your dentist should be advising you on whether there are any further treatments needed, as well as any cleaning tips to prevent infection and future issues from occurring.

If you don’t feel like your dentist has provided the right aftercare, particularly if this has led to other issues with your teeth or your general well-being, then you may be able to claim compensation. If you’re unsure about whether your incident is relevant, request a callback with Dental Law and we’ll be able to advise accordingly.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay (dental caries) is one of the most common problems to occur within both deciduous teeth and permanent teeth, with treatment carried out regularly. Fillings are commonly used and tooth decay is often caused by plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth – brushing and cleaning your teeth regularly should remove plaque – if these techniques aren’t used, then plaque will eventually lead to tooth decay.

Eating and drinking substances high in sugar will elevate plaque and tooth decay, leading to the cavity descending through the enamel to the dental pulp. It then progresses to the nerves and can cause an abscess and pulp necrosis. Popular treatments include fillings, extraction and root canal treatment (endodontic treatment) – whilst these treatments are usually successful, dental injury can occur. Check out the specific pages for these treatments on our website to find out more about dental negligence claims regarding them.

If tooth decay isn’t diagnosed correctly by your dentist then you may also be eligible to claim for dental negligence – more information can be found on our tooth decay page.

White Fillings

There are several different types of fillings used when your teeth have become damaged or they have decayed – normally the procedure is completed with either silver amalgam or white fillings, which are rarer. If you’re having your treatment completed through the NHS, you’ll likely have silver amalgam fillings (unless the filling is being fitted to deciduous teeth), as white fillings are usually only available when paying for a private dentist.

The process for fitting white fillings is slightly different. The removal process and cleaning process are the same, however to make the filling white (and thus more natural looking), several layers have to be placed within the tooth, which are then hardened using a special light to create the natural white colour of your tooth. You may need to have root canal treatment if white fillings are not fitted properly, but other issues can also occur.

For more information on white fillings, head to our fillings page.


Fillings fill the area of a tooth that has become damaged or decayed, once the decayed area has been removed. This area has to be filled to protect the rest of the injured tooth and stave off infection, to stop more damage occurring in the future. For most fillings, silver amalgam (containing a mixture of metals) will be used, unless you pay privately for a white filling.

Both the removal and filling process are completed at the same appointment and the area must be cleaned out before putting the filling in, to prevent infection from occurring. As fillings are a fairly standard procedure, it’s rare that anything goes wrong. If they do, you may have a valid claim of dental negligence. For example, if fillings are not fitted properly, you may need to have root canal treatment in the future. Pulp necrosis could also occur if cavities aren’t filled.

Your tooth may feel slightly sensitive at first after a filling, but if this doesn’t go away, then it may be a sign of a problem. If the area wasn’t cleaned properly, then an infection could occur – in this situation you may be able to apply for a claim. Fillings can also fall out, which is usually because they have been fitted poorly – for more information, head to our dedicated cavity fillings page.

If You’ve Suffered a Dental Injury, Contact the Dental Law Partnership

Over the years, we’ve worked with hundreds of clients to provide them the well-deserved compensation they need. If you think you might have suffered as a result of dental negligence, or have suffered psychological or physical dental trauma, bodily injuries or financial loss as a result of dental treatment, you could be eligible for a claim. Clinical studies show that up to 25% of traumatised teeth develop pulp canal obliteration (leaving the pulp restricted and narrow), so dental injuries are a very serious matter.

We work with our clients to pursue claims relating to both permanent and deciduous dentition, and we can consider your injury no matter whether your health care provider works for the NHS or privately.

Call our Freephone on 0800 0853 823 to speak to our specialist team of solicitors for free initial advice with no obligation to proceed!

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