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Dental negligence claims for oral cancer

At your regular dental check-ups, your dentist has a responsibility to screen for any potentially serious conditions in the mouth, including cancer.

Unfortunately, whilst most dentists are highly skilled, dedicated and treat their patients with a high level of care and professionalism, this is sadly not always the case. Dentists can make mistakes and fail to recognise symptoms that can help to identify oral cancer, incorrectly diagnose symptoms as being of another less serious condition or fail to undertake the necessary examinations.

A delay in the diagnosis of oral cancer can lead to further pain and suffering, less effective treatment, fewer treatment options and sadly, in the worst cases, reduced life expectancy and death. So, if you believe that your dentist has failed to take the required action to help prevent or treat oral cancer, contact the expert team of dental negligence compensation claim solicitors at The Dental Law Partnership today on 0800 0853 823 for an initial, no obligation, chat.

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What symptoms of oral cancer should my dentist check for?

When your dentist examines your mouth at a dental check-up, they should be able to identify any cavities or symptoms of gum disease, as well as being on the lookout for any worrying symptoms of oral cancer. These will include:

  • Persistent pain in the mouth
  • Pain or difficulty in swallowing
  • Changes in your voice or speech problems
  • Tissue inflammation or redness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  • Tissue that appears whiter than normal
  • Unexplained lumps
  • Ulcers that refuse to go away
  • A tooth or teeth that becomes loose for no reason
  • Difficulty moving the jaw.

Your dentist should be able to spot these symptoms, investigate, and should tell you straight away if they find something out of the ordinary. Anything out of the ordinary should not be left but either treated or referred immediately. Your dentist should see to it that all appropriate tests are carried out at their end and that you are referred to a specialist as appropriate.

As oral cancer is a serious disease and if left untreated can result in death or severe damage, it’s vital that your dentist be aware of these symptoms and advise you of your best course of action when they do find them.

Failure to diagnose or treat oral cancer

Mouth cancer only accounts for 2% of all cancer patients in the UK, but unfortunately if left undiagnosed can lead to serious illness or death. Dentists on average are more likely to diagnose mouth cancer than doctors are and should be looking for any symptoms at each routine check-up.

If your dentist has failed to alert you to the symptoms of oral cancer, ignored them or completely overlooked the signs – this can be identified as dental malpractice or dental negligence.

Unfortunately, failure or delay in diagnosing oral cancer can happen, but the experts at the Dental Law Partnership are here to help you claim compensation for your injuries that could have been avoided if your dentist had spotted the signs when they should have. Contact the expert team of dental malpractice and dental negligence compensation claim solicitors at The Dental Law Partnership today and get the compensation you deserve.

How much compensation could I get for an oral cancer misdiagnosis?

As with most dental negligence claims, the amount of compensation that you may receive if your dentist has failed to diagnose or treat oral cancer will depend on the circumstances of your specific case.

Factors taken into consideration will include:

  • The severity of your oral cancer diagnosis
  • The delay in accurately diagnosing oral cancer
  • The short and long-term implications of the failure to diagnose, including the financial implication of further treatment to rectify the issue(s) and the impact that your dentist’s negligence has had on your day-to-day life. This may include psychological and emotional trauma as well as physical suffering and pain.

At the Dental Law Partnership, our team of expert Dental Negligence solicitors are on hand to help you with your potential failure to diagnose oral cancer compensation claim at every step of the way; call us today.

How long do oral cancer dental negligence claims take?

Unfortunately, it is difficult to put an exact time-frame on an oral cancer-related dental negligence compensation claim, as it can vary quite dramatically from case to case. There is a strict legal process that must be adhered to and many cases are settled before they reach court, meaning that a claim could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on how your dentist responds to the claim and other aspects of the legal process, such as evidence gathering and gaining expert opinions. Click here for full details of the dental negligence claims process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sue my dentist for not spotting symptoms of oral cancer?

If you have been unfortunate enough to suffer from oral cancer and you believe that your dentist failed to spot the symptoms early on, you may be entitled to compensation and be able to make a dental negligence claim. Some of the main reasons people make a claim against their dentist include:

For misdiagnosis, late diagnosis or a complete failure by the dental professional to diagnose oral cancer, which results in avoidable injury, pain or suffering
For financial loss as a result of having to seek further treatment for oral cancer due to mistakes made by a dental professional
For loss of earnings if unable to work as a result of dental negligence
For physical and psychological trauma suffered as a result of dental negligence

What is the time limit to make an oral cancer claim?

Usually, if you are starting a claim against your dentist for failing to diagnose or treat oral cancer, you are required to do so within three years of the negligence occurring, or from the date that you became aware of the negligence. For patients who are under the age of 18, the three-year limit begins on their eighteenth birthday and for those suffering from a mental illness, the three year limit begins when they have recovered from the illness.

As claims can often take some time to progress and are often not straightforward, it’s recommended that those who feel they might have a claim should seek expert dental negligence advice as soon as possible after they experienced negligent care.

How much does it cost to make a failure to diagnose dental compensation claim?

At the Dental Law Partnership, our cases are usually funded by a no win, no fee agreement. This means that even if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not pay any legal costs. Call us today for an initial, no obligation chat about your claim

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