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.
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.