Although the majority of tooth extractions are completed without any complications, there may be occasions where problems arise. During an extraction, the tooth can fracture, in which case the dentist should not go any further with surgery unless an x-ray has been carried out on the remaining roots. If the dentist carries on but does not have the skill or experience required to complete the procedure successfully, this could become a case for dental negligence.
Nerves can also become damaged during a tooth extraction, which may be due to an unsatisfactory level of care and be evidence of dental negligence. If your dentist removes the wrong tooth, and unfortunately this does happen from time to time, you can then bring a claim for dental negligence compensation.
Before your dentist carries out this, or any other, treatment, you should be made fully aware of the dangers and risks involved. You should also be confident in the level of skill your dentist holds, as well as knowing the method they will be taking in order to repair the problem.
What is tooth extraction?
Tooth extraction is when an entire permanent tooth is removed from its socket in the jawbone. Dental extraction is usually a last resort procedure, after other treatment options have not been successful, or if the tooth is simply too damaged to be saved and will cause more problems if it remains where it is.
Why would you need a tooth extraction?
There are number of reasons why teeth may need to be removed. If you’re experiencing a certain level of tooth decay, they may require extraction in order to prevent further issues. Gum disease can lead to the loosening of teeth, so if there is too much damage to be repaired, your dentist may suggest removal. Wisdom teeth removal is also a common procedure carried out by dentists.
The tooth extraction process
A tooth should not be extracted unless you have undergone a thorough oral examination by your dentist, which in most cases will include an x-ray in order to establish the best way to complete the removal. It’s also important you ensure that your dentist is aware of your dental and medical history before the treatment commences.
It’s common for a simple extraction to take place using local anaesthetic, which will remove pain throughout the procedure allowing the tooth to be loosened and removed. Although you will be conscious during the treatment, discomfort will be reduced to a minimum as the area is numbed before the extraction attempt.
A more complex procedure is known as a surgical extraction, which may be carried out by oral surgeons and usually involves a section of the gum being cut and peeled back before bone is removed and the tooth is extracted. The flap of gum is then sewn back into place to allow healing to occur.
Tooth extraction negligence
Whilst most tooth extraction procedures go ahead successfully, without any issues, sometimes we are let down by dental professionals and mistakes do happen. If your dentist was at fault for a poor tooth extraction or you were injured during the procedure due to a mistake that your dentist made, you may be eligible for compensation.
Failed tooth extractions
A tooth extraction could be considered to have ‘failed’ for a variety of different reasons. These include:
- The full tooth and root(s) were not removed, leaving some matter behind that could cause future problems
- A nerve injury occurred during the extraction
- The tooth could not be successfully extracted during the procedure
- The wrong tooth was extracted
Whilst not all of the above circumstances and the failed tooth extraction may mean than your dentist was at fault, if you believe that they made a mistake that caused you pain, suffering or meant that further dental treatment was needed, you might be able to make a compensation claim for possible failed tooth extraction.
Get in touch with the expert team at the Dental Law Partnership to find out more.