If a dental professional fails to accurately diagnose a condition that you, their patient, suffers from, it could be considered to be dental negligence. There could be a number of reasons why your dentist has failed to diagnose you correctly, including:
- Failure to examine or check the oral health of the patient properly in order to pick up on certain signs
- Failure to pick up on, or acknowledge, vital symptoms to accurately diagnose an issue – this could be due to a lack of knowledge or malpractice.
- Incorrectly linking symptoms to a different issue, resulting in a misdiagnosis and failure to treat the patient correctly
If you have visited your dentist with an issue regarding your oral health and they have failed to examine you correctly, or if they have diagnosed your problem but failed to take some of your pain, sensitivity or other symptoms into consideration, they could be overlooking an oral health condition. If, by misdiagnosing a problem, or failing to diagnose it altogether, the condition becomes worse, causes pain and suffering or means that you need to have further treatment to rectify or mitigate the issue, you may be eligible to make a compensation claim.
Common conditions that dentists may fail to diagnose
While 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. In some cases, if your trusted dental professional has not identified the symptoms of an oral health issue, it can lead to a failure to diagnose the problem. This failure can have huge adverse effects on your health, as the condition going unchecked means it will also go untreated. Some of the most common conditions that dentists can fail to notice or diagnose correctly, include:
- Failure to diagnose gum disease
- Failure to diagnose periodontal disease (a severe form of gum disease)
- Failure to diagnose oral cancer
- Failure to diagnose serious tooth decay
- Failure to diagnose the need for root canal treatment
- Failure to diagnose the need for an extraction
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Dental negligence failure to diagnose claims – more info:Failure to diagnose oral cancer
- 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 is looking for these symptoms and does advise you of your best course of action if they do find them.
Failure to diagnose gum disease
- Bad breath that lingers
- Red, inflamed, or bleeding gums that are tender to touch
- Gum recession that extends above the upper teeth or below the lower teeth
- Sensitive teeth or teeth that are loose when touched
- Pockets between the teeth and the gums
Periodontal disease left untreated or inadequately treated can lead to loss of teeth, but your dentist should be able to spot the symptoms long before the issue becomes irreversible.
What is the difference between failure to diagnose and failure to treat?
How much dental negligence compensation could I get for a failure to diagnose claim?
- The type and severity of the condition or problem that your dentist has misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose completely
- 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. 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 compensation claim at every step of the way; call us today on 0808 278 8202.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do dental negligence: failure to diagnose claims take?
Unfortunately, it is difficult to put an exact time-frame on a failure to diagnose compensation claim, as it can vary quite dramatically from case to case. There is a 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.
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 on 0808 278 8202 for an initial, no obligation chat about your claim.
What is the time limit to make a failure to diagnose claim?
Usually, if you are putting a claim in against your dentist for failing to diagnose an oral health issue, 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.
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Mr M North West – 17/01/2020
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Mr S, East Yorkshire – 20/12/2019
I just wanted to say a big thank you to you, and your colleagues at Dental Law, for all your hard work in pursuing my claim. I was very pleased with the outcome. Every aspect of the case was handled with the upmost professionalism and clear advice throughout. The advice on liability and quantum was right on the mark. I would not hesitate in recommending Dental Law.
Mrs M, South East – 12/12/2019
“I would highly recommend the DLP to others seeking help with dental negligence, for providing excellent advice and clear communication throughout the process, and from a personal point of view making what felt like a daunting prospect at the outset straightforward to understand.”
Mr D was a regular attending patient and first saw Dr N in 2004 for a routine check-up. He would attend regularly and during numerous visits had a number of treatments including, fillings, crowns and root canal treatment at various teeth. He commented, ‘I didn’t feel like anything was out of the ordinary. If I […]
• Mrs L experienced severe episodes of pain and discomfort on and off for 8 years. • She underwent unnecessary procedures which could have been avoided and she will lose her tooth in the future. • £2000 awarded in compensation Mrs L suffered multiple episodes of pain when her dentist failed to perform a root […]
• A 31 year old man from West Yorkshire has lost a tooth after his dentist consistently failed to spot and treat decay. • Client suffered from agonising pain after root canal treatment and still suffers from discomfort when he eats. • £5,000 awarded in compensation Mr T a 31 year old man from West […]
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