It is a legal requirement that a dentist obtains consent from their patient before conducting any treatment. Many patients accept whatever treatment the dentist provides with very little question or understanding. Some dentists assume that patients are content to accept whatever treatment the dentist wishes to carry out as the ‘dentist knows best’, and some patients do prefer this – until the treatment goes wrong, that is.
Valid consent is obtained if a dentist ensures that:
- The patient has been provided with necessary information (knowledge) regarding the proposed treatment, the risks involved and the alternative treatments
- The consent has been obtained voluntarily
- The patient has the competence (ability to understand) the nature, purpose and consequences of the proposed treatment
What your dentist should tell you before commencing treatment
Your dentist should advise you of the following prior to embarking upon any dental treatment:
- The nature and purpose of the proposed treatment
- The risks and benefits of that treatment
- The alternative treatment options with their risks/benefits
- The costs associated with each treatment option
- The potential consequences if no treatment is provided
What is Voluntary Consent?
Consent is only valid if it has been obtained without coercion or manipulation by the dentist.
The effect of Competence on Consent
A patient is competent to make a decision if they have the capacity to understand the information, to make a judgement about the information and to communicate that decision.
Dental Consent Forms
Signing a consent form does not mean that the dentist can carry out the proposed treatment. You still have to understand the proposed treatment and the treatment options available to you.
Child Consent for Dental Treatment
The issue of at what age a particular child is competent to consent to, or refuse, treatment is complex but the solicitors at the Dental Law Partnership are specialists in the area and will be pleased to help you with advice in this area; call us today on 0808 278 8202.
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Dental negligence consent claims – more info:Why might you make a dental negligence consent claim?
Does it make a difference to consent claims if the dental treatment is NHS or private?
How much dental negligence compensation could I get for a consent claim?
- The nature and length of treatment involved that you didn’t consent to
- Any poor results or dental problems that the treatment caused, especially as a result of you not understanding the procedure fully
- Whether an alternative treatment (that wasn’t offered due to your dentist’s negligence) would have been better suited in your circumstances
At Dental Law Partnership, our team of expert Dental Negligence solicitors are on hand to help you with your potential consent claim; call us today on 0808 278 8202.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do dental negligence consent claims take?
Unfortunately, it is difficult to put a precise time-frame on a dental consent compensation claim, as it can vary quite dramatically from case to case. There is a standard 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 consent-related 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 dental consent compensation claim?
For people wanting to make a dental negligence claim of any type, the limit is three years from when the negligence occurred, or when the patient became aware of the negligence. For patients who are under the age of 18 when the negligence occurs, 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 consent 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
“All that remains is for me to thank you for your kind words, for your continued efforts, for providing complete transparency and clarity when required, and also for your patience. I wish you nothing but the best going forwards.”
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.”
A MAN FROM THE SOUTH EAST HAS LOST HIS TOOTH AND UNDERWENT UNESSECARY ROOT CANAL TREAMENT AFTER HIS DENTIST FAILED TO SPOT TOOTH DECAY. • Mr L lost his tooth after his dentist failed to spot and treat tooth decay. • He also underwent unnecessary pain and an avoidable root canal procedure. • £10,000 awarded […]
• A woman from the east of England suffered an avoidable period of pain and suffering as a result of infection and suffered an avoidable repeat root canal treatment. • Ms C lost a tooth and will lose another tooth in the future. • £8,000 awarded in compensation Between 2011 to 2013 […]
• Ms R experienced severe episode of pain and sensitivity • An infection in her tooth was left to spread which eventually led to its avoidable extraction • £5,000 awarded in compensation Ms R suffered multiple episodes of pain when her dentist failed to perform a root canal treatment properly, this meant many trips to […]
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