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Case Study


•    51-year-old Tracy Gayle lost a tooth thanks to poor treatment from her local dentist
•    She was left in excruciating pain, finding it difficult to eat, and now needs an implant to fill the gap left in her mouth
•    £5,500 awarded in compensation

Miss Tracy Gayle, a 51-year-old homemaker from Croydon, South London, has been awarded £5,500 in compensation from her local dentist with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors the Dental Law Partnership.
Miss Gayle saw Dr Amar Patel at Croydon Dental Care between July 2011 and August 2013.

“It all started when I saw Dr Patel in July 2011,” Miss Gayle said. “He told me there was decay at one of my teeth which was crowned. He said it could be left for the time being but that when the crown was replaced the decay would need to be removed.  So in 2012 when the crown was replaced, Dr Patel performed root canal treatment as part of the process to remove the decay.” However, Dr Patel was unable to fill two of the canals more than a few millimetres.

This is when Miss Gayle’s dental problems continued.

In April 2014 Miss Gayle began to suffer from throbbing toothache at the same tooth. This time she saw a new dentist. She immediately said Miss Gayle’s tooth needed to be extracted because her root canal treatment had failed.

“I was shocked because I did not want to lose my tooth” Miss Gayle explained. “Now I was suddenly being told my tooth needed to be extracted. To make matters worse the area around my tooth had swelled up and was sore to touch, the pain was excruciating. My tooth was finally extracted in July 2014 leaving a gaping gap in my mouth.”

Miss Gayle contacted the Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of her dental records revealed that Dr Patel had indeed failed to provide adequate root canal treatment. This led to the pain and infection she experienced and her tooth’s eventual extraction. She now needs an implant to replace the tooth.

However, the claim was rigorously defended by Dr Patel who maintained that the root filling was of an adequate standard and that he had been unable to access two of the canals and that he had informed Miss Gayle of the difficulties he had encountered and accordingly provided her with her appropriate advice and treatment options.

“After my tooth was extracted I had real difficulty eating because food kept getting stuck in the gap,” Miss Gayle said. “The whole ordeal was just a nightmare and so embarrassing. Losing my tooth for no reason was devastating. I still can’t really believe it. Since the extraction I feel like my face has changed shape too. It feels like one side is bigger than the other.”

Tim Armitage of the Dental Law Partnership commented: “The distress and pain our client experienced was completely unnecessary. We argued that if the dentist had carried out adequate treatment in the first place, all her problems could have been avoided.”

The Dental Law Partnership took on Miss Gayle’s case in 2014. The case was successfully settled in 2019 when the dentist paid £5,500 in an out of court settlement. The dentist denied liability.