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Case Study


• 28-year-old Sophia Leppard lost a tooth thanks to poor treatment from her local dentist
• Excruciating toothache was also caused by the dentist’s failure to spot and treat decay
• £13,750 awarded in compensation

Miss Sophia Leppard, a 28-year-old mother from Worthing, West Sussex, has been awarded £13,750 in compensation from her local dentist with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors the Dental Law Partnership.

Miss Leppard visited Dr Merinne Koralalage Don Anuruddha Amarasinghe at Worthing Dental Centre between May 2014 and May 2015. In September 2014 a filling was replaced, but it is now known that Dr Amarasinghe failed to remove decay at the tooth before making the replacement. This increased the risk of the decay progressing and damaging the tooth further.

In May 2015, Miss Leppard was suffering from toothache in the area that the filling had been replaced, so returned to see Dr Amarasinghe, who said she needed root canal treatment. The dentist performed the treatment but it went wrong when sodium hypochlorite solution went outside the root canal, causing excruciating pain

“It was just awful,” Miss Leppard recalled. “ I’d never felt pain like it. It was worse than childbirth. I just remember screaming in the dentist’s chair.

“Dr Amarasinghe stopped the treatment and said it could be completed another day – but I decided I never wanted to see him again. My face swelled up and I was in unbearable agony. I had to take antibiotics, but they didn’t make much difference.”

The condition of the tooth subsequently deteriorated and Miss Leppard was advised to have it extracted in May 2016.

“It was very upsetting, Miss Leppard said. “I’d seen Dr Amarasinghe so many times to try and get the problems resolved and now I was told my tooth needed to be extracted. It was soul destroying – I’m far too young to be losing teeth.”

“I was petrified of going back to the dentist after my experience with Dr Amarasinghe,” Miss Leppard said. “But I had to go through all of this extra treatment as the problems seemed to be never ending. It was horrible.”

Miss Leppard contacted the Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of her dental records revealed that Dr Amarasinghe had failed to The dentist had also failed to spot and treat the decay that was clearly visible on x-rays taken in 2014which led to the need for the root canal treatment and ultimately extraction of the tooth.

“The whole ordeal was awful,” Miss Leppard said. “Putting the pain aside, when I lost my tooth, it really affected me. I smile and laugh a lot, but often felt too self-conscious to smile. Then there was the pain and inconvenience in the first year of having a child – the timing couldn’t have been any worse. And it’s all because my dentist wasn’t doing his job properly.”

The Dental Law Partnership commented: “The distress and pain our client experienced was completely unnecessary. 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 Leppard’s case in 2016. The case was successfully settled in 2019 when the dentist paid £13,750 in an out of court settlement. The dentist did not admit liability.