WOMAN LOSES FOUR TEETH AFTER POOR DENTAL TREATMENT
• 31-year-old Mrs Sheri Ward from Middlewich, Cheshire, has lost three teeth and will lose a further tooth after local dentists failed to provide satisfactory treatment
• She suffered years of pain and attended countless appointments due to poor bridge and implant fittings
• £38,000 received in compensation
Sheri Ward, a 31-year-old bank worker from Middlewich, Cheshire, has won £38,000 in compensation from her dentists with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership. Dr Dunn’s failure to identify decay and perform adequate root canal, bridge and implant treatment has caused Mrs Ward excruciating pain and the loss of four teeth in total; and Dr Hewitt’s failed to provide adequate implant crowns at 3 teeth.
Mrs Ward joined Nantwich Smile Design, 19a Pillory Street, Nantwich, Cheshire, in 2002 and saw Dr Robert Dunn and Dr Philip Hewitt for regular check-ups. Mrs Ward also saw Dr Dunn at the Cheshire Centre of Dental Excellence, Crewe, Staffs.
“I was a patient of Dr Dunn’s long before he joined Nantwich Smile Design,” Mrs Ward explained. “He was the first dentist I ever had so I’d been with him for most of my life. I originally saw him at another practice but when he moved I decided to go with him, I trusted him that much.”
In January 2010 Mrs Ward had a tooth extracted by Dr Dunn and had a bridge fitted in June that year.
“As far as I was concerned the procedure went as well as it could have,” Mrs Ward said. “It was the months that followed when I started experiencing an awful sharp pain on my right side. I saw another dentist at the practice about a year later who prescribed antibiotics, so I hoped that would be the end of it.”
Unfortunately, problems continued for Mrs Ward in January 2012 when she visited Dr Dunn who prescribed another course of antibiotics. Dr Hewitt provided more antibiotics when Mrs Ward returned to the dentist, still in pain, six months later.
In February 2012 Dr Dunn eventually performed a root canal treatment on Mrs Ward’s tooth. She believed that this would put an end to her pain but unfortunately she returned to see Dr Hewitt just a few months later when the pain and discomfort worsened. Dr Hewitt prescribed antibiotics.
“The pain was becoming unbearable,” Mrs Ward recalled. “I never experienced a pain quite like it in my life. The dentists thought that perhaps it was down to a sinus issue, but when I went to see a doctor, they told me it was a dental problem! I just didn’t know what to do.”
In December 2012 Dr Dunn carried out root canal treatment on another one of Mrs Wards teeth.
“Root canal is an extremely painful process so to have two courses done in a short space of time was quite upsetting,” Mrs Ward commented. “But at this point in time I still believed that Dr Dunn was doing best by me and giving me the treatment that I needed to get better. I thought I was just having bad luck.”
Mrs Ward thought that this would signal the end of her trouble but unfortunately she was back to see Dr Dunn in when her bridge fractured. This was remedied quickly by the dentist however she returned three months later complaining her bridge had come loose and she was still suffering from severe pain in the two teeth attached to the bridge. At the end of 2012, Mrs Ward had to have the two teeth extracted and a temporary denture fitted.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Mrs Ward said. “It just seemed like every time I had a problem treated, another one came along. But Dr Dunn had been my dentist my whole life and so I still trusted him to help me get better.”
In May 2014 Dr Dunn fitted implants at the teeth that had now been extracted. However he was unsuccessful in fitting the crowns later on that year. Dr Hewitt then attempted to fit them but Mrs Ward was back just months later when one of the crowns had fractured.
“I was beyond stressed at this point,” Mrs Ward stated. “I knew that my course of treatment would take time but it had been drawn out for so long that I didn’t feel like I could cope anymore. I had a new born baby at the time and I had to rely a lot on my husband for help because I was always going back and forth to the dentist. And when I was at home I was just in constant pain. It was awful.”
Mrs Ward decided to contact the Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of her dental records show that Dr Dunn had failed to treat decay or perform adequate root canal, bridge and implant treatment, causing Mrs Ward numerous problems with her bridge and implants. Dr Hewitt had also failed to provide adequate implant crowns at three teeth.
“I was in complete shock,” Mrs Ward recalled. “I had trusted Dr Dunn all my life and it turns out that both him and Dr Hewitt were doing nothing to help me but just made everything worse. Not only did I suffer from the worst pain of my life on and off for years, but they’ve taken my smile from me. I’m so self-conscious now and I’m devastated that I felt I couldn’t smile properly for photos with my newborn son in 2015 due to the fractured implant crown.”
Daniel Kinnear of The Dental Law Partnership commented: “The distress and pain our client experienced was completely unnecessary. If the dentists had carried out adequate treatment in the first place, she would not have had to go through such a traumatic ordeal. We hope the compensation she receives goes some way towards paying for the corrective treatment that is required.”
The Dental Law Partnership took on Mrs Ward’s case in 2015. The case was successfully settled in 2018 in proceedings when the dentists paid Mrs Ward £38,000 in an out of court settlement.