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Clinical Negligence Solicitor Emma Doughty on Dental Negligence Claims

By Joint Head of Clinical Negligence, London & Cambridge

The NHS have been in the news a great deal as of late over a plethora of nightmare situations involving poor and negligent services. It has highlighted the need for monitoring of staff competencies and in many cases retraining. However it has come to my attention that this is not only true of hospitals but of dental practitioners working within the NHS.

I am currently acting for a lady who was formerly treated by a dentist, who practised in East Cornwall. She attended his practice twice a year and had regular check-ups and hygienist appointments with him. She repeatedly told him that her gums were bleeding when she brushed her teeth and even sometimes when she did not. He told her that she should use mouthwash every day and that it would clear up. It never did and, in fact, got worse.
 
It was only in 2011 when she found a new dentist who diagnosed her as having Chronic Periodontal Disease. She was told that she had had this disease for at least 10 years and that her previous dentist had failed to identify and treat her for this condition. She has now lost a substantial number of teeth and in the future, she is likely to lose many more with the effect being she will need a full set of dentures or implants, the cost of which will be huge and she cannot afford. Had she received the correct treatment as soon as she presented to the dentist, we believe that most of her teeth would have been salvageable and she certainly would not have needed such extensive treatment.
 
She is extremely embarrassed about this situation and has suffered from depression as a result of her embarrassment at her appearance. She is extremely shocked that a dental professional that she trusted for so many years has let her down so badly.
 
We believe that there are possibly a great deal of people who were treated by this East Cornwall dentist. They may now have attended new dentists who may have found that their treatment was incorrect or insufficient. If you believe that this has happened to you, please contact Emma Doughty at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 020 7657 1614 or edoughty@slatergordon.co.uk for free advice to determine whether you have a Dental Negligence Claim.

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