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Dental Negligence Compensation Claim Settled by Clinical Negligence Solicitor

05 September 2012

Instructions were received to represent a client in connection with a claim for damages following negligent dental treatment received.

Our client saw a leaflet advertising dental implants at the Defendant’s clinic. He saw impressive before and after photographs and an advertised price of £975 per implant.

On 5th August 2010 the Defendant advised our client that they needed to extract three loose teeth which would be replaced by three crowns carried by two implants. The individual was advised that the cost of this treatment would be £2,275.

On his next visit, 12th August 2010, the three teeth were extracted and replaced by a plastic denture. On 18th November 2010 our client saw the Defendant’s expert again at which time he placed two implants in the lower jaw together with temporary bridge. Our client says that when he was sitting in the dental chair, he gave him a piece of paper and asked him to sign it. He later realised this was a Patient Consent Form which he had signed.  He was not given a copy. Our client then attended three appointments in which the Defendant’s expert dentist performed the teeth extractions, prepared and fitted the bridge.  

On returning home to inspect the bridge, our client found the bridge was poorly matched to his own teeth, false looking, slanted with gaps and with gaps beside it. The appearance caused him embarrassment, stress, reluctance to smile and affected his everyday life.

Photographic evidence was obtained by our client of the bridge. The lips are retracted, exposing stained teeth. The lower arches similarly reveal showing an amalgam filling in 34 and extensive staining around the crown of the teeth. The bridge lies between the lower left second incisor (32) and the lower right canine tooth (43).  The colour is noticeably whiter than the actual teeth; the level of the crown lies 1-2mm below the general level of the remaining dentition. The porcelain has not been worked into the shape of the three separate teeth and resembles the single surface with two vertical lines scribed into it to roughly represent teeth. 

Our client wrote to the Defendant’s clinic on two occasions but he did not receive the courtesy of a response.  He therefore returned to his home country in May 2010 where he consulted an expert who advised he required reparative dentistry. In October 2011, four extra implants were placed together with a new bridge. Our Client was satisfied with the results.

Therefore our client alleged breach of duty in the Defendant’s negligent preparation and provision of dental implants, negligent provision of a bridge, negligent standard of clinical note keeping, negligent provision of a confusing estimate, negligent consent process and negligent handling of the complaint.

Expert evidence obtained from a Dental Surgeon outlined that the preparation and provision of dental implants was below a reasonable standard and the bridge provided by the Defendant was unacceptable and below a reasonable standard.

The Defendant proposed to conclude matters by making a payment of £2,500 which was not agreed however further negotiations took place and the Defendant sought to conclude matters for £4,500.  Following a brief period of consideration our client duly accepted this amount of compensation.

Iona Meeres-Young is Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.

For more information call Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online.