Dental negligence claims are quite complex, as an in-depth knowledge of expected practice standards is essential. There needs to be sufficient evidence, and a causal link between the injury and the practitioner. There are many different factors involved in proving negligence, as so much of dental health is reliant on the patient as well as the practitioner, this can be tricky. Dental injury can be very painful and debilitating for the injured party, as dental pain can be relentless and unaffected by pain relief medication. It can also cause mental distress if the injury is apparent, and affects the patients smile. As with medical negligence, dental negligence claims have a 3 year time limit. This is 3 years from the date of injury, or from the date the injury became known. Our team of dental negligence lawyers can help you make a claim and get the compensation you deserve.
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Misdiagnoses is a common claim for dental negligence. Where a dental problem is missed entirely, or wrongfully diagnosed, it will more than likely become progressively worse with time. Gum disease is one such issue, where if this is missed or misdiagnosed can lead to tooth loss and poor general dental health. Some dentists have concluded that lack of treatment for gum disease can also lead to increased risk of infection, osteo problems and even certain cancers. It can then cost the patient quite handsomely for any reconstructive work or replacement teeth as a result of such situations. There is currently no immediate dental exemption for damage caused by negligence or by medical conditions.
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Reconstructive work, if poorly carried out can also lead to poor dental health and tooth loss. Commonly carried out procedures such as crowns or bridges can cause these issues. Although usually done correctly, sometimes there can be work that falls below the reasonably expected standard. There is often an even higher standard again where cosmetic dental work is concerned. If veneers or implants are poorly fitted, this can lead to tooth and bone loss, serious infection or abscess. It is advisable to visit a dentist as soon as any issues arise, this could make it easier for them to identify what has gone wrong, and to correct the issue before any further harm is caused.
Where dental work is being carried out, especially because the patient cannot see the work taking place, informed consent is especially important. If there are any risks or alternatives, the patient must be updated. Most dental practitioners will keep their patients updated throughout every step of the treatment as it progresses, but if this has not been done and something goes wrong, the patient would have a claim. If a patient then goes against dental advice and their situation deteriorates, a claim may not be possible, as long as all options were presented to them.
It would perhaps be beneficial if dental negligence issues were more widely reported. It is not something that you see much on television or radio, and it is not taken (generally) particularly seriously by employers if a pursuer requires time to recover. Dental pain and discomfort can be equally as distressing as a medical problem.
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