Our client, Ms L, sought treatment from her dentist for tooth pain. The dentist failed to note problems with one tooth on an x-ray, leaving the tooth in place, and causing Ms L to have ongoing pain for a further two months. He also misdiagnosed a second tooth as having a root fracture leading to an unnecessary extraction.
Ms L, was 46 years old at the time when she attended for a consultation with her dentist complaining of pain in her upper right teeth 4 and 5 (UR4 and UR5). X-rays were taken of her teeth and the dentist told Ms L that her upper left teeth 6 and 7 (UL6 and UL7) and her lower right tooth 5 (LR5) needed fillings. The fillings where carried out a week later.
Two weeks later Ms L returned to her dentist to have a further filling completed and complained again of intermittent pain at her UR4 tooth. She x-ray was taken and showed that Ms L had problems with the UR4 but no further action was taken.
A month later Ms L went back to her dentist complaining of pain at her UL6 tooth. The dentist examined the tooth and said she had a root fracture. An x-ray was taken and he extracted the UL6 tooth the next day. A small fragment of the tooth was left behind in the gum.
Two months later Ms L went back again and complained once again of pain in her UR4 tooth. On this occasion the dentist diagnosed a vertical fracture of the tooth and this was extracted.
Ms L complained to the NHS. Her complaint was that the dentist had failed to spot the vertical fracture to the UR4 and this had caused a further two months of pain. It was also argued that the diagnosis of a root fracture to UL6 was incorrect, and therefore the extraction had been unnecessary, as Ms L could have been treated with root canal and a crown. Instead she had had an extraction and had to pay for an implant to be fitted.
Dominique Parker, specialist medical negligence lawyer acting for the claimant successfully negotiated an out-of-court settlement of £4,750 to compensate Ms L for her injuries.
Dominique specialises in dental negligence cases. If you would like to ask Dominique a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any clinical negligence, contact her at Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP solicitors on 01892 701366 in confidence.