In this guide, we will explain how to sue a dentist for dental negligence, as well as set out the specific criteria your case must meet in order for you to have a valid dental negligence compensation claim.
Furthermore, this guide will explore the time limits for initiating legal proceedings that need to be adhered to for dental negligence claims. We will also provide example scenarios of negligent dental treatment that could give rise to a valid claim.
Additionally, we will explain how compensation is calculated for a dental claim against a negligent dentist as well as explain the different heads of loss that could be awarded for a successful dental negligence claim. This includes the effects of a physical injury or any impact on your mental health. This guide will end by sharing the various advantages of making your claim with one of our experienced No Win No Fee dental negligence solicitors.
To discuss your potential dental negligent treatment claim, you can contact a member of our advisory team today. They can be reached 24 hours a day, and can also help you answer any question you may have about claiming dental negligence compensation. To reach them, you can:
Select A Section
- How To Sue A Dentist For Negligence
- On What Grounds Can I Sue A Dentist?
- How To Prove A Dental Negligence Claim
- How Much Compensation For Dental Negligence Claims?
- How To Sue A Dentist With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Learn More About The Dental Negligence Claims Process
All healthcare professionals, such as dentists, whether they be NHS dentists or private dentists, have a duty of care when they are treating their patients. As part of their duty of care, they are required to provide treatment that meets the correct standard of care. This means the dentist should provide a service of a reasonably competent dentist. If a dentist fails to uphold this duty, this can result in patients experiencing avoidable harm.
To be able to make a dental negligence claim, you will need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- A dental professional must have owed you a duty of care.
- The dentist failed to uphold this duty by providing you with negligent treatment.
- Their failure resulted in you experiencing avoidable or unnecessary harm.
Call our advisors, who can assess a dental claim for free today, and if you have sufficient grounds to make a claim for substandard dental treatment, they could connect you to dental negligence solicitors.
Time Limits To Sue A Dentist
Dental negligence claims are, in most cases, subject to a time limit of 3 years. This can run from the date the dental negligence occurred or the date you first became aware of it, otherwise known as the date of knowledge. This time limit is set out by the Limitation Act 1980.
In certain circumstances, such as cases where the injured person is a minor or those with a reduced mental capacity, exceptions to the 3-year limit can apply.
To learn what these exceptions are or to ask any questions regarding how to sue a dentist for dental negligence, you can contact a member of our team.
There are a number of circumstances that could arise where you may be able to sue a dentist for dental negligence. Some examples of dental negligence cases may include:
- The dentist took the wrong tooth out during a removal surgery. This not only delayed the treatment of the infected tooth they were meant to originally remove but could cause further pain and complications due to the wrong tooth being removed.
- You suffered dental nerve damage after the dentist fractured teeth in a dental error. The damaged teeth had to be removed in a subsequent procedure.
- During your surgery, the dentist damaged surrounding teeth causing further injury. As well as the substantial cosmetic impacts of this, one of the damaged teeth developed a painful dental abscess, necessitating further removals.
These are only a few examples. To check the validity of your dental negligence case, you can contact a member of our advisory team.
How To Complain About Negligent Dental Care
As well as making a claim, you can also complain about dental treatment if you feel the care you received did not reach the correct standard. How you do this will depend on whether you are complaining about a public or private dental practice.
You can also contact our advisors to learn more about a dental negligence compensation claim.
When suing a dentist for dental negligence, you will need to have sufficient evidence that proves the harm you suffered and that your dentist was liable for failing to adhere to their duty of care.
Some examples of evidence that could be used to help support a dental negligence claim include:
- Medical records, such as your dental records, can be used to show any additional treatment you required. Your dental records may also include X-rays of your teeth.
- The contact details of anyone who witnessed your negligent treatment, for example, if a family member attended your dental appointment with you.
- Evidence of any financial losses you have suffered due to dental negligence, such as an invoice for further dental treatments.
One of our No Win No Fee dental negligence solicitors could support you with collecting evidence for your dental negligence claim. To see if you could be eligible to work with one of them, you can contact one of our advisors. They can also answer any further questions you may have about how to prove dental negligence.
If you have a valid claim, you may be wondering how much compensation you could be entitled to. If your dental negligence claim is a success, you could receive a compensation payout comprised of up to two different heads of loss. All compensation claims are unique to the claimant, and therefore, their individual circumstances will determine the dental negligence compensation payout.
The first head of claim is known as general damages, and it is awarded to all successful claimants. It compensates you for the physical injury and impact on your mental health due to the dental negligence.
When calculating a potential value for general damages, those responsible for that task can refer to medical evidence along with the figures found within the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication lists guideline award brackets for different types of harm, including both physical injuries and harm to your mental health. We have used some of these compensation guidelines for the table below, except for the first entry.
Please be advised that this table has been included to act as a guide only.
|Type of Harm||Severity||Bracket Guidance||Notes|
|Multiple Serious Injuries with Special Damages||Serious||Up to £250,000 and above||Multiple serious injuries alongside other damages such as loss of earnings, remedial treatment and care costs.|
|Facial Disfigurement||Very Severe Scarring (a)||£29,780 to £97,330||Severe psychological reaction and severe cosmetic effect in relatively young claimants.|
|Less Severe Scarring (b)||£17,960 to £48,420||Substantial facial disfigurement with significant psychological impact.|
|Significant Scarring (c)||£9,110 to £30,090||The worst effects will have been reduced by plastic surgery or will be reduced by future surgery. There will be some cosmetic disability and psychological impact.|
|Less Significant Scarring (d)||£3,950 to £13,740||Cases involving a single, or multiple smalls scars that do not markedly affect appearance.|
|Skeletal Injuries||Jaw Fractures (e)(i)||£30,490 to £45,540||Multiple fractures necessitating prolonged treatment with permanent severe pain, restriction in eating and the risk of arthritis.|
|Jaw Fractures (e)(ii)||£17,960 to £30,490||A serious fracture resulting in difficulty opening the mouth, with eating or where there is paraesthesia in the jaw.|
|Skeletal Injuries||Damage To Teeth (f)||Up to £38,130||Significant and chronic tooth pain extending over a period of years with significant deterioration of overall teeth condition.|
|Damage To Teeth (f)(i)||£8,730 to £11,410||The loss of, or serious damage to multiple front teeth.|
Any financial losses you have encountered due to dental negligence could be reimbursed under special damages if you make a successful claim. Possible costs that you could claim back as part of your compensation settlement include:
- Loss of earnings, due to needing to take time off work.
- Medical expenses, such as paying for over-the-counter pain relief.
- Remedial treatment to fix your dental issues, including future treatment costs.
To get a more detailed estimate of how much compensation you could potentially receive, contact our advisors today.
Our advisors can assess dental negligence cases. If they deem your claim to be valid, they could put you in contact with one of our experienced No Win No Fee solicitors.
By offering their services to you under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), the dental negligence solicitor working on your case will not ask for any upfront or ongoing charges for their work. They will also not charge you for their services should your claim fail.
Should your dental negligence claim succeed, you will receive a compensation settlement. A percentage amount of this compensation will be deducted by the dental negligence solicitor as their success fee under the terms of the Conditional Fee Agreement. By law, there is a limit to the percentage that this success fee can be.
To check the validity of your case if you received negligent treatment from a dentist or to find out how to sue for compensation, you can contact a member of our advisory team. They can also offer you free advice for your claim and answer any persisting questions you may have. To reach them, you can:
You can read more of our dental negligence claims guides here:
- Information regarding how long does a dental negligence claim take if you have a valid case.
- Read this guide on starting a wrong tooth extraction claim and how compensation for such negligence is calculated.
- Read our example case study detailing how it may be possible to receive £40,000 compensation for a wrong tooth extraction here.
We have also included these external resources that you may find useful:
- You can learn more about making a complaint to your dental professional with this guidance from the General Dental Council.
- Find out more about the symptoms and treatment for dental abscesses on this NHS page.
- Learn when you could be eligible to claim statutory sick pay on this government webpage.
Contact our advisors if you still have any further questions on how to sue a dentist for dental negligence.