Claiming compensation for negligent tooth extraction
One of the most common types of dental negligence claim we deal with is negligent tooth extraction.
For a negligent tooth extraction claim to be successful, we must be able to show that the treatment you received was not of a standard you would expect of a competent and qualified dental surgeon.
Negligent tooth extraction can encompass a number of different dental issues. These include:
1. Wrongful Extraction
If your dentist removed the wrong tooth, then it is highly likely that you will have a claim for compensation. If the case is successful, you will be able to claim the cost of putting things right. This may include the cost of removing the correct tooth, an implant or bridge or denture plate to replace the tooth along with future additional treatment that you otherwise would not have needed.
However, if the tooth that was wrongly extracted was already damaged or decaying and would have required extraction anyway then that would be a relevant consideration when assessing compensation. This why a detailed assessment of your dental records by our experts is so important.
2. Damage to Surrounding Teeth
When teeth are extracted, damage can sometimes be caused to the other teeth around them. This is a known complication of a tooth extraction and is often due to the amount of force or movement required by the dental tools to be able to uproot and then remove the tooth.
Damage to surrounding teeth is occasionally unavoidable, but where it has been caused by the dentist failing to take sufficient care to protect the surrounding teeth, then a claim for dental negligence can be made.
3. Retained Roots
When a tooth is extracted it is not uncommon for part of the root to be left in the gum. When roots are left in the gum, they can often work their way to the surface, or be absorbed by the body naturally. Some roots may just stay where they are without causing concern.
Sometimes dentists opt to leave roots in place if they are close to the nerve. As part of the tooth extraction planning process, this should be discussed with you by your dentist. Similarly, if, during extraction, the dentist becomes aware that the roots cannot be easily removed you should be informed. It is likely that you will be referred to a specialist for further treatment. If this is not managed correctly, it can lead to infection and abscesses, which can potentially damage the bone structure.
If you feel you have suffered unnecessarily as a result of a retained root then our dental negligence team will be able to discuss your potential claim with you and review your dental records to establish whether you have a claim.
4. Unnecessary Extraction
If you have been steered towards a tooth extraction that could have been avoided through alternative treatments, you may have a dental negligence claim. Successful compensation claims can be made where it can be shown that the extraction was unnecessary or that you were not advised of all the available treatment options, and on balance the tooth could have been saved.
In pursuing this type of negligent tooth extraction claim, we will need carry out a detailed review of your records and radiology of the tooth or teeth involved.
5. Nerve Damage
While nerve damage is another recognised complication of tooth extraction, it does not mean that it is an acceptable outcome. As with any procedure, dental practitioners are required to plan for particularly difficult or complicated extractions, using techniques and tools to protect the surrounding tissue, teeth and nerves as far as possible.
Sometimes nerve damage can be caused by drilling through the tooth or partial bone extraction without taking steps to protect nerves. In severe cases, the lingual nerve on the inside of the jaw can be damaged causing paralysis of the mouth and tongue.
Where nerve damage has been caused by careless dentistry then we will be happy to provide a free case assessment.
Infections are a known risk of any type of procedure. Claims arising out of an infection usually succeed where the dentist failed to recognise, treat or refer a patient for specialist intervention.
It is not automatically the case that you should be prescribed a course of antibiotics following an extraction, unless you are at a higher risk of infection.
If you have developed an infection as a result of a tooth extraction and the dentist then fails to treat this, you may have a claim. Likewise, If you can show that you attended the dentist about pain, swelling, limited jaw movement, fever or puss in the socket and your dentist failed to either prescribe antibiotics or refer you for further treatment, then you may be entitled to compensation.
How we can help with negligent tooth extraction claims
As with all medical negligence claims, you have a limited time to bring your claim. This is known as the limitation period and the standard three year period runs either from the date of the dental treatment itself, or the date you became aware there was potential for a negligence claim. After this date you will not be able to bring a claim.
If you think you may have a claim for negligent tooth extraction, contact us on 0333 888 0404 for a FREE case assessment and details of our No Win No Fee funding scheme or send an email to us at [email protected]