By Lewis Houston. Last Updated 1st November 2023. If you’ve suffered damage to your teeth, you may want to learn more about claiming compensation and dental negligence payouts. If so, you’ve found the right page.
Below, we provide a comprehensive breakdown of dental negligence claims and the average compensation amounts that could be awarded. We do this in the form of a case study, by drawing upon awards from previously decided cases, and we look at what dental negligence payouts can include.
If you’d like to make a claim today, then we can help. Our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors specialise in these types of cases. You can get a free case check today by:
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Select a Section
- Case Study: £14,000 Compensation For A Dental Injury
- Understanding Eligibility For Dental Negligence Claims
- What Are The Causes Of Dental Negligence?
- Dental Negligence Payouts in the UK
- Claiming Compensation For Dental Negligence And No Win No Fee Agreements
- Helpful Links On Dental Negligence Claims
After suffering a dental injury whilst eating lunch at work, Mr Peter decided to see a dentist. Mr Peter described his pain as immediate and unrelenting. His dentist examined him and determined that the tooth would have to be extracted.
The dentist gave Mr Peter local anaesthetic before beginning his surgery. However, following the operation, it was discovered that the dentist had removed the wrong tooth. The tooth that had been removed was healthy.
After having the wrong tooth removed, Mr Peter contacted a solicitor to discuss his case and decided to pursue a dental negligence claim. His solicitor helped him with gathering evidence and presenting his case, and the dentist was found to have breached his duty of care and caused Mr Peter to suffer unnecessary harm. Mr Peter was successfully awarded £14,000 in dental compensation under general and special damages.
To learn more about dental negligence payouts in the UK, or to see if you could be eligible to work with one of the No Win No Fee solicitors on our panel for your case, you can contact out advisors.
In order to be eligible to make a dental negligence claim, you must meet certain criteria. You must be able to prove that:
- The dentist owed you a duty of care.
- This duty was breached.
- You experienced unnecessary harm as a result of this breach. Together, this is known as dental negligence.
When you are under the care of a dentist, they must provide you with a minimum standard of care. This is their duty of care. If you suffer unnecessary harm due to a breach of this duty that they owe you, you might be eligible to claim compensation for dental negligence.
However, you cannot claim for all harm suffered in a dental practice. For example, if you suffer an allergic reaction to medication administered during dental surgery and this allergy was previously unknown, you might not be able to make a claim.
How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation For Dental Negligence?
As per the Limitation Act 1980, you have 3 years from the date of your injury to begin a claim. If you miss this time window, it’s possible that you would struggle to make a claim for dental negligence payouts in the UK.
However, every claim is unique. Because of this, there are a few scenarios in which this time limit could be extended. For instance, you may not be immediately aware that you have been injured due to dental negligence. If so, you may be able to use the date you were made aware of your injury as the start of your time limit. This is known as the date of knowledge.
Other circumstances that may lead to an extended time limit can include claims on behalf of children, and claimants whose mental capacity is reduced. In either case, their time limit is suspended. For children, it begins when they turn 18.
For those with a reduced mental capacity, it will only begin if they are ever deemed to have recovered enough. Until then, only a litigation friend may make a claim on behalf of a claimant in either of these categories.
If you have any questions regarding time limits and whether you could still make a claim, get in touch with us today. We can also give you a valuation of your potential claim, which will take into account all aspects of your circumstances – something an online dental negligence claim calculator may not do.
How Can I Prove A Claim For Dental Negligence
When making a claim for dental negligence, you will need to collect sufficient evidence that proves a breach in the duty of care owed to you caused your injuries.
Some examples of evidence that could be useful when claiming compensation for dental negligence include:
- X-rays taken before or after the negligent treatment. These can show the damage that occurred.
- Correspondence between yourself and the dental practice regarding the treatment you received.
- A copy of your dental records, stating the harm you suffered and what treatment was required to correct it.
Please get in touch with one of the advisors on our team if you have any questions about dental negligence payouts in the UK. They can discuss what evidence you could gather in support of your claim.
There are different ways a negligent dentist could breach their duty of care and cause you unnecessary harm. Below, we’ve listed a few examples of situations that could result in dental negligence:
- You could undergo unnecessary dental treatment, such as a root canal, because your records are mixed up with those of another patient. This could result in mouth pain and continued problems with your teeth.
- A misdiagnosis could occur due to a misinterpretation of an X-ray. This could lead to unnecessary treatment while the initial problem becomes worse.
- The treatment given could be insufficient, such as providing temporary instead of permanent fillings without a follow-up appointment. This could result in pain and loss of teeth.
- You could suffer nerve damage following an injection into the wrong location.
If you would like to discuss whether you have valid grounds for a dental negligence claim, please get in touch with one of our advisors. They can assess your potential claim, and if it seems eligible, you could be connected to one of the No Win No Fee solicitors on our panel.
Examples Of Dental Negligence
There are different ways a dentist could breach their duty of care and cause you unnecessary harm. It is important to remember that not every incident of harm in a dental setting will qualify for a compensation claim.
In order to qualify for dental compensation, you will need to prove that you suffered avoidable harm as a result of the breach in the duty of care.
Here are a few examples of dentist negligence:
- You could suffer nerve damage if an injection is made into the wrong area.
- The wrong tooth could be extracted. This could result in requiring the damaged tooth’s removal as well as losing the healthy tooth.
- If your dental records are mixed up with another patient’s you could experience unnecessary treatment. For example, a healthy tooth could receive a filling.
- A misdiagnosis could result in unnecessary treatment while the original problem becomes worse.
You can get in touch with our advisors to discuss dental negligence claims in more detail. They can also assess the situation that caused damage to your teeth and if you have valid grounds for a claim, you could be connected with one of the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel.
Your dental negligence compensation can consist of general damages and special damages. This section will highlight important information about what you could receive for general damages, which compensates for the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the harm you sustained.
The amount of general damages you receive can be based on aspects including the severity of the injury, your treatment plan and if any long-term or permanent health issues were caused.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) are used by legal professionals to assist them in valuing your claim. The guidelines include compensation brackets based on past payouts. The figures below have been taken from the most up-to-date guidelines, published in April 2022.
|Up to £38,130
|Chronic, significant tooth pain caused by, for example, an untreated abscess extending for a number of years. There will also be a significant deterioration to the teeth.
|£8,730 to £11,410
|Serious damage to or loss of several front teeth.
|£4,350 to £7,630
|Serious damage to or loss of two front teeth.
|£2,200 to £3,950
|Loss of or serious damage to a single front tooth.
|£1,090 to £1,710
|Damage to or loss of back teeth. This bracket reflects the amount you could receive per tooth.
Every claim is unique meaning the amount you could receive for general damages could differ to the figures above. While you may want more information about dental negligence payouts in the UK, please bear in mind that the figures from the JCG only apply to claims made in England and Wales.
More Examples Of Dental Negligence Payouts In The UK
As we have explained, how much compensation you get for dental negligence can be affected by any related financial losses. If your injury has left you unable to perform certain tasks, or has left you needing various items or treatments, you could be able to include these costs as part of your claim.
Dental negligence payouts in the UK can include special damages for losses such as:
- Being unable to work due to the injury and therefore losing income
- Paying for treatments or care costs
- The cost of restoration surgery for the negligently caused damage
Special damages is awarded on a case-by-case basis; there are costs you could be able to claim for that are not included in this list, as long as they are reasonably in line with your injuries.
Please reach out to an adviser for information about the average payout for medical negligence in the UK and information on costs you could include as part of your claim.
When making a dental negligence compensation claim, you might benefit from working with solicitors under a No Win No Fee agreement.
This could potentially mean no upfront fees or legal costs during the claims process. You also won’t be expected to pay your solicitor’s fees if your claim fails.
For more information on using a dental negligence claim calculator or how dental negligence payouts are calculated, our advisors are available to talk 24/7.
Speak With Us
If you’re ready to make a claim, or if you’d like more information on anything discussed here, why not get in touch today? You can:
- Call and speak 24/7 to our ‘live support’ team on 0800 408 7825
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- Or get in touch with us via our live chat app, bottom right.
Thank you for reading our guide to making a compensation claim for a dental injury. We hope that you’ve found it useful and it has helped in your decision to seek damages for your accident. For further reading, please see below:
- Discover more about the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by clicking here.
- Click here to check out the NHS guide on broken teeth
- For more information from the NHS on carer costs, please click here
- To discover more about accident hot spots, click here
- To browse the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, please click here
- To discover more about slip accidents, please click here
For more help and advice on dental negligence payouts, please get in touch.