How Long Does A Dental Negligence Claim Take?

This guide will look at the different factors that could affect the answer to the question, “How long does a dental negligence claim take?”. If you’ve suffered unnecessarily as a result of a dentist breaching the duty of care that they owe you, you could be owed compensation. 

dental negligence claims

Dental negligence claims guide

Dentists, hygienists and other dental professionals owe their patients a minimum standard of care. This guide will look at the eligibility criteria for dental negligence claims and the ways that you could experience harm in this kind of setting. 

Furthermore, this guide will give insight into how settlements in these kinds of claims are valued using a table of guideline compensation brackets. We will also touch on some of the forms of evidence you could use in support of a claim.

Our team of advisers are available 24/7 to offer free advice. If your claim is valid, you can be connected to an experienced lawyer from our panel to work on your claim. To get in touch, you can:

  • Telephone 0800 080 7825 to have a chat about your case.
  • Fill out our online claims form to receive a reply whenever you’re available.
  • Use our live chat box to chat with an adviser immediately. 

Select A Section

  1. How Long Does A Dental Negligence Claim Take?
  2. What Is A Dental Negligence Claim
  3. What Are The Common Causes Of Dental Negligence?
  4. How Does The Claims Process Work?
  5. What Limitation Periods Do You Need To Be Aware Of?
  6. What Are Dental Negligence Compensation Payouts Worth?
  7. Contact Us To Check, How Long Does A Dental Negligence Claim Take?
  8. Additional Resources

How Long Does A Dental Negligence Claim Take?

You may be wondering, “how long does a dental negligence claim take?”. There is no one answer to the question, as it depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The evidence you provide 
  • Whether the defendant admits liability
  • If the claim goes to court 
  • How long it takes to agree on a compensation settlement

It’s unlikely your claim will go to court, but the claims process will take longer if it does. The amount of time a dental negligence claim takes varies depending on the specific claim. If you’d like to know how much time your specific claim may take, you can get in touch with our team of advisers today to discuss this.

What Is A Dental Negligence Claim?

When you seek dental care, the professional who treats you owes you a duty of care. This means that the standard of care that they provide needs to meet a minimum standard.

If the care they provide falls below this standard, then this could cause you harm that you would not have experienced if the right level of care was administered. In order to meet the eligibility criteria for a dental negligence claim, it’s essential that you can show that you were owed a duty of care, that this was breached, and that this breach caused you avoidable pain and suffering.

Sustaining harm in a dental setting is not automatically grounds for a claim, as sometimes you might experience pain and suffering even though the right level of care was provided. For example, you might need to have a filling at the dentist, which can be uncomfortable and painful. In this case, you would not be able to claim.

Speak with an advisor today for free advice about the claims process. You can approach them with questions such as “How long does a dental negligence claim take?”. This article also has the frequently asked questions that we have received about these kind of dental negligence claims.

What Are The Common Causes Of Dental Negligence? 

Below, we have included some examples of how the actions of a dentist could result in you being harmed unnecessarily:

  • You attend the dentist for a filling, and they have records of your allergies on file. Despite this, you are given an anesthetic that you have a known allergy to and suffer a reaction as a result of this medication error.
  • While attending the dentist to have a tooth removed, they read their file incorrectly and take out the corresponding tooth on the other side of your mouth. Not only do you need to undergo the procedure a second time for the correct tooth to be removed, but you now have to deal with the psychological damage of having two visibly missing teeth instead of one.
  • You are undergoing a routine check-up and have clear signs of oral cancer. Your dentist fails to refer you to a specialist, and the condition develops as a result.

This list isn’t exhaustive, so don’t worry if you don’t see your specific circumstances mentioned above. Speak with an advisor today for guidance on the process of making a dental negligence claim. 

How Does The Claims Process Work?

In anticipation of making a dental negligence claim, you may wish to collect evidence. You could collect proof both of your dentist breaching the duty of care that they owe and also to demonstrate the impact that this has had on you. 

Some examples of evidence you could provide are:

  • Witness contact information so that they can later provide a statement
  • Photos of how you have been affected 
  • Medical records, including the results from an independent medical assessment
  • Notes from your dentist

A dental negligence solicitor can help you in the process of collecting evidence if this is something you would rather not do alone. They can also use their expertise to make sure that all factors of your claim are included when your settlement is valued. To see if you could be connected with a No Win No Fee lawyer, speak with an advisor today.

What Limitation Periods Do You Need To Be Aware Of?

The dental negligence claims time limit is typically three years. This can run from the date the negligence occurred or from when you realised (or would have been expected to make the connection) that the negligence caused you harm.

However, there are some exceptions:

  • If the injured party is under 18, the three-year time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. Alternatively, a litigation friend can be appointed to claim on their behalf whilst the suspension applies to the time limit
  • If the claimant lacks the mental capacity to make a claim themselves, the three-year time limit is suspended indefinitely unless they become capable of claiming. A litigation friend can act on their behalf to make the claim before this.

If you’d like more information about the clinical negligence claims time limits, our team of advisers would be happy to discuss this with you. They can have a chat with you about your situation and look at your next steps.

If your case is valid, they may be able to connect you to an experienced dental negligence solicitor from our panel to discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you. 

What Are Dental Negligence Compensation Payouts Worth?

If you’re wondering, “how much money can I get for dental negligence?”. If your compensation claim is successful, your settlement will include general damages. This head of claim compensates for the unnecessary pain and suffering caused by negligence.

We have included a table below using figures from the latest Judicial College Guidelines. This is a document that legal professionals use to help them when valuing dental negligence claims. We have included a table using these entries for reference only; the amount you receive will differ based on your own circumstances. 

Edit
Injury: Severity: Notes: Compensation:
Damage to Teeth Significant Significant and chronic tooth pain; for example, because of an abscess that was left untreated. Up to £38,130
Damage to Teeth Several front teeth Where several of the front visible teeth have been lost or seriously damaged. £8,200 to £10,710
Damage to Teeth Two front teeth Where two of the front visible teeth have been lost or seriously damaged. £4,080 to £7,160
Damage to Teeth One front tooth Serious damage or loss to one front tooth. £2,070 to £3,710
Damage to Teeth Back teeth Serious damage or loss to back teeth; settlement is per tooth. £1,090 to £1,710

You could also be entitled to special damages. This head of a claim reimburses you for the financial losses that the dental negligence has caused you. 

For example, you may have been unable to attend an event that you had previously paid for because of the pain you’re experiencing. Alternatively, you may have had to take time off work resulting in lost wages or pay for painkillers.

These costs could be reimbursed to you; you should collect evidence in support of your claim for special damages. Proof could include receipts, bills, or payslips to show the amount you have spent or lost out on.

If you have further questions about how much compensation you could get in a successful dental negligence claim, speak with a member of our team today.

Contact Us To Check, How Long Does A Dental Negligence Claim Take?

Speak with our team of advisers to discuss the factors that can affect the answer to the question, “how long does a dental negligence claim take?”. They’d also be happy to discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you.

A No Win No Fee agreement, in particular a form of this kind of agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement, is an agreement that allows you access to their services without paying upfront. A solicitor from our panel could represent you on this basis. 

If your claim isn’t successful, you don’t pay for the work your lawyer has carried out on the case, and there are also no fees to pay as the claim progresses. If you are awarded a settlement, your lawyer will take a small, legally capped percentage of the compensation as a success fee. 

You can get in touch with our expert team of advisers by:

  • Calling them on 0800 080 7825
  • Filling in our online claim form to get a response at your earliest convenience.
  • Talking with an adviser on our live pop-up chatbox to get an instant response.

Additional Resources

Claiming for dental negligence in Scotland

Making a claim for unnecessary surgery

Can I sue my doctor for negligence?

This NHS guide includes useful information about toothache

Information on the General Dental Council.

Government guidance on improving access to dental care.

Thank you for reading our guide looking at the question, ‘how long does a dental negligence claim take?’

Article by OA

Publisher ET