How To Claim For Dental Negligence In Scotland

This guide will explain how to make a dental negligence claim in Scotland. When you go to the dentist, you can expect a minimum standard of care and treatment. If this standard is not met, then this is an example of medical negligence.

Dental negligence in Scotland

Dental negligence in Scotland claims guide

If the substandard level of care that you received from your dentist caused you unnecessary harm, then you could be entitled to make a claim. You could also claim back any financial costs or losses associated with claiming.

Contact Public Interest Lawyers today. We may be able to connect you with a skilled medical negligence solicitor to handle your compensation claim. Moreover, you can make a No Win No Fee claim. This means you won’t have to pay an upfront solicitors fee, amongst other benefits.

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What Is Classed As Dental Negligence In Scotland?

Dental negligence happens when a dental practitioner provides a patient with substandard care. However, it’s important to note that not all instances of negligence in this area will be grounds for a claim.

In order for you to claim compensation, you must have been injured as a result of the negligence you experienced. You can be compensated for both physical and psychological injuries that you sustain.

Dental negligence is a type of medical negligence. It covers a range of different areas of expertise, including:

  • Dentists
  • Orthodontists
  • Dental nurses
  • Oral hygienists

We will mostly refer to dentists in this guide. However, if you’ve been injured as a result of the negligence of another kind of oral health specialist, why not give us a call today? You could receive a no-obligation assessment of your claim.

Dentist’s Duty Of Care

All medical professionals have a duty of care toward their patients. This means that they need to act in a way that prevents them from coming to unnecessary harm. In practice, the dentist is responsible for providing their patient with an adequate standard of care.

The General Dental Council (GDC) outlines some of the things you can expect from your dental professional include:

  • Information about whether the treatment will be carried out on the NHS or privately.
  • Knowing the cost of the procedure
  • An understanding of what the treatment will involve
  • Information on whether there are any alternative treatment options available to you
  • The ability to make an informed decision because you’ve been given all the necessary information
  • Being given a copy of the statement of manufacture for any dental appliances you receive as part of your treatment
  • Further information on anything that you have concerns about

If you’ve been injured by a dentist who has breached the duty of care that they owe you, speak with one of our advisors today for more information on making a claim.

What Are My Rights As A Patient In Scotland?

In Scotland, there is a Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities. The charter is concerned with patients using the NHS. However, if a breach of duty of care in a private dentists has caused you harm, you’re still entitled to claim.

Under Scottish law, everyone who uses NHS Scotland is entitled to the following:

  • Fair and equal treatment free from discrimination
  • Consideration, dignity and respect
  • Healthcare that is appropriate to their needs, preferences, culture, beliefs, values and level of understanding
  • Most NHS services free of charge (however, some exceptions do apply including in dental treatment)
  • For the treatment and care they receive to be provided as safely as possible in a setting that is clean and appropriate
  • For all NHS staff to wash their hands before examination

There are other rights in the Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities that we have not mentioned above. Furthermore, there are certain responsibilities that NHS Scotland patients are also expected to uphold when receiving medical care. If they breach this duty of care resulting in injury, you could make a claim against NHS Scotland.

It is important to remember that, even though the above charter only relates to the NHS, the minimum standard of care to be expected is the same across all dentists including private ones. For more information about claiming for harm caused by dental negligence, speak with us today.

Types Of Dental Negligence

There are a number of different forms that dental negligence can take. It’s important to recognise that not every instance of someone being harmed by medical treatment, or of complications arising as a result of treatment, will be examples of nelgigence.

For example, you might go to the dentist and require a tooth extraction. While this will be painful and will technically cause you “harm”, as long as this harm is necessary in the course of your dental treatment, you would not be able to claim. You may be able to claim if you had a tooth extracted unnecessarily.

Other examples of dental negligence could include:

  • Misdiagnosis. You may go to the dentist displaying clear signs of oral cancer that your dentist fails to pick up on. As a result, the disease progresses and the treatment you need is more intensive.
  • You suffer a dental injury because the dentists’ hand slips while drilling into a tooth because they breached their duty of care.
  • Nerve damage can be caused by a dentist inserting a too large an implant.
  • A prescription error where you’re prescribed to small a dose of antibiotics by your dentist. As a result, your infection gets worse and needs more intense treatment.

These are just a few examples of how dental negligence could occur. If you have been injured because of medical negligence in dentistry in Scotland, please call our helpline to enquire about claiming.

What Is The Limitation Period For Medical Negligence Claims?

The time limit to make a medical negligence claim in Scotland is three years. Importantly, the time limit begins on the day the medical negligence occurred. Alternatively, it can run from the date that you realise that negligence contributed to your injuries. However, there are sometimes exceptions to this rule.

Please feel free to contact Public Interest Lawyers if you need more information on how long you have to claim. They can also offer you information on how long a medical negligence claim could take. 

Scottish Dental Negligence Compensation Calculator

You may be wondering how much compensation you can claim for harm caused by dental negligence. We’ve included the table below, illustrating some guideline compensation brackets for general damages- this is the part of your claim that’s related to the pain and suffering you experience. The rates in this table are based on guidelines from the Judicial College.

InjuryAboutPayout
Damage to TeethChronic and significant pain in the tooth, for example from an untreated abscess.Up to £35,790
Damage to TeethSerious damage to or the loss of several front teeth.£8,200 to £10,710
Damage to TeethSerious damage to or the loss of 2 front teeth.£4,080 to £7,160
Damage to TeethSerious damage to or the loss of a front tooth.£2,070 to £3,710
Damage to TeethLoss of or damage to a front tooth.£1,020 to £1,600 (per tooth)
Jaw Simple fracture with full recovery £6,060 to £8,200
Jaw Serious fracture with permanent consequences £16,860 to £28,610
Jaw Very serious multiple fractures with prolonged treatment and ongoing consequences£28,610 to £42,730

The amount of compensation that is paid varies from claim to claim. You are welcome to call our claims helpline, and an advisor can let you know how much compensation you could be entitled to based on your circumstances.

In addition to general damages, you may be eligible to claim special damages. This head of claim reimburses you for any finanical expenses caused by your injuries.

It could include:

You will need to provide evidence of these costs, such as payslips to show a loss of earnings if you had to take time off work. You could also use invoices that show how much you’ve spent on medical care.

Start Your No Win No Fee Dental Negligence Claim

If you wish to make a dental negligence claim in Scotland, we can help. We can connect you with a clinical negligence lawyer with solid experience handling claims for dental injuries. What’s more, your solicitor can handle your case on a No Win No Fee basis.

With a No Win No Fee agreement (otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement), your solicitor will take a success fee from your compensation if you win your claim. However, there’s nothing at all to pay them upfront or as the claim is ongoing. Furthermore, if your claim isn’t successful, then you won’t have to pay your lawyer anything.

We will only take on a No Win No Fee claim at Public Interest Lawyers if adequate evidence supports it. This means that, if you’re offered this kind of representation, it means you have a valid claim.

To begin your dental negligence claim, please get in touch with us using the details below:

Related Scottish Accident And Injury Claims

If you wish to learn more about claiming injury compensation, please feel free to read these guides.

£18,000 Compensation For Loss Of Front Teeth

Dental Medical Data Breach Compensation Claims

A Guide to Eye Injury Claims

A guide to what happens if you visit an NHS dentist

How to complain about negligent NHS dental treatment

Making a complaint about a dentist to the General Dental Council

For more information on claiming for injuries caused by dental negligence, please get in touch.

Article by OA

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