£20,000 compensation for poor quality dental work
In 2014 compensation of £20,000 was awarded for a dental negligence claim for a 26 year-old woman for poor quality dental implants and crowns fitted three years earlier.
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The claimant was born with her upper lateral incisor teeth missing. She had gaps where the teeth should have been.
She used dental bridges for many years. These were unsatisfactory because they broke or fell out on a regular basis.
The woman attended her dentist for advice on a permanent solution. The dentist recommended implants as a treatment. The implants would then be capped with crowns.
The gaps in her teeth were small. No alternative options were discussed and the dentist did not refer her to an orthodontist.
Implants were fitted. Because of the small gaps the implants were unusually small also. They were positioned badly.
Crowns were attached to the implants. The crowns were also positioned badly and appeared prominent in her mouth. The crowns were disproportionate in size to the natural teeth she already had.
The colour of the crowns was not a match for her natural teeth. The claimant was very dissatisfied with the appearance of her teeth.
Extensive orthodontic treatment was required to repair the damage. The final appearance would be less aesthetically pleasing than had she undergone the appropriate treatment at the outset.
The claimant developed anxiety associated with dental treatment. She was very self-conscious of her appearance.
It was alleged that the dentist was negligent insofar as he did not refer the claimant for specialist orthodontic advice. This led to poor quality treatment which could not be rectified completely.
Expert orthodontist evidence maintained that further options would have been offered for treatment had the dentist referred the claimant for expert opinion.
Implants were not advised in cases where the gaps were small. The claimant should not have been advised to have implants in the manner suggested.
Further treatment would be necessary to improve and maintain her teeth. This would be invasive and expensive.
Conclusion and settlement
Liability was not admitted. The defendant offered compensation without admission of liability.
Compensation of £20,000 was awarded by way of out of Court settlement.
£5,000 of the damages was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."
The remainder of the damages was awarded to fund future dental work necessary.
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About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.