Cosmetic Dentistry Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a cosmetic dentistry injury, we can help.

If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, midwife or other medical professional, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove the negligence happened. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.

We can help you make a medical negligence claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

With the end of pandemic-era restrictions, the number of people having dentist procedures in the UK is again on the rise.

While the majority of cosmetic dentistry procedures are successful, a small number fail to produce the desired outcome or create adverse outcomes, such as health problems and scarring. Not every negative outcome will entitle the injured patient to recover compensation, however.

For a claim to succeed, it must be established that the practitioner responsible for the procedure was negligent. Proving negligence will depend on the facts of the case.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) understands that there is no clear distinction between necessary or cosmetic dentistry. A dental procedure will frequently involve both treatment that is considered necessary and cosmetic work.

It is a clinical judgement made by the dental professional, based on the individual circumstance of each patient. Cosmetic dental procedures cannot be performed by the NHS - they are instead performed by private dentists.

People have cosmetic dentistry procedures for various reasons, from straightening crooked teeth to whitening discoloured teeth. Crowns, veneers and other dentist procedures may be considered cosmetic if they are performed to improve appearance rather than for medical necessity.

Cosmetic dental negligence

In order to make a cosmetic dentistry claim, you must be able to prove that your injuries are the result of dental negligence. In general, negligence will fall into one of two categories:

Misdiagnosis cases

Misdiagnosis claims involve cases where the dentist fails to identify the cause of the dental problem, or incorrectly identifies the cause. This could lead to incorrect treatment being administered, which could worsen the problem or cause further oral damage.

In the context of cosmetic work, it may be the case that inappropriate cosmetic dentistry is recommended when more substantial dental treatment would be more suitable, or an underlying dental health issue is missed when undertaking cosmetic work.

As cosmetic dentistry is performed privately, you could also face extra costs to have the incorrect procedure rectified. It may be possible to claim for these costs when making a claim.

Inadequate dental technique cases

These cases stem from the dentist using incorrect or inadequate dental techniques.

Poor technique in dental cases can lead to serious complications including further oral problems, infection and severe pain, all of which could be factored into a claim.

Cosmetic dental procedures and dental negligence

There are a number of cosmetic procedures that could go wrong due to misdiagnosis or inadequate dental technique. Resolving these issues can be expensive and require further procedures for removals and repairs. You may be able to claim compensation for the following procedures if they are not performed correctly:

Crowns - If not fitted correctly, crowns can cause damage to the underlying teeth, leading to tooth decay and infection.

Braces - A common remedy to straighten teeth, if braces are fitted badly or not maintained effectively then patients can experience difficulties once the braces have been removed.

Veneers - Applying veneers requires the removal of part of the front of the tooth before fitting the veneer over the top. If this precise procedure is not performed correctly, the teeth can become sensitive, decay, and the tooth may die.

Teeth whitening - Whitening teeth by using chemicals or lasers can weaken the tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.

Gum procedures - In some cases the gums can be altered in order to make teeth appear straighter. If the gums are removed too far, this can reveal the root of the tooth which is extremely sensitive and more prone to decay.

Making a claim for cosmetic dental negligence

When making a cosmetic dentistry claim, the following will be taken into account to calculate the compensation you may be entitled to:

  • Pain and suffering caused as a result of dental procedures
  • Costs of further procedures to rectify the mistake
  • Psychological damage as a result of the procedure
  • Income lost due to incapacitation

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

No win, no fee - the facts

With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay whatsoever if your claim is not successful.

No win, no fee - our guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making an injury claim - even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning medical negligence claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:

  • 8am to 9pm weekdays
  • 9am to 6pm on Saturday
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher