Cosmetic dentistry compensation claims

Updated: October 8, 2018

Introduction

The number of people having dentist procedures in the UK is on the rise. From the year 2000 to 2010, the UK dentistry market grew by 46%. A significant amount of this growth in the market can be attributed to cosmetic dentistry.

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.

Examining teeth injury
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Do I have a cosmetic dentistry claim?

If you were injured as the result of cosmetic dentistry in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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How does No Win, No Fee work with cosmetic dentistry compensation claims?

No Win, No Fee agreements, or Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), form a crucial part of the vast majority of claims for personal injury compensation.

The document explains the service executed by your solicitor, and importantly, a percentage-based "success fee" to be deducted from the total compensation after the case is successful.

You can focus on your rest and recovery, with the knowledge that you will never be out of pocket and there will be absolutely nothing to pay if the case is not successful. There are absolutely no hidden fees using a Quittance personal injury lawyer.

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How much compensation can I claim for a cosmetic dentistry injury?

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our medical negligence compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Meet the QLS team

Our national panel of solicitors help injured people with all types of clinical negligence claims and have a wealth of expertise with fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Our solicitors are chosen for their level of experience and their winning track record.

Click here to meet more of the team.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Carol Cook Clinical Negligence Panel Solicitor
Lee Raynor Clinical Negligence Panel Solicitor
Jonathan Speight, Senior litigator

About the author

Jonathan has over 30 years' experience in the personal injury sector and has been awarded the rank of Senior Litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

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