If a cosmetic dentistry injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Cosmetic dentistry can transform your smile, but when procedures go wrong, the consequences can be distressing and painful. If you've suffered an injury due to cosmetic dentistry negligence, whether from improper treatment, inadequate care, or use of faulty materials, 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.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Dental procedures often involve treatment that is considered necessary and cosmetic work.

Although there is not always a clear distinction between clinically necessary treatment and cosmetic dentistry, it can be defined as any dentistry carried out to " improve your smile for cosmetic reasons" (Sce: bupa.co.uk).

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of a person's teeth, gums, and bite, primarily concerned with aesthetics like colour, position, shape, size, and overall smile appearance. Procedures include straightening and whitening teeth, crowns, veneers, implants, inlays and bridges.

Cosmetic dental procedures cannot be performed by the NHS - they are instead performed by private dentists.

With almost 2,000 formal complaints against dentists each year, you are not alone

While the majority of cosmetic dentistry procedures are successful, negligence claims are becoming more common due to the increasing popularity of cosmetic dental procedures.

Typical adverse outcomes include nerve damage, infections, implant failures, or unsatisfactory aesthetic results.

The number of complaints to the Ombudsman about dentists increased by 66% from 1,193 in 2017/18 to 1,982 in 2022/23 (ombudsman.org.uk).

For a compensation 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.

If you need information on what to do when a dental treatment goes wrong, visit: dental (nhs.uk).

Am I entitled to make a cosmetic dentistry negligence claim?

Medical negligence claims differ from personal injury claims. To make a successful claim your solicitor will need to establish:

  • the care provided to you was below the acceptable standard, and
  • this inadequate care resulted in your harm.

Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.

How long after a negligent cosmetic dentistry procedure do I have to start a claim?

You usually have 3 years to make a cosmetic dentistry claim. The timelimit starts from the date you discovered you were injured by negligent care (the date of knowledge).

How much compensation can I claim for a cosmetic dentistry?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Cosmetic dentistry compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated April 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Claims for cosmetic dentistry negligence cover corrective treatment and impacts on oral health and personal confidence.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for loss of earnings, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as corrective treatment, pain medication and psychological support.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

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.

Negligent 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.

Typical negligent procedures

Cosmetic dental procedures can lead to complications if not performed correctly. Poorly fitted crowns may damage underlying teeth, causing decay and infection. Incorrectly fitted or maintained braces can cause problems after removal.

Veneers, involving the removal of a tooth's front part, can lead to sensitivity, decay, or tooth death if improperly applied.

Teeth whitening techniques may weaken enamel and cause decay.

Gum reshaping, intended to improve teeth appearance, can expose tooth roots if overdone, leading to sensitivity and increased decay risk.

If you experience such issues, you may be eligible for compensation.

What should I do if I receive a negligent dental treatment?

Your primary concern should always be your health and ensuring that any issues are dealt with promptly.

The General Dental Council (GDC) recommend that you to tell the dental practice what has happened, as they may be able to fix the issue immediately. If the problem is serious, however, you can raise your concerns the GDC.

If you are not confident in the dental practice, seek a second opinion from a qualified dental professional to assess and address any immediate health concerns.

Document your treatment, including any records, receipts, and photographs of the injury or issue, then consider consulting a solicitor who specialises in dental negligence claims. A solicitor will guide you through the process of gathering evidence, including medical records and expert opinions, to support your claim.

Clinical negligence claims

Cosmetic dentistry injuries are usually categorised as clinical negligence. Click on the icon below for more information.

No win, no fee cosmetic dentistry compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim cosmetic dentistry compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to a medical negligence specialist about your claim?

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Call 0800 376 1001

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher