Dental abscess compensation claims

This article sets out everything you must know about making a successful dental abscess compensation claim.

How much can I claim?

A dental abscess is an infection of the tissues that surround the tooth root, characterised by the build up of pus in the infected area. The condition is caused by bacteria entering the tooth, usually as a result of tooth damage or decay.

Dentists owe their patients a duty of care to spot medical conditions of the mouth at the earliest opportunity. With timely treatment, a dental abscess rarely causes any long-term health problems. However, if a dentist fails to diagnose or treat a condition the dental abscess may grow and create permanent problems for the teeth, mouth and jaw.

Anyone who has suffered a dental abscess after receiving inadequate dental treatment may be eligible to make a dental negligence compensation claim.

Dentist x-ray

Do I have a dental abscess claim?

If you have suffered a dental abscess in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

Do I have a claim?

Dental abscess symptoms

Initially, a dental abscess may not have any symptoms. However, as the dental abscess develops, the patient usually will begin to experience the following:

  • Severe toothache, usually described as a throbbing or shooting pain
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Pain while chewing
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Visible draining of the pus into the mouth
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Swelling of the jaw.

Occasionally, the toothache associated with a dental abscess may stop once the tooth pulp and nerves have been damaged. This may discourage patients from seeking the dental treatment they need. Even without pain, the infection may continue to eat through tissue causing irreparable damage to the bone structure of the jaw.

How is a dental abscess treated?

Dental abscesses are usually treated using a combination of antibiotics and draining the abscess to remove all pus and bacteria. In serious cases, the abscess may have to be surgically removed.

Early diagnosis is critical to the chances of a patient making a full recovery from a dental abscess injury. When treatment is delayed, the infection could spread causing damage to other parts of the body.

Making a claim for a dental abscess injury

Dental staff owe a duty of care to provide treatment in a professional and timely manner. A claim may arise whenever this duty is breached and the patient suffers injury as a result. Examples include:

  • A delay in diagnosing the dental abscess
  • Failing to treat tooth damage or decay in a timely manner
  • Incomplete draining of a dental abscess resulting in further infection
  • Failing to provide a course of antibiotics
  • Complications following deep cleaning treatments
  • Mistakes during the removal of an abscess may give rise to a surgical error claim.

This list is not exhaustive. A claim may be made whenever it can be shown that the dentist behaved in a manner which fell short of the required standard. The arguments will often be highly technical, revolving around the details of specialist dental reports.

What if my dental abscess was misdiagnosed?

While few dentists would fail to spot an established dental abscess, they may miss certain types of tooth damage that, without the proper treatment, could lead to the development a dental abscess in the future. Mistakes of this kind can result in a misdiagnosis claim, one of the most common types of dental negligence compensation claim.

Failing to spot a dental problem can increase the pain and discomfort of the patient, prolong the recovery period and in serious cases, reduce the health outcome of the patient. Where it can be shown that a negligent misdiagnosis has caused or exacerbated the patient's dental abscess, a claim for compensation may be made.

Starting a No Win No Fee dental abscess claim

Typically a no win no fee agreement (technically called a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) is put in place between the claimant and lawyer.

A no win no fee agreement is the conditions under which the solicitor represents the claimant.

It documents what the solicitor will actually do as well as how they will be rewarded if your legal case is won.

If you use Quittance for your dental abscess claim there are no hidden costs in the terms and conditions , nothing to pay up-front and the peace of mind that you will not be financially out of pocket.

How much compensation can I claim for a dental abscess?

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

How much can I claim?

Meet the QLS team

Our nationwide panel of solicitors handle all types of clinical negligence claims and have a wealth of expertise with fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Our lawyers are chosen for their winning track record and their years of specialist experience.

Meet more of the QLS team: click here.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Carol Cook Clinical Negligence Panel Solicitor
Lee Raynor Clinical Negligence Panel Solicitor
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

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