Dental negligence compensation claims

Updated: October 8, 2018


Dental negligence claims and orthodontist negligence claims generally fall into 3 main categories. Those around diagnosis, such as misdiagnosis or a failure to act; those in which the dentist's technique is inadequate; and those where a dentist is careless.

Dentist x-ray

Do I have a dental negligence claim?

If you were injured as the result of dental negligence 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.


Misdiagnosis and delays in referral can result in serious complications, such as tooth infection or untreated oral cancer spreading.

If a dentist fails to correctly diagnose a condition it may lead to the wrong treatment being administered, or no treatment at all. The condition may worsen, causing further oral damage. The inappropriate treatment may itself cause unnecessary injury and pain.

For example, when gum disease such as gingivitis is not treated, longer term it may turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease; all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out.

Taking regular x-rays to identify problem areas and ensuring regular hygienist appointments are scheduled should help a dentist monitor gum disease, although the patient must be responsible for his own daily cleaning routine.

If a patient has been attending regular dental appointments with a dentist who failed to identify or properly treat the early stages of periodontal disease, he may be able to bring a claim.

Inadequate dental technique

Dental procedures to improve or restore damaged teeth include bridges, crowns, veneers and implants, as well as tooth-coloured fillings. Correctly performed, treatments should last several years, but if a dentist does not use the right techniques they may quickly fail.

Before treatment patients should be fully assessed by their dentists to examine the extent of any problems and to establish suitability for any procedure. They should be advised of any risks as well as the benefits.

When restorative dental procedures fail it may be traumatic and painful. Where procedures have to be repeated there may be financial and emotional cost to the patient.These losses can be included in dental negligence injury claim.

Careless treatment

A dentist may be careless and remove a healthy tooth by mistake, or damage teeth adjacent to the one being extracted. It is also not uncommon for too many teeth to be extracted.

In some cases, teeth are only partially extracted leaving some of the root sections within the jaw, leading to later complications.

Where a dentist fails to remove the whole root, or to fill the canal properly after removal in root canal treatment, a patient may be left with persistent toothache or more seriously, severe jaw infections.

How to claim for dentist or orthodontist negligence

Although dentists have a duty of care toward their patients, it does not mean that anyone whose dental treatment has failed, or who is pain may file a claim.

Proving that a dentist has acted negligently can be complex. Claimants must be able to demonstrate that the received dental treatment was the cause of their pain or injury.

Your solicitor will arrange for an independent medical exam to establish that the dentist or orthodontist's negligence was the cause of your injuries.

How much compensation can I claim for dental negligence?

The compensation calculation will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries, and on the impact the injuries have had on your life and work.

Use Quittance's claim calculator for more information about how your dental negligence claim could be calculated, or call an expert on 0800 612 7456.

No Win, No Fee dental negligence claims

A No Win, No Fee claim starts with the injured Claimant signing, with their solicitor, a Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as a CFA).

The CFA defines the terms and conditions between your solicitor and you.

It details the service executed by your lawyer and a success fee. This is the percentage that will be taken from the compensation award if the case is won.

You can prioritise your rest and recovery, with the knowledge that there is absolutely nothing to pay if the case is not successful. There will be absolutely no hidden fees working with a Quittance injury-specialist solicitor.

Meet our team

The nationwide panel of QLS solicitors handle all types of clinical negligence claims, from short-term injury cases to life-changing injuries. Chosen on the basis of their track record in winning claims, Quittance's panel solicitors have years of dedicated experience.

Click here to meet more of the Quittance Legal Services team.

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.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert

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