Dental Negligence Compensation Claims | No Win No Fee

By Jo Caine. Last Updated 27th June 2023. In the sections that follow, you will find a guide to the process of making a dental negligence claim. You will learn all about the many ways that dental negligence can occur. You will also learn a) why you may be eligible to make a claim, and b) why your dentist might be liable to pay compensation.

If you have any questions related to either this guide or your claim, please speak to one of our team members on 0161 696 9685. They will go over your claim with you, discuss your options, and give you any assistance that you need.

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A Guide To Compensation Claims For Dental Negligence

Dental negligence claims guide

Dental negligence claims guide

This guide is intended to teach you all you need to know about making a claim for dental negligence and how a medical negligence lawyer can help you by processing the claim on your behalf. In the sections below, you will find information that includes:

  • A table that contains typical compensation amounts for a range of injuries to the teeth or jaw. It also includes compensation amounts for facial scarring.
  • A list of the most commonly awarded damages that a settlement for dental negligence could be made up of.
  • A basic definition of what dental negligence is, and why you could be eligible to make a claim. We also take a look at the concept of liability.
  • An examination of what dental malpractice is, and what would be considered negligence, as opposed to injuries that were not caused by negligence.
  • Some key statistics and figures related to dental malpractice in the UK, how common it is, etc.
  • Several examples show how dental malpractice takes place, and the different forms that it can take. This includes:
    • Root canal treatment.
    • Bridge and crown fitting injuries.
    • Oral surgery injuries.
    • Jaw injuries.
    • Injuries to facial nerves.
    • Failure to diagnose and treat gum disease.
  • A list of the more common types of dental malpractice, and how a claim can be made against either the NHS or private dental practice.
  • A table that shows the time limits that you will need to begin your negligence claim within in order to be successful.
  • An overview of the process of starting your claim against a dentist for malpractice.
  • An introduction to the national claims service that we offer to all residents of the UK. This is an effective and financially risk-free way for you to have your claim processed.

If you have any questions about the contents of this guide, or anything related to your own claim, then please speak to one of our claims team so that they can help you.

Dental Negligence Compensation Amounts And Calculator

Instead of providing you with an online medical negligence or personal injury claims calculator, we have instead, produced this table below. The figures you can see are based on guidelines set out by a legal body known as the Judicial College.

Injury and severity Notes Value
Teeth – serious Injuries such as chronic tooth pain resulting from untreated abcesses with deterioration in the overall condition of teeth. Up to £38,130
Teeth – (i) Serious damage or complete loss of numerous front teeth £8,730 to £11,410
Teeth – (ii) Serious damage or loss of two front teeth. £4,350 to £7,630
Teeth – (iii) Damage or loss of one front tooth £2,200 to £3,950

Jaw fracture Very serious multiple fractures, resulting in extensive treatment, and causing long term problems. £30,490 to £45,540
Jaw fracture Serious fracture with permanent damage. £17,960 to £30,490
Jaw fracture Requires immobilisation but recovery will be complete. £6,460 to £8,730
Facial Disfigurement – very severe Disfigurement with a severe psychological reaction. Higher award for younger claimants £29,780 to £97,330
Facial Disfigurement – trivial Minor effects with a good chance of healing £1,710 to £3,530

If you would like a more accurate estimate of the dental negligence compensation amount you may be able to claim, speak to one of our claims team today.

Types Of Damages A Dental Negligence Or Malpractice Claim Can Include

If the answer to the question, “can I claim compensation from my dentist?” is yes, then the compensation settlement you receive will be made up of two different types of damages. These damages are to compensate you for physical harm, as well as ad-hoc and financial losses.

General damages

General damages are intended to compensate you for any pain, suffering or loss of amenity your injuries may have caused. Specifically, they cover: 

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and trauma
  • Psychological injury
  • Negative effect on your quality of life
  • Disability either permanent or for the long-term

Special damages

The idea behind special damages is to ensure you’re financially in the same position as you were before the incident, and if you will incur further costs down the line because of it, those costs are covered too. Examples of the types of expenses you can claim for include: 

    • Private medical costs
    • Loss of current wages/salary
    • Cost of hiring in nursing or home help
    • Lowered prospects of future employment
    • The cost of travel tickets

The important thing to bear in mind when it comes to claiming back such costs is that you need to prove them with the likes of receipts, bills and invoices. Therefore, be sure to keep a hold of all records.

What Is Dental Negligence?

Every dentist, as well as all dental nurses and any other person working in a dental surgery, has a duty of care towards each patient to ensure they are not harmed. When they fail in this duty, and this leads to a patient being injured in some way, then a reason to make a claim could exist. As long as you can demonstrate the dental practice was indeed guilty of malpractice, then they would be liable to pay compensation.

What Counts As Dental Malpractice And Negligence?

To establish dental negligence, each of the three statements would need to be true:

  1. The dentist had a duty of care towards you, the patient.
  2. The dentist breached their duty of care, exposing you to the risk of harm.
  3. As a result of the breach, you suffered an injury.

How Common Is Dental Negligence

Dental negligence statistics

Take a look at the infographic above, it gives some interesting information about dental care in the UK. You can also consider these facts below:

  • Around 40 million dental treatments take place in the UK each year (based on 2018/19 data).
  • Some of the most common forms of dental malpractice could be regarded as misdiagnosis, tooth decay, root canal work, damage to teeth and wrongful removal of teeth.

What Are Examples Of Types Of Dental Negligence?

When we look at dental malpractice examples, we find that the same kinds of treatments are the basis of the claim very frequently, and these include:

  • Root canal treatments.
  • Crown and bridge fitting.
  • Oral surgery.
  • Injuries to the jaw.
  • Damage to the facial nerves.
  • Failure to treat gum disease.

We have covered each of these common types of malpractice in their own sections below.

Root Canal Treatment Dental Negligence

A common reason for dental negligence lawyers to process a claim is root canal treatment. This treatment is undertaken to treat a decayed tooth, or an infection (usually caused by a loose filling). When things go wrong, medical problems such as dental instrument residue, cracked or fractured teeth and non-removal of bacteria can occur. Each of these could become the basis of a claim.

Bridge And Crown Fitting Dental Negligence

Another very common form of dental assistant negligence is a mistake made in the fitting of a crown or bridge. A crown goes over a tooth that has been damaged so as to protect it. A bridge is used to replace lost teeth. If either of these dental devices is badly fitted, then they can cause significant pain and discomfort. This could become the basis of a claim in its own right.

Negligent Dental Or Oral Surgery

Our dental negligence team can assist with claims relating to badly carried out oral surgery. Before undergoing dental surgery, you should have had all of the risks explained to you. You can then agree or disagree to undergo the procedure. However, if you are not warned of risk and subsequently fall foul of this risk, you could have a valid claim.

Dental Negligence Leading To Jaw Injuries

Jaw injury from dental negligence

Jaw injury from dental negligence

One of the more serious reasons for claiming against a dentist is due to a damaged jaw. There are very few reasons why a dentist purposefully performs any treatment on a jaw. However, there are some ways that they can damage the jaw by accident, such as during a surgical procedure, or allowing a tooth to become so infected the jawbone itself is damaged. These could form the basis of a claim.

Dental Negligence Facial Nerve Injuries

Specialist dental solicitors could be able to help you to claim against a dentist that fails to provide treatment for common conditions such as gum disease. Diagnosis is an important part of the dental procedure, and when a dentist either misdiagnoses a condition or fails to diagnose it completely, this can lead to harm to the patient. In this case, the patient could have a valid reason to make a claim.

Failure To Treat Conditions Such As Gum Disease

Specialist dental solicitors could be able to help you to claim against a dentist that fails to provide treatment for common conditions such as gum disease. Diagnosis is an important part of the dental procedure, and when a dentist either misdiagnoses a condition or fails to diagnose it completely, this can lead to harm to the patient. In this case, the patient could have a valid reason to make a claim.

Different Types Of Medical And Dental Negligence

There are several ways that dental malpractice can occur, from simple errors to gross misconduct. The most common types of negligence are:

  • Misdiagnosis or late diagnosis.
  • Errors made during a surgical procedure.
  • Administering the wrong treatment.
  • Administering the correct treatment wrongly.
  • Prescribing the wrong medication.
  • Failing to provide the most suitable treatment.

Dental Negligence Claims Against The NHS

The NHS is legally obliged to provide a very specific minimum level of service to patients, and this includes dental patients. This obligation is enforced by various legislation and professional codes. When the NHS fails in its compliance with these regulations, which leads to a patient being harmed, then a reason to make a dental negligence claim could exist. You would have to follow the official NHS complaints procedure to begin your claim. We’ve included more detail on this at the end of the guide.

The process of making a claim against the NHS can be quite complex. Primarily this is due to the fact that if the NHS denies that their dentist has been negligent, then the onus is upon the victim to prove otherwise. We would recommend that any person who has been injured by an NHS dentist takes advantage of our offer to provide a free legal consultation, and if your claim has good chances of winning, we can as part of the claims process arrange for you to see a medical expert locally. This expert will produce a medical report which we can use the results to help prove your claim.

Dental Negligence Claims Against A Private Dental Practice

Every private dental practice has to comply with all health and safety regulations and all legal obligations that apply to the NHS. This means that dental negligence solicitors are able to take advantage of non-compliance which leads to harm to a patient as a valid route to processing a claim.

You will need to follow the procedure that the dental practice has in place to first make a complaint and then make a claim.

Dental Negligence Compensation Claim Time Limits

There is a medical negligence claims time limit, similar to the personal injury claims time limit, that you will need to start making your claim within. We have listed the general time limits that may be applicable in your own case, below:

Circumstances of Claim Time Limit
If you were over the age of 18 when you suffered the injury. 3 years from the accident date.
If you were under the age of 18 when you suffered the injury. 3 years from your 18 th birthday.

In some cases, the dental negligence time limit can differ from those in the table above. We recommend that you speak with one of our claims team to check which time limit applies in your own case.

How To Make A Dental Negligence Or Malpractice Compensation Claim

Do you have questions about the process of making a claim? Or questions such as, “what kind of lawyer do I need to sue a dentist?” If so, we can answer them for you. We have a very simple to follow claims process. Speak to one of our team on the number below and they will ask you a series of questions, such as:

  • When did the malpractice take place?
  • Which dental practice did you use?
  • Why do you believe you have a reason to make a claim?
  • What injuries have you suffered?
  • Have you had an independent medical examination from another dentist?
  • Have you made a complaint about the dental practice?
  • What kinds of losses have you suffered due to the incident?

The answers to questions such as these tell us all we need to know about your injuries and how they were caused. We can then begin to give you some realistic advice on how best to proceed with your claim.

No Win No Fee Dental Negligence Claims

If you are eligible to pursue a dental negligence claim, one of the solicitors on our panel may be able to help you. They have experience with gathering evidence, ensuring claims are filed within the relevant limitation period, and calculating dental negligence payouts.

If one of the solicitors on our panel agrees to help you with your claim, they may offer to represent you under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement. Under a CFA, you would not be required to pay your solicitor for their services if your claim fails.

Should your claim succeed, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation payout. The percentage that your solicitor can take as this fee is capped by the law.

To discuss your claim and to potentially be connected with a solicitor on our panel, you can contact our advisors. They can also help answer questions such as ‘How do I find the best dental negligence solicitors?’. They can also discuss dental negligence payouts for UK claims.

Call Our Team Today

Have you been harmed by your dentist in some way? Do you think that you might have a valid reason to start a compensation claim against them? If so, speak to one of our claim advisors on 0161 696 9685. They will be ready and waiting to help you get your claim started today.

Additional Information

You may find the following links to be of some use:

NHS information on making a complaint against a dentist

British Dental Association info on dental Health & Safety

NHS statistics on dental care in the UK

Workplace Rights 

No Win No Fee Claims

Other Medical Negligence Guides

Guide by CR

Edited by DEG