How To Make A Dental Negligence Compensation Claim? – A Complete Guide To Claiming Against A Dentist?

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 severityNotesValue
Teeth - seriousInjuries such as chronic tooth pain resulting from untreated abcesses with deterioration in the overall condition of teeth. Up to £35,790
Teeth - (i)Serious damage or complete loss of numerous front teeth£8,200 to £10,710
Teeth - (ii)Serious damage or loss of two front teeth. £4,080 to £7,160
Teeth - (iii)Damage or loss of one front tooth£2,070 to £3,710
Facial Disfigurement - very severeDisfigurement with a severe psychological reaction. Higher award for younger claimants£27,940 to £91,350
Facial Disfigurement - trivialMinor effects with a good chance of healing£1,600 to £3,310

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 ClaimTime 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.

Dental Negligence No Win No Fee Claims

Our panel of solicitors offers a dental negligence No Win No Fee claims service. This service is offered nationally, to all residents of the UK. This is a simple yet effective way to have your claim processed, at no financial risk to yourself.

When one of our solicitors first starts working on your claim, they won’t charge you any fee at all. As they process your claim, even if it takes months or even longer, they still won’t charge a fee. If they are not able to get you any compensation, there is still no fee at all. The only time they seek to charge a fee, and a small one at that, is when we have successfully won a compensation settlement for you. At this stage, they will seek a modest percentage of the compensation award. This is also called a success fee. The limit solicitors can take is capped by law. Speak to one of our claims team on the number below if you would like to know more about this claims service, or proceed with a claim today.

Why Choose Us For Dental Negligence Advice

We will always do everything within our power to ensure that your claim is successful, without compromising your ability to make a claim. We will seek the maximum level of compensation possible. We will update you regularly on the status of your claim, using plain English without any legal jargon, so you understand exactly what is going on at all times. Follow the three-step process below to get your claim underway today.

Contact our team by email, phone, or post.Our team will assess your claim.Once you are ready, we can then start your claim.

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


Guide by CR

Edited by DEG