In a recent UK case; Mr. H, 63-year-old man from Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, saw his oral health deteriorate after local dentists botched implant treatment. He suffered from excruciating pain for three years and experienced shooting pains when he drank water – he received £36,000 (C$70,000) in compensation.
Mr. H, a 63-year-old retired former social worker, from Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, has won £36,000 in compensation from his local dentists.
His local dentists botched implant treatment left Mr. H in excruciating pain and requiring extensive corrective treatment. His dentists also failed to diagnose any problems with his implants.
In August 2011, Mr H. visited Dr. X at a prestigious dental office, in W. London for an implant consultation.
“I wanted advice on implants,” Mr H. explained. “I was unhappy with the teeth at the back of my mouth and thought implants might help, so made an appointment with Dr. X.
“I was slightly apprehensive at the prospect of the treatment but Dr. X initially put my mind at rest. He said he’d been a dentist for a long time and knew what he was doing. So I didn’t think there was anything to worry about.”
So in 2012, Mr. H saw Dr. X who fitted three implants, but a month after being fitted, the implants were still very sore and Dr. X said that the implants were healing slower than usual.
“In hindsight I suppose he just fobbed me off,” Mr. H said. “He told me the implants were nice and clean and that there was no cause for concern. So I presumed the pain must just be normal, and told myself to grin and bear it.”
But two months later, Mr. H was back at the Dental Clinic because the gum around one of the implants was severely inflamed. Dr. X removed the implant and prescribed antibiotics, but sadly for Mr. H his dental problems didn’t stop there.
In May 2013, Mr. H was suffering from excruciating pain again, so made another appointment with Dr. X who performed a bone grafting procedure. However, the pain did not subside and Mr. H lost a second implant.
“I had lost trust in Dr. X by this point,” Mr. H explained. “I’d initially seen him to have what I thought was relatively common treatment, but I was in pain and experiencing never ending problems. By this point my jaw was so sore I couldn’t open my mouth fully. Eating was really painful and every time I drank water I got a shooting pain.”
In a continued attempt to rectify his dental problems, Mr. H visited Dr. X and another dentist the Dental Clinic, Dr. Y. on numerous occasions to have bridges and 2 replacement implants fitted.
But in 2014 he gave up hope and saw another dentist for a second opinion. His new dentist took X-rays and was shocked to discover that Mr. H’s implants had been fitted at the wrong angles and the bridgework was poor causing his teeth to be ‘out of bite’.
Mr. H contacted the Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of his dental records revealed that Dr. X and Dr. Y had indeed provided inadequate implant and bridge treatment.
This has led to all the problems Mr. H experienced. He will lose one further implant in the future and requires two new implants to be placed together with replacement bridgework.
“I am so angry,” Mr. H said. “Putting the pain aside, it is the impact the ordeal has had on my life. The whole experience has been horrible. Looking back, nothing was properly explained to me and I wish I’d done something about it sooner.
I’d been going back to see the dentists to complain about the pain, but they never diagnosed what was wrong or did anything to fix the problem. It’s unbelievable.”
Kate Chadwick of the Dental Law Partnership commented: “What our client went through was completely unnecessary. If the dentists had undertaken adequate implant treatment in the first place, all the suffering he experienced could have been avoided.
We hope the compensation he receives goes some way towards paying for any additional treatment required.”
The Dental Law Partnership took on Mr. H’s case in 2014. The case was successfully settled in October 2017 when Dr. X and Dr. Y paid £36,000 in an out of court settlement. The dentists did not admit liability.
In clinical dentistry, as in clinical medicine there are times when a problem would have occurred regardless of the clinician’s intervention.
Causation is when the problem wouldn’t have occurred – as was proven in this case (not mine). An expert witness can impartially determine this, for malpractice to be proven.