LOCAL MAN LOSES THREE TEETH

LOCAL MAN LOSES THREE TEETH AFTER DENTIST FAILS TO TREAT DECAY

• 33-year-old Mr Jakub Terefenko from Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, loses three teeth after local dentist fails to treat decay and chronic infection
• Mr Terefenko’s face swelled-up making it difficult for him to eat
• £20,000 received in compensation

Mr Jakub Terefenko, a 33-year-old IT machinist operator from Nottingham has won £20,000 in compensation from his local dentist with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership. The dentist’s failure to treat decay led to Mr Terefenko developing chronic infection, seeing his face swell-up, and losing three teeth.

Mr Terefenko was a regular patient of Dr Mihai-Dorian Margineanu of 7 Dental dental practice in Hyson Green Nottingham, and always believed he was in safe hands. However, problems started to materialise in late 2009 when the dentist extracted one of his teeth.

“I remember thinking it was strange,” Mr Terefenko said. “Dr Margineanu didn’t explain why she was extracting my tooth, or offer any alternative treatment. I suppose I trusted there must have been a reason and she knew what she was doing. She was my dentist after all.”

Over the course of the next two years, Mr Terefenko visited Dr Margineanu for check-ups and was told his dental health was good. It was not until Mr Terefenko had a crown fitted on another tooth in May 2012 that more problems started to become apparent. Soon after the crown had been fitted he started to suffer from toothache.

“Soon after Dr Margineanu fitted the crown my tooth was very painful,” Mr Terefenko recalls. The pain didn’t stop and it started to become really stressful because the pain was excruciating at times. I often couldn’t eat properly. Then in July 2012 a filling had to be replaced because it fell out. “I went to see a different dentist and complained about the pain but they just prescribed antibiotics.”

Mr Terefenko’s dental problems continued, and in 2014 the crown he had been experiencing problems with became loose and had to be re-cemented. But the final straw came in 2015 when Dr Margineanu recommended that another one of his teeth were extracted, and his face swelled-up so much he was unable to talk properly.

Mr Terefenko finally saw a new dentist and was diagnosed with chronic infections and severe decay. He eventually had two more teeth extracted in early 2016.

“It is deeply upsetting,” Mr Terefenko explained. “I have lost three teeth and I am only 33. You just don’t expect it to happen. I’d complained about toothache to Dr Margineanu for so long but she never did anything about it.”

Mr Terefenko contacted the Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of his dental records revealed that Dr Margineanu had indeed failed to spot and treat decay at his teeth, which had led to chronic infection. Decay was clearly visible at some of Mr Terefenko’s teeth in X-rays taken as far back as 2010, but Dr Margineanu did nothing to treat it and just fit crowns and fillings over the decay instead. This was the reason Mr Terefenko’s crowns and fillings failed.

“I am so unhappy with the way Dr Margineanu treated me,” Mr Terefenko explained. “I experienced so much pain and have lost teeth all because she wasn’t doing her job properly. I only wish I’d seen a different dentist sooner. I now need crowns, implants, and root canal treatment at another tooth the decay damaged. So I have a lot more time in the dentist’s chair to look forward to.”

Jonathan Owen of the Dental Law Partnership commented: “What our client went through was completely unnecessary. If the dentist had provided adequate treatment in the first place all the dental problems he experienced could have been avoided. We hope the compensation he receives goes some way towards paying for the additional treatment required.”

The Dental Law Partnership took on Mr Terefenko’s case in February 2016. The case was successfully settled in June 2017 when the dentist paid £20,000 in an out of court settlement. The dentist did not admit liabilit

YOUR ORAL HEALTH

HOW YOUR ORAL HEALTH CAN AFFECT YOUR OVERALL HEALTH

Poor oral health can lead to gingivitis, tooth loss and a lot of pain and inconvenience – but, worse than that, poor oral health can also lead to a multitude of other health issues that you might not even be aware of. Gum disease isn’t just bad news for your smile, it is also linked to serious problems in other parts of your body. In varying degrees, recent studies have found that gum disease may increase your risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Diabetes
  • Giving birth to a premature or low-birth-weight baby
  • Respiratory disease

What affect can gum disease have on my health?

Gum disease isn’t something that happens overnight, but is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth, caused by a build-up of bacteria over an extended period of time. Studies have suggested that people suffering from gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from heart disease as people without it – and it is thought that this is due to bacteria from the mouth making its way into the bloodstream. Protein, produced by this bacteria, can cause the platelets in the blood to stick together as they move through the vessels of the heart, making clots more likely to form and slowing down blood flow, making it more difficult for nutrients and oxygen to get to the heart. This, if left untreated, can increase a person’s risk of stroke or heart attack.

Similarly, recent studies have shown that, compared to people with healthy gums, people who suffer from gum disease tend to have higher long-term blood sugar levels, and therefore may be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

My dentist failed to diagnose gum disease

If you’re suffering from any sort of pain or inflammation of your gums, it’s important that you visit your dentist for a check-up as quickly as possible. However, if you have already visited your dentist and you’re concerned that they have failed to spot an issue regarding gum disease, or that your dentist may have contributed to ongoing oral health issues through misdiagnosis, poor treatment or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

At the Dental Law Partnership, our team of expert Dental Negligence solicitors are on hand to help y

without satisfaction and pays no one.

65-year old man seeks care from numerous dentists, without satisfaction and pays no one.

History

In an interesting UK case, an older gentleman (Mr. D) went from London dentist to London dentist seeking care for his “TMJ pain” (temporomandibular joint pain). He was dissatisfied with each dentist he saw (whether merely consulted or providing treatment). Her moved on without paying anyone anything, despite running up several significant bills. The local Dental Association made note of it in their Journal as it had occurred so frequently! Mr. D was intercepted leaving a dental office and detained by the police.

Investigation

Those with “TMJ pain” sometimes find adequate care hard to find. The resultant frustration and mental stress can lead some to lose their usual insight and move from dentist to dentist. Unfortunately, this has resulted in some dentists believing that such pain is “all in the patient’s head”. While acute pain is useful (moving your hand when leaning on a hot surface), chronic pain has no such function, it develops a “life of it’s own” and can result in affective mental disorders such as depression. In this case it was determined that these factors aside, there was no excuse in not paying, or at least discussing payment; with the many dentists involved. These are the factors illustrated in a Dental Expert Witness’ Report that assisted the court in its determination.

Review

Mr. D. was fined by the court and ordered to repay all of his outstanding dental bills. A referral to a postgraduate dental facility was arranged for a reversible and non-invasive splint as intervention for his pain at the recommendation of the report. While it is not known if pain management was a success, there is a need for an independent and impartial opinion in cases where many dentists have been unsuccessful yet the patient’s involvement is not understood. This benefits both parties and provides a basis for determinations.

Question

Did the previous dentist give appropriate treatment and an adequate explanation of the procedure and it’s possible success? Would both sides of the case be illustrated equitably without a Dental Expert Witness’ report?

Infection

Dental abscesses are caused by infection, and often display with a swelling that contains pus, and may be very painful. The pain can be throbbing in nature, and may get worse the longer that the abscess is left untreated.

The pain from a dental abscess can spread to the jaw, ears and neck, as well as making it very uncomfortable to eat or drink. Some people with a dental abscess also experience a high temperature, have difficulty sleeping, problems opening their mouth, swallowing and feel generally unwell. In extreme cases, dental abscesses have been known to partially obstruct the airway, making it difficult for the sufferer to breathe.

If dental abscesses are left untreated, they can cause permanent damage to the bone around the affected area, making it vital to see a dentist as soon as possible if you think that you have one.

Different types of dental abscess

There are two main types of dental abscess that can develop, and both will require intervention by a dentist to treat them successfully.

Periapical abscesses are to be found at the ends of the roots of teeth and are caused by bacteria working their way into the tooth via a hole in the outer layers (enamel and dentine) and infecting the inside of the tooth (the dental pulp), which can cause an abscess to form at the root end. One reason for this could be decay or a cracked or broken tooth, allowing the bacteria inside. Another potential cause could be if a root canal procedure is not carried out to a good standard, leaving bacteria inside the tooth to cause an infection.

Periodontal abscesses are located with the support bone and soft tissue around teeth when there is a breakdown of these structures due to gum or periodontal disease. If the gums become inflamed, this can cause gaps around the teeth that can be difficult to keep clean. If bacteria build up here, a painful abscess in the mouth can be the result.

What to do if you think you have a dental abscess

It’s essential to see your dentist as soon as possible if you think that you have a dental abscess. You may need to get an emergency appointment if your usual dentist does not have an available appointment. Very severe dental abscesses may require treatment at Hospital A+E.

Dental abscesses do not go away on their own, and do require treatment in order to resolve the problem.

How are dental abscesses treated?

When you visit the dentist with an abscess, they will usually use local anaesthetic to numb the area around the abscess. They will often firstly drain away the pus, as this contains the infection. Then the cause of the abscess must be resolved, otherwise the abscess will just return. The specific treatment for this will depend on the type of dental abscess it is.

For a periapical abscess, this usually involves drilling into the infected tooth to make sure all pus and infected tissue is removed. The tooth will then need to be root filled to stop the infection from coming back. Alternatively extraction of the infected tooth may be a reasonable treatment option.

For a periodontal abscess, once the abscess has been drained and the area thoroughly cleaned, this may be the end of the necessary abscess treatment. However, if the gum has been permanently damaged through the inflammation and the abscess returns, it may require surgery to the affected area to treat the underlying condition.

Complications with dental abscesses

On rare occasions, even after treatment has been given, there can be some complications with dental abscesses. In some cases, this could be the result of dental negligence, if your dentist has failed in their duty of care to you when treating your abscess. These potential complications could include:

  • The development of a dental cyst at the root of the infected tooth, which can get infected. These cysts will require additional treatment, which can include surgery to remove the cyst under local anaesthetic.
  • Osteomyelitis, which is a rare but significant infection of the bone and can usually be treated with antibiotics, surgery or both.
  • Ludwig’s Angina, which is a rare but significant infection on the floor of the mouth particularly under the tongue that causes pain and swelling and can usually be treated with antibiotics, airway management and drainage. This can be very serious if not treated quickly.
  • Maxillary Sinusitis, which is an infection in the hollow spaces or sinuses within the bones of the face including the cheekbones. Whilst not a serious condition, it can cause pain, tenderness around the cheeks and fever. It may resolve itself with no further treatment, but can sometimes require antibiotics.

If you think that your dentist has been negligent in your care, you can contact the Dental Law Partnership for free initial advice to determine whether you may be able to claim for compensation.