Dental Negligence Claims

Experienced Dental Negligence Solicitors

Visiting the Dentist, even for a check-up, is not a favourite activity for many people (if anyone).

When you visit your Dentist, you expect a certain level of professional treatment and care from trained Dental Professionals. On the rare occasion that a dental treatment goes wrong, the result can be painful and sometimes life altering.

If you have experienced dental treatment that was subpar, or simply incorrect, contact us at Cantillons Solicitors and we will assist you with investigating whether you are in a position to bring a Dental Negligence Claim.

Dental Negligence Solicitors

Page Contents

What is a Dental Negligence Claim?

In Ireland, Dental Professionals are held to the same high standards as Medical Professionals. They are expected to provide treatment and care that helps and improves the dental health of patients.

A Dental Negligence Claim can be made when a mistake by a Dentist leads to injury or disfigurement. This can include an injury to the gums, nerves, tongue, face and damage to teeth.

Many Dentists now also provide cosmetic treatments, such as teeth whitening and Botox treatments, which can also, unfortunately, lead to injury or disfigurement, if a mistake is made.

Dental Negligence Claims are not limited to only general Dentists, but can also be brought against Dental Professionals including:

  • Orthodontists;
  • Pedodontist or Pediatric Dentistry;
  • Dental Technicians;
  • Hygienists;
  • Dental Nurses;
  • Periodontist;
  • Endodontist;

Dental Malpractice can also arise where a misdiagnosis has been uncovered. For example, the failure to diagnosis of oral/mouth cancer, ulcers or gum disease. A misdiagnosis for any of these can have long lasting health implications for a patient. A failure to diagnosed oral cancer can lead to missed treatment opportunities.

 

Who Can Make a Dental Negligence Claim?

When you are harmed in any way because of negligent dental treatment, you may have cause to claim compensation.

Our Dental Negligence Solicitors at Cantillons Solicitors can help you establish if you have a Dental Negligence Claim. Get in touch with us today to set up an initial meeting to investigate your Dental Negligence Claim.

You are entitled to make a Dental Negligence Claim, whether you are a private dental patient or a HSE dental patient. It is also possible to make a dental negligence claim on behalf of your child.

If you are an Irish resident, and have experienced Dental Negligence abroad, you should contact a Dental Negligence Solicitor to check your claim options.

 

What Are The Time Limits For Bringing A Dental Negligence Claim?

The time limits in which you can make a Dental Negligence Claim are set by the Statute of Limitations.

Currently, in Ireland, you have two years within which to make a claim. There are some exceptions to this, including if you did not know a wrong had been committed until a later date (the date of knowledge), then the time limit will run from the date you discovered this wrong.  Also, if you did not initially know you suffered an injury, then the time will only start from the date you became aware of the injury.

 It is always advisable to commence your claim as soon after your mistreatment as possible.

For children and infants, the time limits laid out by the Statute of Limitations are a little different. One option is that a parent of the child can bring the case for Dental Negligence on their behalf soon after the injury. The other option is to wait until the child’s 18th birthday, when the child then has two years to complete the Dental Negligence Claim. This may not always be advisable. If your child has received a dental injury, speak to a Dental Negligence Solicitor before deciding when to make the claim – the compensation which may be awarded if the case is successful may go a long way in assisting the child with the cost of restorative treatment.

 

What Are The Types Of Dental Negligence Claims?

In order to bring a Dental Negligence Claim, there must have been Dental Negligence. Dissatisfaction with the outcome of a procedure is not sufficient, there must have been negligence in the service provided, which resulted in an injury. This is something that your Dental Negligence Solicitor can assist you with and advise on.

Dental services have evolved extensively in Ireland in the last two decades. As a result of the increased services available, there are also more types of Dental Negligence Claims. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Injury as a result of a poor standard of dental work

Injuries to the mouth can be painful and inconvenient. While it is rare for a dental procedure to result in an injury, when negligence was the cause of that injury, you should contact your Dental Negligence Solicitor immediately.

 

  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

Misdiagnosis and late diagnosis of serious oral conditions, such as cancer or gum disease, can delay essential treatment. This delay may result in the chances of a successful treatment being diminished. If your condition has been misdiagnosed or the diagnosis is delayed, contact a Dental Negligence Solicitor as soon as possible for advice.

 

  • Failure to perform correct dental checks

Dental professionals must ensure that patients have no allergies or sensitivities to medicines before treatment. This includes, but is not limited to, anaesthetic agents. An anaesthesia allergy can lead to anaphylaxis.

 

  • Extraction of incorrect teeth or unnecessary extraction

There are times when your Dentist will need to remove one or more of your teeth. If the incorrect tooth or teeth are removed, it can lead to unnecessary pain. It might also have cosmetic implications, and can lead to the misalignment of the remaining teeth, which requires expensive corrective procedures.

If a Dentist fails to extract a tooth, or extracts the wrong tooth, should contact a Dental Negligence Solicitor.

 

  • Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic procedures, carried out by a Dentist, can, on occasion, go wrong. If this has been the result of negligence, then there is potential to bring a Dental Negligence Claim. Cosmetic Dentistry includes botox, fitting veneers, crowns, bridges, whitening and implants.

 

  • Crown and bridge work

If damage was caused during crown and bridge work, you should contact a Dental Negligence Solicitor.

 

  • Implants

If damage was caused while implant work was being carried out, you should contact a Dental Negligence Solicitor.

 

  • Orthodontics

If damage was caused while orthodontic treatment was being carried out, you should contact a Dental Negligence Solicitor.

 

  • Failure to take an x-ray

For some procedures, it is necessary to take an x-ray before the Dentist carries out the procedure. If a Dentist fails to do this, and an injury results, you should contact a Dental Negligence Solicitor.

 

  • Restorative Dentistry

Any type of dental treatment that rebuilds or replaces missing teeth, and partial teeth, is termed as Restorative Dentistry. This includes receiving fillings or veneers.

 

  • Negligent damage to teeth/gums/nerves/roots

On occasion, whilst doing dental work, damage may be negligently caused to adjoining teeth, gums, nerves or roots. If this has occurred, you should contact a Dental Negligence Solicitor.

 

  • Inadequate Root Canal Treatment / Endodontics

An Endodontist deals with the inside of the teeth and the tissue near the tooth root. Endodontists perform treatments such as root canals, cracked tooth surgery or emergency dental trauma procedures.

 

  • Performance of unnecessary dental procedures

Similar to unnecessary tooth extraction, if you have been given an unnecessary dental procedure, you should talk to a Dental Negligence Solicitor. The unnecessary procedure does not necessarily have to have caused injury for there to be a claim. If it was unnecessary, then you were put, at unnecessary risk, exposed to unnecessary costs and you may require further procedures to undo the unnecessary procedure.

  • Incorrect prescription

If, for example, you are prescribed a drug to which you have an allergy, and have a reaction, you should contact a Dental Negligence Solicitor.

 

  • Nerve damage

Nerve damage can be extremely painful. It can also cause further problems such as:

  • speech issues / slurring;
  • Numb cheeks / tongue / jaw;
  • Breathing difficulties;
  • Pain;
  • Loss of taste.

 

  • Prosthodontics

There may be occasions when you need teeth, or even part of your jaw, repaired. This is where a Prosthodontist comes in.

 

  • Children’s Dentistry

Unfortunately there are occasions when Dental Negligence affects children. When Dental Negligence injures a child, the parents or guardian can make a claim on the child’s behalf.

 

  • Poor standards of hygiene leading to infection

All medical apparatus and instruments should be sterilised before and after treatments without fail. Failing to sterilise can pass infections between patients and lead to illness.

 

How Do I Make A Dental Negligence Claim In Ireland?

To make a Dental Negligence Claim in Ireland, you must first find a Dental Negligence Solicitor to assist you. To find a suitable Dental Negligence Solicitor, look for one with experience in Dental Negligence Claims. You can ask about their experience at your initial meeting.

Your Dental Negligence Claim Solicitor will assist you through the steps of building a case. This starts with establishing the validity of your claim. If they do not believe that you have a potential legal claim, your Dental Negligence Solicitor should advise you so. It is important to give as much detail as possible to your Dental Negligence Solicitor.

To assist your Dental Negligence Claim, it is advisable to keep a record, if possible, of the injuries sustained. It is also helpful if you take and keep photos of the injury/treatment area. You should also retain any related expense receipts, such as those for pain medication.

In order to fully investigate a Dental Negligence Claim, your Dental Negligence Solicitor will take certain steps, including gaining access to your dental records and/or medical records. With your permission, your Dental Negligence Solicitor will request these directly from your Dentist and/or Doctor.

Proving that the injury, unnecessary pain, cosmetic effect or even illness was suffered as a result of Dental Negligence is the core of any Dental Negligence Case. Without evidence of negligence, the case cannot succeed. In order to prove Dental Negligence, it will be necessary to get a report from an independent expert who will investigate the claim, and confirm, if appropriate, that the acts of your Dentist were negligent. Your Dental Negligence Solicitor will assist you with obtaining this report and will furnish your records to the independent expert who is investigating your claim.

If the independent expert confirms that Dental Negligence has occurred, your Dental Negligence Solicitor will proceed to the next step of writing a letter to your dental professional, putting them on notice of your claim. In that letter, your Solicitor will outline the details of your claim. They will have also invited your Dentist to compensate you for the injury suffered.

If your Dentist refutes your claim, then the next step is to launch a Dental Negligence Case against your Dentist.

 

What Does A Dental Negligence Claim Cover?

When you bring a Dental Negligence claim, you are traditionally seeking compensation for the:

  • Pain and suffering to date.
  • Pain and suffering into the future.
  • Out of pocket expenses (for example remedial dental work) to date.
  • Out of pocket expenses into the future.

If you are unable to work as a result of the Dental Negligence, you may be able to claim a loss of earnings.

 

How Is The Amount Of Compensation In A Dental Negligence Claim Decided?

In Spring 2021, Ireland introduced new Personal Injury Guidelines for calculating compensation for Personal Injury Claims. This includes Dental Negligence Claims. The Book of Quantum has been replaced.

Below is an example of the Guidelines in relation to damage to teeth:

Dental Negligence Claims
Source: Judicial Council

As is clear from the above, the amount of compensation you receive depends on a variety of factors. This is something that our team can discuss with you at your initial case meeting. Also, there may be other matters to consider, including:

  • Psychological injuries.
  • Loss of earnings.
  • Cost of original procedure.
  • Cost of any corrective procedures received as a result of the Dental Negligence
  • Expenses, including, but not limited to, medication and travel.

Dental Negligence Solicitors Cork, Dublin and Nationwide

Contact Cantillons Solicitors
If you are looking for a Dental Negligence Solicitor, please contact Cantillons Solicitors using the contact form below, call us on +353 (0)21 4275673 or email us at info@cantillons.com for more information. Our office is located at 39 South Mall, Cork. We do, however, represent clients from all over Ireland. Should you be unable to attend our offices, we are more than happy to travel to you, or conduct the meeting on Zoom.

 * In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.  Many Personal Injury Solicitors portray themselves as “no win no fee Solicitors Cork”. This term can be misleading and it is essential that you discuss fees with the Personal Injury Solicitor you ultimately choose. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are entirely transparent.

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