Dental Negligence Department – Unnecessary Extraction?

The sheer thought of needing a dental extraction (tooth removal) is enough to send some people into a fit of terror, as images of excruciatingly painful dental procedures can instantly spring to mind.  

Possible complications of dental extractions include excessive bleeding, swelling, infection and nerve damage.   It is no wonder then why patients are aggrieved and bring clinical negligence claims against dentists who extract their teeth unnecessarily, without discussing any alternative treatment options.

 This is exactly what happened in the case of O v N (A General Dental Practitioner) which settled in early 2012. In this case, the Claimant alleged that her dentist had performed unnecessary extractions of 5 teeth and failed to discuss restorative treatment when x-rays showed clear root canals, sufficient alveolar support and restorable teeth.

 It was also alleged that on other occasions the standard of treatment provided by the Claimant’s dentist fell below an acceptable level and damages totaling £15,000.00 were agreed between the parties in an out of court settlement.

 This case highlights the fact that tooth extraction should generally be performed as a last resort, when no other treatment can rectify a patient’s dental problem.

If dentists do not discuss all of the available treatment options with patients and it can be proven that a tooth has been removed as a first treatment choice without the discussion of alternative treatment possibilities, then a clinical negligence claim may well ensue on the basis that a patient has been given insufficient information to enable him or her to make a decision to have the tooth removed with informed consent.

Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP specialise in obtaining compensation for client’s who have sustained injury as a result of Medical and Dental Negligence. We have many years of experience dealing with claims against hospitals (both NHS and Private), dentists and general practitioners. Examples include claims arising as a result of negligently performed operations, misdiagnosis of cancer, injuries arising as a result of negligently performed cosmetic surgery and injuries sustained at birth.

 We have offices in Liverpool City Centre, Garston Village, Allerton and London.  If you would like to enquire about a potential Medical or Dental Negligence claim, contact a member of our Team on 0151 733 3353. Calls can be taken 24 hours a day or e-mail us at rmalloy@gadllp.co.uk