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Home » Latest News » Dental negligence on the rise

Dental negligence on the rise

Dental negligence on the rise

As the number and complexity of cosmetic dental treatments and/or surgery grows, so has the number of cases that have ended in poor and unexpected outcomes for patients.

Cosmetic Dentistry is a procedure to either improve or change the condition of a person’s teeth to aesthetically enhance their appearance.  According to the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry the most popular treatments include: cosmetic bonding; dental implants; dentures; gum contouring; adult orthodontics; smile makeovers (“Hollywood Smile”); teeth whitening; veneers and crowns.

According to the Oral Health Foundation, the UK’s cosmetic dentistry industry is valued at £2.2 billion and is expected to increase by 8% by 2021. As the number and complexity of cosmetic dental treatments and/or surgery grows, so has the number of cases that have ended in poor and unexpected outcomes for patients. 

Many people are turning to dental treatment as a way of improving their appearance. That treatment can be expensive and, when it goes wrong, can leave patients horrified by the results, in pain, and requiring further expensive treatment to put it right.  Bridge McFarland LLP can help with advice on making a claim.

Examples of the cases that we have come across, involving significant dental injuries following cosmetic dentistry procedures, include:

  • Nerves being damaged in the teeth, causing increased sensitivity
  • Veneers failing or being the wrong size, causing pain and discomfort
  • When preparing for braces, incorrect teeth being extracted or too many teeth being removed
  • Loose fitting crowns causing damage to the teeth underneath, leading to decay and infection
  • Chemicals and lasers used during teeth whitening weakening the tooth enamel and leading to decay, infection and significant long term damage
  • Gum procedures resulting in tooth decay and issues where the gum has been pulled too far back exposing the nerve

Cases are also emerging where braces have been fitted incorrectly and the corrective treatment required is both long term and expensive. Serious consideration has to be given to the positioning of the teeth in the mouth before moving them with the use of braces. Moving the teeth can cause an altered biting position of the teeth causing difficulties eating. Further, the teeth have to be held in the same position with the use of retainers on a long term basis. Some patients who have dreamt of a straight white smile end up with this nightmare scenario.

A person’s bite can be changed by completing procedures in different parts of the mouth at the same time which will lead to longstanding pain and issues. It can also cause difficulty sleeping due to teeth grinding.

Often dentists are moving the teeth before taking into consideration the long term impact. Patients are not always aware or advised that dental treatment of this nature is cosmetic treatment, just like any other cosmetic surgery. They are unaware it is a specialist treatment that requires careful assessment and planning, and is all too often performed by non-specialist dentists.

If you’ve had problems or concerns following cosmetic dental treatment then please contact us to see whether you may have a medical negligence claim.