Dental negligence claims

Dental negligence claims

For finding answers and getting justice

Have you suffered from dental negligence that has caused you pain, discomfort, injury or even a loss of self-esteem? At Switalskis, we know that the damage caused by dental negligence extends beyond physical symptoms, often leaving emotional scars that can impact your everyday life. That's why we're so committed to helping those affected to secure the dental negligence compensation they're entitled to claim.

Our dedicated team of dental negligence solicitors has extensive knowledge and expertise in this area of law. With our compassionate approach, we'll not only guide you through the complexities of the dental negligence claims process but also provide the support you need on a personal level during this challenging time.

No one should have to endure the aftermath of dental negligence alone. Take the first step towards reclaiming your life by contacting Switalskis. Let us take care of your claim, so you can focus on what truly matters: your healing and recovery. Your journey to justice starts by making a dental compensation claim with us today.

Speak to a specialist dental negligence solicitor in confidence by calling Switalskis at 0800 1380 458, and we'll discuss the details of your dental claim in greater detail. You can also get in touch with us through the website.

How Switalskis can help you

At Switalskis, we know that if you've received poor dental treatment, you may be experiencing physical discomfort, emotional turmoil and confusion about your legal rights. That's why we're dedicated to making this journey less challenging for you, so that you can pursue justice while focusing on your recovery.

Our dental negligence solicitors are experts in their field, and we've already assisted many clients in situations similar to yours. Our solicitors are accredited as specialists by both the Law Society and the patients’ charity Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) . We're also recognised among the top clinical negligence teams in England and Wales by The Legal 500 UK, the foremost legal guide for clients.

Get in touch with us, and we'll be able to support your dental negligence compensation claim in the following ways:

  • Conducting a thorough review to understand the details of your case. This will allow us to provide advice on the potential success of your claim and help us to advise you on the way forward.
  • Prioritising transparency and clear communication. We’ll explain the process in plain English, without overwhelming you with confusing legal jargon. Also, you'll always be kept updated on the progress of your dental negligence claim at every stage.
  • Investigating your case thoroughly to gather the necessary evidence. We may consult with independent medical experts if needed, to establish that negligent dental care led to your injury and to determine your prognosis.
  • Representing you with the utmost professionalism and determination, whether in negotiation meetings or court proceedings, to secure the compensation you deserve.

When you choose Switalskis to help you claim dental negligence compensation, you'll have a compassionate and dedicated ally who really cares about your wellbeing. If you want to find out more about how we can help you, all you need to do is get in touch.

Read what our clients had to say about the help they received from Switalskis

What is dental negligence?

Dental negligence is a specific type of medical negligence that involves substandard or negligent care and treatment provided by dental professionals. This includes dentists, dental nurses, dental therapists, dental hygienists, and oral surgeons, whether they work in the NHS or private practices.

Negligence in the context of dentistry means that the standard of care you received fell below the accepted standards of competence within the dental community. In practical terms, this refers to cases where a dental professional does something incorrectly or fails to do something that should have been done, resulting in harm or injury to the patient.

There are various situations that could be classed as dental negligence, including:

  • Incorrect treatment or procedures leading to damage or injury
  • Delayed or incorrect diagnosis of dental conditions such as gum disease (periodontal disease) or oral cancer
  • Surgical errors during procedures such as extractions or implants
  • Injury to nerves or other parts of your mouth and teeth due to negligent care
  • Failure to obtain your informed consent before carrying out a potentially risky procedure

In each of these cases, it’s important to prove dental negligence by showing that mistakes made by a dental professional directly caused, or significantly contributed to, the harm or injury you have suffered. This is often the challenging part of any dental negligence claim, and why it’s crucial to seek the expertise of skilled solicitors like Switalskis to make sure your case is handled in the right way.

What are the common injuries and issues caused by dental negligence?

Dental negligence can lead to a wide range of injuries and conditions that can have significant consequences for a person's health and quality of life. Here are some of the most common injuries that can result from dental negligence:

  • Incorrect or unnecessary treatment: this can include having the wrong tooth extracted, unnecessary procedures being performed, or the incorrect placement of crowns, bridges or implants. Errors like this can lead to all sorts of problems, including severe pain, infection and further dental damage.
  • Nerve damage: nerve damage can happen during various dental procedures, such as root canal treatment or tooth extractions. This can result in a loss of feeling, chronic numbness or tingling in the tongue, lips, cheeks or other parts of the face. In severe cases, it can lead to difficulties in speaking, eating or drinking.
  • Dental implant issues: when implants are incorrectly fitted or the patient is unsuitable for the procedure, it can cause many problems. Examples include severe pain, infection, bone loss, damage to nearby teeth, and even changes in your facial appearance.
  • Failure to diagnose or treat a potentially dangerous condition: if a dental professional fails to diagnose or treat conditions such as gum disease (periodontal disease) or oral cancer in a timely manner, it can lead to serious implications for a person's health. This can involve the loss of teeth and severe pain, or in the case of cancer, it can even have potentially life-threatening consequences.
  • Anaesthetic complications: complications from anaesthesia can include allergic reactions, nerve damage or, in extreme cases, life-threatening issues such as anaphylaxis.
  • Cosmetic dentistry issues: problems can occur if cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as veneers or teeth whitening, are carried out incorrectly. This can lead to pain, sensitivity, an uneven appearance or damage to the natural tooth.

Each of these injuries can have a major impact on your daily life and wellbeing. If you believe you’ve suffered an injury due to poor dental care and treatment, our team at Switalskis can help guide you through the process of seeking dental negligence compensation.

What is the potential impact of negligent dental treatment?

The impact of dental negligence can be far-reaching, affecting your physical health, emotional wellbeing and lifestyle. In some cases, this type of medical negligence can lead to the following:

  • Physical pain and discomfort: one of the most obvious initial consequences of dental negligence is physical pain and discomfort. This can be mild or severe, depending on the nature and extent of the negligence and the injury it caused. You might feel occasional discomfort, or the pain could be ongoing, affecting your ability to eat, speak or sleep comfortably.
  • Emotional trauma and anxiety: negligent dental treatment can cause you emotional distress. It's natural to feel a sense of betrayal or loss of trust in healthcare professionals, while the physical pain and any changes in your appearance may also understandably cause anxiety and a loss of self-esteem. In severe cases, some patients may develop a phobia of dentists and dental treatment; further affecting their quality of life.
  • Long-term health complications: dental negligence can lead to serious health complications over time. These include persistent infections, loss of teeth, increased sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks, gum disease (periodontal disease) and damage to the jawbone. In extreme cases, a failure to diagnose or treat oral cancer or other serious conditions can put your life at risk.
  • Financial strain: negligent dental treatment often leads to additional dental or medical expenses to correct the problem or manage your ongoing symptoms. Patients may also lose income due to time off work for additional dental treatment or recovery, and incur transport costs by having to make further trips to the dentist or hospital.
  • Lifestyle changes: depending on the severity of the injury, you may have to make significant lifestyle changes. This could include dietary changes if eating certain foods becomes difficult, or you might have lengthy periods off work for treatment and recovery, impacting your professional life and career ambitions.
  • Cosmetic issues: many forms of dental negligence, such as botched dental surgery or inappropriate cosmetic dentistry, can have visible effects on your appearance, causing embarrassment and impacting your self-confidence.

If you've experienced dental negligence and are dealing with these or any other consequences, it's important to seek legal advice. At Switalskis, we can help you understand your rights and claim compensation for the difficulties you've faced.

What is the process for making a dental negligence claim?

If you've never been through it before, the dental negligence claims process can seem confusing or even daunting, and sometimes this can put people off making a claim. Call Switalskis on 0800 1380 458 and we'll help to simplify and clarify the whole process from start to finish, making it as easy as possible to make a successful claim.

Here are the key steps:

Step 1: Initial consultation

Reach out to Switalskis for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. During this meeting, we'll listen to your story, understand your concerns and explain whether we think you have a strong case. If we decide to proceed, we can then discuss the next steps and the available funding options.

Step 2: Establishing your claim

The second stage involves gathering all the relevant information we need to build your case. This can include medical records, dental records, dental X-rays and scans, photographs, receipts, witness statements and any other documents that can help support your claim. If necessary, we may also arrange for a medical examination by an independent dental expert to provide an unbiased view of your injuries and future prognosis. The aim will be to prove dental negligence was responsible for your injury and work out the potential value of the claim.

Step 3: Notifying the defendant

Once we have enough evidence, we'll send a letter of claim to the dental professional or practice involved, outlining the full details of the claim and the evidence supporting it. They'll then have four months to respond, during which time they will conduct their own investigation and decide whether to accept liability.

Step 4: Negotiation:

If the dental professional or practice has responded to the claim, negotiation can start. Our dental negligence solicitors will negotiate on your behalf, using our expertise and experience to secure the highest possible compensation amount for you. This stage may include discussions about liability (who was at fault) and how much compensation you should receive.

Step 5: Court proceedings (where necessary)

Most claims will be settled through negotiation, and a fair settlement will be agreed without needing to go to court. In the rare instances where the claim does go to trial, you can trust us to represent you throughout the process.

Step 6: Settlement and compensation

If your claim is successful, either through negotiation or court proceedings, you'll receive the compensation you are entitled to. This will be calculated to cover the pain and suffering caused by the dental negligence, as well as any financial losses or expenses you’ve experienced, and any necessary future treatment and rehabilitation.

Throughout the entire process, the team at Switalskis will be on hand to answer your questions, guide you through each stage, and offer emotional support. With us by your side, you can navigate the complexities of a dental negligence claim with confidence.

What are the time limits for making a dental negligence claim?

It's vital to pay attention to the time limits that apply to dental negligence claims, as they could directly impact your eligibility to claim compensation. As a general rule, you'll have three years from the date of the negligent treatment, or from the date you became aware of its effects, to bring a claim. This period is known as the limitation period.

Interpreting this rule can be complicated. Sometimes, the harm caused by dental negligence won't be noticeable until months or even years after the treatment. This could be when you realise that the ongoing pain isn't going away, or another dentist identifies the problem.

Additionally, there are a few exceptions to the general three-year rule:

  • Children: if the patient was under 18 at the time of the negligent treatment, the three-year time limit doesn't begin until their 18th birthday. This means they have until their 21st birthday to make a claim.
  • Mental capacity: if the person who suffered the negligence lacks mental capacity to make their own decisions, they may be no time to make a claim on their behalf.
  • Fatal cases: if you’re claiming on behalf of a deceased family member who passed away due to complications arising from dental negligence, the claim must be made within three years of the date of death, or the date of knowledge that negligent treatment caused their death.

We always advise you to seek legal advice as soon as you suspect that you have been a victim of dental negligence. This will make it easier to make sure that all of the relevant evidence can be gathered promptly, and that your claim is submitted within the time limits.

How long do dental negligence claims take?

The duration of dental negligence claims will vary depending on the complexity of the case, the severity of the injuries, and whether the dentist or their insurer admits liability straight away.

For straightforward cases where liability is admitted early, you could expect to claim compensation within 12 to 18 months. For more complex cases, the process can take several years. This is particularly true if the case involves severe or long-term injury, or if there are details that need to be investigated thoroughly.

In some cases, liability might be admitted early on, but the final settlement amount will take longer to negotiate. When this happens, we'll work to secure interim payments for you. These are advance payments from your eventual compensation that can help to cover any immediate expenses you're facing, such as treatment and rehabilitation costs or loss of earnings.

Even if a case takes years to resolve, it won't cost you any more in legal fees under a no win, no fee agreement, so you can make your claim with full confidence.

How much can I claim for dental negligence?

How much compensation you can claim for dental or medical negligence will always depend on the specifics of your case. This means that it's not usually possible to provide an estimate of what to expect until after you've discussed these details with your solicitor.

Here are some of the factors that will be taken into account when claiming compensation for dental negligence:

  • Pain and suffering: compensation for physical pain and psychological trauma is one of the main factors that is considered. The aim will be to compensate you for the discomfort, distress and suffering you've gone through due to the dental negligence.
  • Treatment costs: if you've had to pay for further dental or medical treatment to fix problems caused by initial faulty treatment, these costs can be claimed back. This might include restorative dental treatment, surgery or ongoing therapy.
  • Loss of earnings: if dental negligence has led to you taking time off work, whether for recovery or additional treatment, you can make a claim for any lost income.
  • Future losses: dental negligence sometimes leads to long-term or permanent damage, affecting your ability to work or requiring ongoing treatment. You may be able to claim for these future losses.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses: you can also claim for any additional expenses you've had to pay out because of the negligence, such as travel to and from appointments, or prescription charges.

At Switalskis, our specialist dental negligence solicitors will work closely with you to understand the full impact the negligence has had on your life. This helps us to secure the maximum compensation you're entitled to.

How are dental negligence claims funded?

Potential legal costs are among the biggest concerns our clients have about claiming dental negligence compensation. At Switalskis, we're committed to making the process as accessible as possible by offering various funding options to meet your needs:

  • No win, no fee agreement: also known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA), this is the most common way to fund a dental negligence claim. Under a no win, no fee agreement, you won't need to pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful. If you win your case, a percentage of your compensation will be used to cover our fees. This option allows you to pursue your claim without any financial risk, and we'll discuss all of the potential costs with you upfront to avoid any surprises.
  • Legal expenses insurance: you may have legal expenses cover as part of your home or car insurance policy, which can be used to fund your claim. We'll assist you in understanding your policy and liaising with your insurer.

Remember, your first consultation with our dental negligence solicitors is free and without obligation. We'll discuss the funding options available to you and help you choose the best one for your situation.

Contact us today and let's start your journey towards recovery together. Call us today on 0800 1380 458, or get in touch via our form.

Our dental negligence team

Photo of Suzanne Munroe
Suzanne MunroeDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Sarah Walker
Sarah WalkerDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Charlotte Reeves
Charlotte ReevesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Kay Barnes
Kay BarnesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of David Thomas
David ThomasDirector and Chartered Legal Executive
View more

Why Switalskis?

We understand that it can often feel like a big decision to make a dental negligence claim, and you'll want assurances that you have the right legal partner to navigate these unfamiliar and traumatic circumstances.

This is where Switalskis steps in. Here are the values that we promise to uphold when helping you claim dental compensation:

Clarity in complexity

Dental and medical negligence claims can be complex, but your understanding of them doesn’t have to be. We’re committed to breaking down potentially confusing legal and medical terms into clear, understandable language. At every step of the process, we're here to answer your questions and make sure you fully understand your rights.

Empathy at every step

Every patient's situation is different, and we pledge to treat you as an individual. We listen to your concerns, respect your emotions and provide thoughtful advice that's specific to your needs. You're more than just a client to us - you're a person going through a challenging time, and we're here to give you all the support you need.

Expertise you can trust

When dealing with a potentially complicated dental negligence claim, you need to know you're in safe hands. At Switalskis, we bring together decades of experience and a proven track record in securing compensation for dental negligence cases just like yours. We're dedicated to fighting for your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Championing your rights

Our team is driven to protect your rights and ensure your voice is heard. We're dedicated not only to helping you claim the compensation you deserve but also to make sure that those responsible are held to account. By doing so, you can rest assured that your dental negligence claim has played a role in helping to prevent others from having to go through the same experience.

FAQs about dental negligence

Can I claim against an NHS dentist?

If you've received substandard care from an NHS dentist that has led to injury or harm, you have the right to seek compensation. We will make a claim against the dentist responsible for the negligence who will have insurance to cover such cases. These insurers are the ones we deal with and who will compensate you, not the NHS.

However, if the dental negligence happened in a hospital setting, then the NHS will be involved. In these types of cases, you needn't worry about any claims against the NHS having an impact on frontline care. The government has set up a separate organisation called NHS Resolution to handle the cost of negligence claims. It works in a similar way to an insurance company, which means that you'll never be taking vital funds away from the NHS with your claim.

Can I make a claim against a private dental practice?

If you've experienced dental negligence at a private dental practice, they will always have professional indemnity insurance in place to cover potential claims for negligence. Therefore, you can make a claim against a private dentist, and it will be paid for by their indemnity insurer.

The process for making a claim against a private dentist is similar to other types of claims where your solicitor will typically be dealing with an insurance company. 

Whether you're claiming against an NHS or private dentist, it's crucial to have expert legal assistance. Switalskis' dental negligence solicitors have extensive experience handling both types of claims and can guide you through every step, making sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

We can support you in the following medical negligence situations

Find out how Switalskis can help you

If you're looking for legal advice on how to claim compensation for dental negligence, get in touch with Switalskis today. We have the expertise and experience to help you achieve the very best outcome, and you can always rely on us to provide you with compassionate, personalised support.

Our legal experts are here to listen, understand your unique circumstances, and fight for the best possible outcome for you. Call 0800 1380 458 or contact us through the website to discuss your concerns in confidence with a legal specialist.

When completing this form, the details you provide will only be used to deal with your enquiry. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information on how your data is used and stored.

Contact us