Complaints about Cosmetic Dentistry Negligence cases
We have seen a steady increase in the number of inquiries made by people unhappy with the outcomes of dental work. I have especially seen this in relation to cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic surgery includes teeth whitening (bleaching), porcelain veneers, crown and bridgework, as well as orthodontic work. Dental implants are now the most widely used and preferred option with which to replace missing teeth.
Both cosmetic surgery and the fitting of dental implants are highly specialised skills that require great expertise, dexterity and knowledge. But when surgery goes wrong, the results are often disastrous. For example, in the event that dental implants are fitted incorrectly, they can damage the nerve of a nearby tooth, or potentially penetrate the sinus cavity. And in the event that orthodontic work is not carried out correctly, badly fitting braces can lead to infection and severe pain.
One of the advantages of the internet has been the amazing access to information granted to people. As a result we are better informed and as a result our expectations of service levels, treatment and health care are far higher than ever before.
Fortunately the majority of dentists and dental technicians are experts at what they do however, sadly and inevitably, mistakes can and do happen. If you have been the victim of substandard dental work, you will know the long term effects that it can have on your life. But what can you do to put things right? Many people that call us do not know how to go about complaining to their dentist. Most people also do not appreciate that there are different methods for complaining
What follows is a short summary of the options open to you:
1) Complain to your dentist
The first step in complaining about any poor treatment you received is to contact your dentist directly, and raise the matter either with your dentist or with the practice manager.
If the treatment you received was through the NHS then the NHS complaints procedure should be followed.
If you received private treatment then the practice should have its own complaints procedure which would be followed. If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of your complaint the Dental Complaints Service can assist you with resolving your complaint about private treatment.
2) NHS complaints
You might not feel comfortable complaining directly to your dentist about your dental treatment. In this event, you can contact NHS in England or Wales. If you remain unhappy with the response to your complaint you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman by calling 0345 015 4033. The ombudsman works independently of the government and the NHS.
The General Dental Council are the organisation which regulates dentists and other dental care professionals in the UK. This includes clinical dental technicians, orthodontists and dental therapists, in addition to dental hygienists and nurses.
All dentists and dental professionals in the UK must be registered with the GDC in order to work in the UK. The GDC will take action if a dental professional ability or behaviour means that it is not suitable for them to continue working.
Patients can also complain if they believe that their dentist is not registered; and therefore operating illegally.
4) Legal Action
If you have lost confidence in your dentist or have suffered loss of earnings, or severe pain and suffering you may wish to make a dental negligence claim. This is the only way to obtain compensation for substandard care.
This compensation will take into account any future procedures you might require to repair dental work or recover from any infections or illnesses. Please do bear in mind that, generally speaking, any legal action you might wish to bring would need to be brought within three years of the event to prevent your claim becoming statute barred. It is therefore essential that you consult with an expert dental negligence solicitor sooner rather than later.
Call Shires Law to speak to a dental negligence solicitor. If you prefer you can complete the form on this website and a specialist dental negligence solicitor will call you today.