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Compensation for dental injury?

(13 Posts)
ReallyGoodDrawer Sat 15-Mar-14 18:27:49

I'm not sure how I feel about this but so many people have told me that I should claim compensation that I've been wondering about it.

I had a general anaesthetic to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed. The dental surgeon removed the bottom two teeth (which were the problem teeth as they were impacted) when they tried to remove the first top tooth my jaw fractured because the tooth was fused to the bone. I've now got a large wound on my palate and have to wear a mouth splint until the fracture has healed. I won't be able to eat properly for at least three weeks. Obviously this has all been pretty painful.

Dh and I have both had to take more time off work than we had planned and as we're both self employed this has meant loss of earnings.

Is this the kind of thing you can claim compensation for? Would this have any impact on the dentist's career (the dentist is very nice, I don't really want to cause trouble!)? Would I be a money grabbing cow to claim? (I kind of feel like I would!). Any advice would be gratefully received!

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 15-Mar-14 21:13:05

Were you advised that this was a possible complication of the surgery?

Nappaholic Sat 15-Mar-14 22:29:30

I'd suggest you contact another dentist for a second opinion. If yr dentist was negligent, you might be able to make a claim against yr dentist's insurance...hope you feel better soon!

ReallyGoodDrawer Sat 15-Mar-14 22:48:59

Thanks for your replies smile

No I wasn't warned this could happen. I had lots of warnings about possible loss of sensation in tongue or lips but nothing about fractured jaws!

This has all been with the surgical dentist that my normal dentist referred me to. The surgical dentist did say not to go to my normal dentist with any issues but to come back to her instead. Maybe I should make an appointment with my normal dentist and see what he thinks.

babybarrister Sun 16-Mar-14 11:56:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ReallyGoodDrawer Sun 16-Mar-14 15:05:24

Thanks babybarrister, I'm going to give the clinic a call tomorrow and arrange an appointment with their other dental surgeon.

Mrsmorton Sun 16-Mar-14 16:45:38

unless the dentist did something really bizarre then you're unlikely to get a negligence claim seen through. It would have no impact on his career other than to give him plenty of sleepless nights.

If you make a complaint then you MAY get a settlement to make you go away (not meant to be offensive).

I only have an LLM and no professional legal quals but I am a dentist and this problem happens and it's often not foreseeable so like I said, unless he tried to take your oath out with a chainsaw, he probably did everything he should have done.

Sorry you're having trouble.

Nappaholic Sun 16-Mar-14 22:58:20

I would respectfully suggest you see another dentist outside of the same practice that the surgical dentist belongs to.

dannychampionoftheworld Sun 16-Mar-14 23:02:10

You need to get a second opinion.

In order to be awarded compensation, he would have had to have been negligent. Generally, this means he would have to have made a mistake that a reasonable dentist would not have made. You won't get anything just for the mere fact of it happening. I have heard of this happening before and I think it might be quite a common complication of tooth removal.

ReallyGoodDrawer Mon 17-Mar-14 06:59:37

Thanks for all your thoughts.


ReallyGoodDrawer Mon 17-Mar-14 07:10:02

Argh, fat fingers!

Mrsmorton, would the dentist not have been able to see the tooth was fused to the bone from the X-ray?

Danny, my dentist said it's very rare for this to happen but if this is a common occurrence shouldn't they have warned me of the possibility?

I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. I would like to know if anything could have been done to avoid this, particularly as they had the X-rays of my mouth so I might just write to them about that anyway to get some clarity. I'm also aware that I don't really want to piss them off as I'm going to have to have another operation to remove the teeth once the bone has healed confused

Thanks again for all your replies, they've given me lots to think about.

Mrsmorton Mon 17-Mar-14 07:13:05

When this happened to me (one of my patients) I couldn't see any difference on the x ray from the other side which came out fine. I wouldn't say it's common, I've done it once in ten years but it does happen. FYI we call it a tuberosity fracture.

Writing to them is a good start. Get more info and see how you want to proceed.

ReallyGoodDrawer Mon 17-Mar-14 07:25:24

I'll definitely do that. I guess this is where the myth that dentists will merrily break/dislocate your jaw to get your teeth out comes from grin

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