This article was published on July 5th, 2018
Teeth are an essential part of our anatomy and taking care of them is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Whether you floss twice a day, use an electric toothbrush or a manual one, everyone has their own individual routine to keep their teeth in the best shape.
However, whether it’s because of an accident, age or wear and tear, teeth may need a filling inserting at some point in life.
But what happens if something goes wrong with a filling? Can you make a compensation claim for dental negligence?
In this blog post, we reveal some of the legal issues that can arise from dental fillings as well as how you can bring a claim for compensation if you suffer dental negligence.
If your teeth have started to decay then it’s likely you’ll need a filling. Fillings can play an important role in ensuring the remaining parts of the tooth stay infection-free and they can also help reduce sensitivity if you have deep cavities.
As a general rule, fillings are one of the most straightforward dental procedures for dental practitioners to carry out and they are also one of the most common. Installing a filling usually requires the dental practitioner to remove any of the remaining decayed tooth that may cause an infection in the future, as well as any part of the tooth that may have become weak or compromised. The dental practitioner will then use either a composite filling, which is a white substance or a metal filling.
However, even though installing a filling is one of the most common dental procedures that is carried out, not every procedure is successful and a negligently installed filling could potentially cause a lot of pain.
A mistake that is made by some dental practitioners is preparing and installing a filling in the wrong tooth.
This error can be made for a number of reasons including, misreading notes about which tooth should be filled, a lack of attention when preparing the tooth as well as a lack of understanding of how a tooth should be prepared.
Preparing and filling the wrong tooth could potentially compromise the teeth around it, paving the way for potentially further pain and suffering in the future.
It’s common for an anaesthetic to be used when installing fillings, this helps numb any pain that may come as a consequence of the nerve within the tooth being exposed whilst the filling is being installed. However, the pain from the injection should normally wear off over the 24 hours following the procedure.
If you experience prolonged sensitivity and pain following your treatment, you may have been a victim of dental negligence. Our dental negligence team have represented numerous clients with claims relating to severe sensitivity following a filling and will be able to assist you with your claim.
When installing a filling, the dental practitioner has a duty to ensure that the environment and equipment that is used to carry out the treatment is clean and sterile in order to minimise bacteria and help avoid the risk of infection.
Unfortunately, however, sometimes the treatment room isn’t as clean as it should be and neither is the equipment and if you suffer an infection following the installation of a filling this may be classed as an act of dental negligence.
Ensuring a filling is installed correctly can be tricky, particularly where the filling is a large one. As most fillings will require the dental practitioner to remove any of the tooth that is weak or has decayed, most filling procedures will often require the use of a dental drill.
Using the dental drill requires great care to be taken and accuracy is key so as not to damage any of the teeth around the one that needs a filling. However, sometimes accidents can happen even with the most experienced dental practitioners, and the drill may cause a tooth to break. Overfilling a tooth may also cause a tooth to break and should this happen you may have a viable claim for compensation.
When anyone visits their dentist, they expect to receive professional care and for the treatment to be successful, experiencing dental negligence should not have to be a concern, however, if you have been a victim of any of the dental negligence examples outlined above then our dental negligence team is here to help.
Our dental negligence solicitors are nationally renowned and highly experienced in all aspects of dental negligence and are perfectly positioned to help you with not only a claim for a botched filling but any other dental negligence claim you may wish to pursue.
If you’d like to speak to a member of our team, you can call us for free on 0800 1979 345 or alternatively you can complete our online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you at a more suitable time.