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Legal reasons that might stop you making a dental negligence claim

Here at Thorneycroft Solicitors we will always try and give you the best advice in order to make your compensation claim a successful one.

However, sometimes legal reasons beyond our control will prevent you from making a dental negligence claim.

In this article, we will outline a few of the reasons that might stop you from making a claim against a dental practitioner who has carried out negligent treatment on you or a loved one.


The limitation period is the amount of time you have to bring a legal claim for dental negligence. In order to ensure you are within the limitation period, an adult must begin court proceedings within 3 years of the date that they first realise or are made aware of that they may have been subjected to negligent treatment, otherwise, you will run out of time to proceed with your claim.

The date of knowledge for your claim is the day that you find out that you have received negligent treatment. For example, you may have visited the same dentist for a number of years, but you may not discover that the treatment they administered was negligent until you visit another dentist and they notify you that there is an issue with your previous treatment.

A conflict of interest

A conflict of interest is a situation that arises when a party can’t make a fair decision because they will be affected by the outcome of the claim.

For example, a conflict of interest may arise if the solicitor representing the claimant knows the defendant dentist personally or has worked with them before.

Having an open claim with another solicitor

If you already have an open claim with another solicitor then we cannot legally act on your behalf. On the other hand, if you provide our dental negligence team with proof that your previous solicitors are no longer instructed to pursue the claim, for example, an email or letter outlining your wishes we may be able to help you pursue your dental negligence claim.

It is worth bearing in mind that you may sometimes be referred to our team if another solicitor is unable to deal with your claim, should this be the case, there will be no legal issues with our team taking on your claim.

What can you do if you are unable to make a legal claim for dental negligence?

If any of the above apply to you, then it may be difficult for you to bring a claim against a dental practitioner for dental negligence, however, there are avenues that allow you to make formal complaints and discuss any issues you may have.

General Dental Council (GDC)

The GDC is the body that regulates dental professionals in the UK. All practising dentists and dental practitioners must be registered with the GDC. Should a patient have a complaint to make against a practising dentist they can register it with the GDC. Complaints can range from negligent treatment to suspicions that your dental practitioner may not be registered with the GDC.

Your dentist

If you believe you have been given substandard treatment, you may wish to discuss your problem with your dentist, however, there is no legal obligation to do so if you wish to make a dental negligence claim and you are within the limitation period.

NHS complaints

If you feel uncomfortable going to your dentist and your treatment was administered by an NHS dental practitioner you may be able to submit a complaint via the NHS complaints service. All NHS services have a complaints procedure and dental practices are no exception. All private dental practitioners should also have their own formal complaints procedure.

Legal action

If you have experienced substandard dental care and you are within the 3 year limitation period, our dental negligence team are here to help you secure the compensation you deserve!

Our team has successfully represented clients that have suffered a variety of negligent treatments, placing them in the perfect position to deal with your claim in an empathetic and professional manner.

We work on a no win – no fee basis as well as offering a free initial interview with you to assess your case, meaning you don’t need to worry about the financial burden before bringing your claim to court.

If you’d like to speak to a member of our dental negligence team you can call us on 0800 1979 345 or submit your enquiry via our contact form.