Cosmetic dental procedures can be used to repair, lighten, reshape or straighten your teeth. Common treatments include whitening, veneers, implants, bridges, crowns and tooth-coloured fillings. While most treatments are successful and the patient is happy with the outcome, mistakes can happen. When they do, they can result in both physical and mental harm.
If a professional dental practitioner causes you to suffer because they were negligent, you could be entitled to compensation. In this article on cosmetic dentistry claims, we’ll explain what types of negligence could entitle you to be compensated and also show you how to make a claim if you’re eligible.
If you do decide to start a cosmetic dentistry claim, our team can help. In the first instance, your claim will be reviewed by a specialist advisor. During your initial consultation, they’ll review your options with you and provide free legal advice. Should your claim appear to be viable, we could connect you with a dental negligence solicitor. Their experience and skills will be provided on a No Win No Fee basis if they agree to represent you. Knowing that you’ll only need to pay for their work if you are paid compensation should lead to a much less stressful claim.
To get started right away, please call our claims team on 0800 652 1345. Alternatively, please read on.
Can I claim compensation for cosmetic dentistry negligence?
It’s not always possible to start a claim if something goes wrong with cosmetic dental treatment. Before one of our solicitors will take on your claim, they’ll check whether:
- The cosmetic dentist provided substandard treatment (below what you might expect from a competent professional). This is called negligence or breach of duty.
- You suffered as a direct result of their negligence or breach of duty.
This means that if you were left injured but your dentist did nothing wrong, you wouldn’t be entitled to compensation despite your suffering. However, if negligence can be proven, a solicitor could be used to help you seek damages.
As personal injury solicitors specialise in law rather than dentistry, medical experts are needed to assess whether you’ve been treated negligently. As such, at the start of your claim, a suitably skilled dental expert will be asked to assess how you were treated. If they believe that they would’ve acted differently during your treatment, your solicitor might decide to proceed with your case.
If that’s the case, the next step would be to arrange for a medical assessment to try and determine how you’ve suffered as a result of negligent cosmetic dental treatment.
If you’d like to check if our solicitors could help you claim compensation for negligent cosmetic dentistry, please get in touch today.
What could be classed as negligent cosmetic dental treatment?
So, as shown above, proving that negligence occurred is vital for cosmetic dentistry claims. There are several ways negligence can happen including:
- If you were not told about any risks associated with your cosmetic dental treatment.
- Where poor hygiene standards led to you suffering.
- If procedural errors led to your injuries.
- Where other options weren’t discussed with you before treatment.
- If the dentist promised an outcome that could never have been achieved.
- Where the professional who treated you was not adequately trained in the procedure carried out.
- Where you were not given adequate advice about aftercare.
- If you suffered an allergic reaction after a known allergen was used during treatment.
- If an anaesthetic error meant you suffered excessive pain during treatment.
Compensation claims are possible for negligence by dentists, dental nurses, hygienists and other professionals associated with dental treatment. If you’d like to see if you could start a claim, please get in touch today.
Common types of cosmetic dentistry negligence
Let’s now review some examples of when you could be entitled to compensation for suffering caused by negligent cosmetic dentistry. They include:
- Implants. Negligent installation of implants could lead to pain and suffering when eating because of damage to the jawbone.
- Teeth whitening. Negligence during tooth whitening can lead to blistering and burning of the lips and gums. This can sometimes lead to permanent damage. Another reason for claiming for negligent teeth whitening is if you’ve ingested hydrogen peroxide and suffered as a result.
- Veneers. You may be able to claim for poorly fitted veneers that require extra remedial work. In some cases, you may need to claim if your teeth become oversensitive following the removal of too much tooth tissue was removed.
- Crowns. There are a couple of main reasons why crowns can lead to cosmetic dentistry compensation. Firstly, you might suffer if any decay is not treated properly before the crown was fitted. Secondly, the underlying tooth could be affected by infection or decay caused by a poorly fitting crown.
These are some common types of claims relating to negligent cosmetic dentistry. If there isn’t an example similar to yours here, don’t worry. You could still claim by calling our team to explain what happened.
Claiming compensation after signing a consent form
You should not be put off from taking action because you signed a consent form or waiver. These do not protect cosmetic dentists from negligence.
Also, during the claims process, your solicitor might be able to use the form as evidence if it contains incorrect information or hasn’t been completed properly. We’ll look at this and other evidence that could support your claim later on.
How much compensation for cosmetic dentistry negligence?
When you make any form of medical negligence claim, the amount of compensation you claim won’t be a pre-determined figure. Compensation is always designed to help you get back to the position you were in before you were treated negligently. Normally, compensation is based on how much suffering you’ve endured (general damages) and any costs you’ve incurred (special damages) because of your injuries. As such, compensation for negligent cosmetic dentistry could be based on:
- The physical pain and suffering your injuries have resulted in.
- Psychological harm caused by your injuries such as anxiety, embarrassment or depression.
- The effect your injuries have had on your quality of life (social and domestic).
- Any income you’ve lost because you had to take time off of work.
- Travel expenses caused by your injuries.
- Any care costs.
- Medical expenses such as the cost of private medical treatment.
Cosmetic dentistry compensation will vary from case to case. That means that it’s important that your case is assessed properly before it’s filed with the defendant. If you fail to include any element of your claim, you won’t be able to ask for an additional payment after you’ve settled.
If you work with a solicitor on our panel, they’ll do all they can to make sure that you are paid the correct level of compensation by reviewing everything with you in fine detail. To discuss how they could help you to claim for your suffering, please call 0800 652 1345 today.
Providing proof for cosmetic dentistry compensation claims
As we explained earlier, you’ll need to prove how your dentist was negligent if you’re to be compensated. Without proof to clearly demonstrate this, it’s unlikely that they (or their insurer) would admit liability for your suffering. Proof that could be used to support a cosmetic dentistry claim include:
- Photographic proof. It’s usually a good idea to take pictures after negligent cosmetic dental treatment to show any visible injuries. For comparison purposes, you could use before and after photos to show how things have changed.
- Letters and emails. Any correspondence you received before or after treatment could be important evidence. For that reason, keep copies of all emails and letters in a safe place and provide a copy to your solicitor.
- Witness details. If somebody was with you during the consultation regarding your cosmetic treatment, provide their details to your solicitor. They might ask them to confirm what the dentist said in a statement.
- Waivers or consent forms. A copy of any waiver or consent form you signed might be useful as well. Your solicitor could check them for omissions or mistakes that might support your claim.
- Your own statement. Your solicitor will ask you to discuss how you suffered following the negligence you’re claiming for. As such, it’s useful to keep a diary to record when you had to miss work, when you couldn’t attend family or social events and when you had to cover the cost of expenses because of your injuries.
- Medical evidence. Finally, your solicitor will obtain copies of your dental records. These could be from your own dental practice or from the one that carried out remedial treatment.
As part of our free claim review, an advisor will consider any proof that you’re able to provide. If you already have enough to proceed, they could direct you to a dental negligence solicitor. Otherwise, they might suggest what other forms of evidence would help.
How long do I have to make a cosmetic dentistry claim?
Cosmetic dentistry claims have a 3-year time limit in the UK. The limitation period will generally start from the date you were treated. However, it might be extended if your injuries weren’t diagnosed until a later date.
While 3-years is a fairly long period of time, we would advise that it’s best to begin your claim as soon as possible. By doing so, your solicitor will have more time to request evidence and arrange for medical reports to be prepared.
Additionally, if liability for your claim is accepted early on, your solicitor could arrange for private dental treatment to rectify your injuries to be paid for by an interim payment.
No Win No Fee cosmetic dentistry claims
It is our opinion that you’ll have a better chance of being compensated for your injuries if you have a dental negligence solicitor on your side. Furthermore, we believe you could receive a higher compensation payout.
We realise that many people are worried about the cost of hiring a solicitor, though. For that reason, our team provide a No Win No Fee service for any claim they work on.
That means that your solicitor will start work without being paid in advance. During the claim, they will:
- Assess how you’ve suffered.
- Request copies of supporting evidence including medical reports and dental records.
- Send the claim to the defendant.
- Handle all queries, questions and objections raised by the defendant.
- Provide you with regular updates and answer any questions you think of.
- Discuss any compensation offer that’s made with you and renegotiate on your behalf if it’s believed to be too low.
To fund this work, you’ll need to sign a contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement. This will explain when you’ll need to pay the solicitor a success fee to cover the cost of their work. Essentially, this is only payable if you are paid compensation.
The success fee is a fixed percentage of up to 25% of any settlement amount. This percentage is capped by law.
Would you like to check if you could use one of our team of No Win No Fee solicitors for your claim? If so, please call today.
Start a cosmetic dentistry claim today
There’s nothing to lose by calling our expert claims advisors about your claim because we’ll give free legal advice and review your options whatever you decide to do. To speak with one of our specialist advisors today, simply call us on 0800 652 1345.
If your claim is suitable, we could pass your case over to a dental negligence solicitor from our team to talk to you. If they agree to represent you, they’ll do so on a No Win No Fee basis.
Thanks for reading this article on cosmetic dentistry claims and if you’d like further advice please use our live chat service if you have any remaining questions, or arrange a claims consultation here.