Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that’s become more and more available over recent years. The idea is to try and remove stains or to brighten your smile if it’s become darker than it used to be. While most people are more than happy with the outcome of their procedure, things do sometimes go wrong. In this article, we’ll explain when teeth whitening compensation claims might be possible if you’ve suffered because of dental negligence.
Our team is on hand to guide you through the claims process. We start by offering a no-obligation review of your claim. When you call, any questions you have will be answered and legal advice will be provided about how to proceed. If a dental negligence solicitor from our panel thinks that your case is strong enough, they’ll offer to represent you. Importantly, if the case proceeds, you’ll be represented on a No Win, No Fee basis so you don’t need to pay legal fees upfront.
Please call 0800 652 1345 to discuss your case or read on for more information about when compensation for teeth whitening damage might be possible.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a procedure where chemicals are applied to the teeth to lighten your smile. Teeth whitening is not offered as an NHS treatment as there are no medical benefits as it’s usually just performed to remove stains, yellowing or discolouration caused by:
- Food or drinks.
- Poor dental hygiene.
- Smoking/tobacco products.
- Dental injuries or diseases.
While teeth whitening kits are available to perform the procedure at home, dental professionals who are registered with the General Dental Council are allowed to use much stronger chemicals which should mean a whiter smile is achieved in a shorter amount of time. However, with those stronger chemicals, there is a much higher risk of injuries if the procedure is not carried out correctly.
Legally, beauty salons and other unregistered premises are not allowed to perform teeth whitening procedures.
If you’ve suffered as a result of negligent teeth whitening, please get in touch. If your claim is suitable, you could be entitled to claim for your suffering.
What can go wrong with teeth whitening?
If teeth whitening goes wrong because a dentist, hygienist or dental nurse was negligent, it could lead to the following problems:
- Chemical burns: severe burns are possible if the chemicals used to whiten teeth are applied incorrectly. Some of the most common chemicals used include hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide and malic acid.
- Sensitive teeth: If teeth whitening chemicals are applied incorrectly or left on your teeth for too long, they can cause enamel erosion. This can lead to extremely sensitive teeth especially when exposed to hot, cold or sweet food or drink.
- Overbleaching: If things go wrong, teeth whitening can cause extremely white teeth with an over-bleached effect. A trained dental professional should be able to avoid this if the correct concentration of bleaching chemicals is used.
If your teeth, gums or mouth have been injured or damaged following a negligent teeth whitening procedure, please give us a call to discuss your options.
Can I claim compensation for teeth whitening damage?
As part of our initial consultation, we’ll try to get an idea of whether you have a strong enough case to claim compensation for teeth whitening damage. If we refer your case to a dental negligence solicitor from our panel, they’ll carry out their own checks before agreeing to represent you. The two things they’ll try to determine are:
- Dental negligence: Where the standard of care provided by a dental professional was below what you could reasonably expect from a qualified practitioner; and
- Causation: This means that there is proof that there was a direct link between the dental professional’s negligence and the damage to your teeth.
Examples of negligence in teeth whitening compensation claims might include not telling you about any associated risks, using bleaching products on damaged teeth or using the wrong concentrations of whitening chemicals.
As solicitors aren’t dental experts themselves, they will need to call upon an independent expert to assess what went wrong. If they agree that your dentist has acted negligently and caused you to suffer, your claim will proceed and your solicitor will try to seek compensation on your behalf.
Shouldn’t I just complain about my treatment?
There are procedures in place that allow you to complain if you have concerns about registered dental professionals. This can lead to the General Dental Council investigating what happened and providing a report about their findings. As a result, you may receive an apology for the negligence that caused you to suffer and your dentist might implement changes to avoid anyone else from suffering teeth whitening damage in the same way.
However, complaints alone do not lead to compensation. As such, to stand a chance of receiving damages for teeth whitening gone wrong will be to start a dental negligence claim. This is something we’re happy to help you with and if your case proceeds, a solicitor on our panel will represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis. That said, they may use the findings of your complaint to get a full understanding of what went wrong and why you suffered.
If you’re not sure if you should complain about your dental treatment, speak to one of our advisors today.
I signed a waiver for the teeth whitening procedure
Waivers or consent forms are often used by dental professionals so that patients can confirm that they have been told about the procedure they are about to have and are aware of any known risks.
However, a consent form is not a legal implement that can stop you from claiming compensation if dental negligence has caused you to suffer an injury, illness, disease etc. If your dentist has acted negligently and caused you to suffer after your teeth were whitened, you could be entitled to claim compensation even if you signed a waiver or consent form.
How much compensation for a botched teeth whitening procedure?
An experienced dental negligence solicitor will always try to get a full understanding of the impact a botched teeth whitening procedure has on the victim before filing a claim. That’s because any settlement that’s paid is the only compensation you’ll receive so it must consider all aspects of your suffering. If you make a successful teeth whitening compensation claim, damages might be awarded to cover:
- Embarrassment, anxiety and other types of psychiatric damage.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- The cost of remedial dental work by another dentist.
- Lost income (for current and future losses).
- Travel costs linked to extra dental appointments.
- Loss of amenity i.e. the loss of enjoyment of any of your normal activities caused by your injuries.
If your claim is accepted, your solicitor will go through everything with you in detail to try and ensure that you receive a fair level of compensation for your suffering.
Providing proof for teeth whitening compensation claims
Your solicitor will need proof to support a teeth whitening compensation claim. Without it, it would be difficult to achieve a successful outcome. The types of proof that would be helpful include:
- Photographic proof. Providing before and after photographs of your teeth can be a very good way to show why you’re claiming and what went wrong following botched teeth whitening.
- Witness statements. Friends, colleagues and family may be asked to provide a statement about how you’ve been affected by the teeth whitening procedure.
- Communications. Any information about the teeth whitening procedure before your treatment including leaflets and emails might be used as proof by your solicitor. Similarly, if you complained about the outcome, any response you received could also be useful.
- Dental records. Your solicitor will request copies of your medical records from your dentist to cover the period before and after your whitening procedure. These could help to confirm your injuries in association with an independent report.
- Financial records. If you’ve lost any money as a result of your dental injuries, you should provide evidence. This might include wage slips, bank statements or receipts.
When you call to discuss your claim, the advisor will ask about any proof you’ve collected already. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything we’ve discussed here as your solicitor will collect anything else needed if the claim goes ahead.
No Win, No Fee claims
The complexity of dental negligence claims means that it’s probably best to take on support from a specialist solicitor. Their legal skills and understanding of the claims process should make the claims process easier and could help to secure a higher compensation amount on your behalf. So that you don’t need to put your own money on the line up-front, the solicitors on our panel provide a No Win, No Fee service for all teeth whitening claims taken on.
You will receive a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) if you’ve decided to claim and your case has been accepted by a solicitor. This will make it clear that:
- No legal fees will be requested upfront.
- If your teeth whitening compensation claim doesn’t work out in your favour, you don’t pay legal fees.
- If there is a positive outcome, a success fee to cover your solicitor’s time and costs will be deducted from your compensation.
After you’ve signed the contract, your solicitor will get to work. This means they’ll contact the dentist and present the proof they’ve collected to support your claim. If any objections are raised about your teeth whitening injuries or liability for them, your solicitor will fight hard to counter them.
Throughout the claims process, you’ll be contacted by your solicitor with updates. Also, they’ll review any settlement offers received with you to check that they reflect your level of suffering.
Please call if you’d like to claim on a No Win, No Fee basis so that an advisor can explain your options.
Teeth whitening compensation claim time limits
The law in the UK means that a compensation claim for teeth whitening injuries caused by dental negligence has a 3-year time limit. The limitation period will usually begin either from the date of the whitening procedure or from when you found out about the problems it caused (your date of knowledge).
It’s a good idea to speak to us as early as possible because, if the dental practice accepts liability, you could be sent an interim payment to have your teeth fixed by another dentist before the claim has been processed. Furthermore, starting early should mean you avoid having your claim refused because it was too late (which would mean that you wouldn’t be compensated).
Start a teeth whitening compensation claim today
The simplest way to start a teeth whitening compensation claim is to call one of our specialist advisors on 0800 652 1345. After a brief review of your claim, the advisor will explain your legal options and what you could do next.
You don’t have to take legal action after you’ve spoken to us but if you have decided that you wish to pursue a compensation claim, a dental negligence solicitor from our panel might offer to help. If they do, you’ll benefit from their skills and experience on a No Win, No Fee basis.
So, please use live chat to connect with us if you have any further questions about teeth whitening compensation claims, or claim your free consultation here.