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Your trust in your dentist can be broken when the dentist fails to meet their obligations. Navigating the aftermath of dental nerve damage can be physically painful and emotionally draining, but it doesn't have to stay that way. By taking the right steps after your negligent dental treatment, you may be able to claim back finances and get the support you need to make a recovery.
In the following blog post, Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors guide you through understanding your rights in the face of a nerve injury and the steps you can take if you find yourself in such a position.
Dental negligence is a term that describes substandard care in dentistry. In the UK, dentists are held to professional standards, governed by bodies like the General Dental Council (GDC). In cosmetic dentistry, these standards are not just about ensuring that your teeth look good; they are also about ensuring that procedures are safe, effective, and appropriate for the patient's needs. Each type of cosmetic dental procedure carries its own set of risks and requires a specific skill set from the dental professional.
Dentists are expected to:
Negligence occurs when the care provided falls below the expected standards, leading to harm or injury. In the context of cosmetic dentistry, this could mean:
The consequences of cosmetic dental negligence can be severe, affecting not just your physical health but also your emotional well-being and self-esteem. Nerve damage, in particular, can lead to chronic pain, difficulty speaking or eating and a diminished quality of life.
'Duty of care' is a fundamental principle in medical law, including dental practice. In legal terms, 'duty of care' refers to the moral or legal obligation that a healthcare provider has towards you as their patient. This requires your cosmetic dentist to act in a manner that ensures your well-being, adhering to a standard of care.
In the realm of cosmetic dentistry, the standards are set by regulatory bodies like the General Dental Council (GDC). These standards cover various aspects, such as:
A breach of duty of care occurs when your dentist's actions or lack of action fall below the accepted standard of care, resulting in harm. In the context of cosmetic dentistry, examples of breaches could include:
If a breach of duty of care is established, you have the right to take legal action. This could involve filing a negligence claim against the dentist, which, if successful, could result in compensation for pain and suffering, costs of corrective treatment and loss of earnings.
If you've experienced nerve damage or any other form of harm due to cosmetic dental negligence, you should consider making a compensation claim.
The first step in making a claim is to consult a solicitor who specialises in dental negligence - such as those at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors. In the UK, you generally have three years from the date of the incident or from the date you became aware of the negligence to make a claim, so you should call us as soon as possible.
When you first call us, we will discuss your circumstances in an initial consultation, assessing whether you can make a claim. When we understand your unique situation, we will be able to advise you on what to expect from your claim, including your chances of success and how much compensation you may be able to claim.
If you decide to proceed with your dental nerve damage claim, we will begin to collect and compile evidence to support your argument. Once we have done this, we will send a formal letter to the dental practice outlining the nature of your claim and the evidence supporting it. We will handle all of the necessary communications on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery.
The dental practice usually has four months to respond to your letter of claim. They may admit fault and offer a settlement, or they may deny the allegations. If both parties are open to it, negotiations for a settlement can take place. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, the case may go to court. It is important to note that most medical negligence claims - including claims for dental nerve damage - are settled before reaching this stage.
Compensation is generally calculated using two categories:
If the negligence has led to long-term or permanent issues, you may also be compensated for future care or loss of earnings.
We understand that navigating the legal landscape of dental nerve damage claims can be daunting, especially when you're already dealing with the physical and emotional toll of dental negligence. By working with our experienced solicitors, you can be sure to have the best chances of making a successful dental negligence claim and deal with minimal stress while the process is happening.