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Orthodontic treatment is dental treatment designed to correct the positioning of malaligned teeth.
Claims often arise in circumstances where an orthodontist, or in fact more usually a general dental practitioner, has failed to take account of the fact that a tooth has not yet erupted. If the dentist or orthodontist fails to detect an unerupted tooth (usually a canine) when the patient is nine or ten years old, damage to surrounding teeth may occur, leading to the need for further remedial treatment, or extraction of other teeth.
A claim for negligent orthodontic treatment may also arise against an orthodontist where corrective treatment has not been given when it should have been, or in the case of over-treatment.
Failure to refer to an orthodontist by a general dental practitioner working beyond his expertise may also lead to a successful claim for negligent orthodontic treatment.
Mr B attended his dentist in March 2008 complaining of pain in his right central incisor and was informed that he would need root canal treatment to his right lateral incisor. Following the root canal treatment Mr B was told that his right lateral incisor had very little coronal tooth substance remaining and the Dentist advised Mr B that it was appropriate to crown the tooth.
The dentist did not fit the crown provided to Mr B’s right lateral incisor to a satisfactory standard and there was an unacceptable failure to assess Mr B’s bite adequately and/or provide a post to strengthen the crown during the fitment of the lateral incisor crown.
The Dental negligence team acted for Mr B and secured him £10,000 in compensation in an out of court settlement.
The Dental Negligence Team acted for Mrs C who was awarded £42,000 for the substandard root canal treatment and the failing of her dentist to obtain appropriate consent when carrying out an extraction.
The dentist did not obtain her appropriate consent, when extracting her upper left molar and Mrs C was left in a great deal of pain and shock and suffered significant bleeding from the site of the extracted tooth and required stitches.
Mrs C suffered unnecessary pain and suffering, lost teeth unnecessarily and would require implants and additional treatment. Mrs C also suffered from Post traumatic stress disorder, which resulted in her becoming highly phobic of and avoidant of dental treatment, despite her pressing need for further dental treatment to tackle her on going dental problems
The Dental Negligence team acted for a woman who encountered problems after obtaining a bridge fitted by her dentist. The bridge had been incorrectly fitted to an unhealthy tooth and the bridge became wobbly and loose.
The woman was unable to eat using that side of her mouth and she was able to lift the bridge off completely, which caused food to get stuck underneath. The woman suffered from pain in her jaw, where the tooth had broken to gum level and she would need a root canal treatment on the unhealthy tooth and a new bridge fitted.
The claim was settled out of court and the woman was awarded £6,000.