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The most common type of claim for negligent wisdom teeth extraction concerns nerve damage. It is essential, before undertaking such surgery to remove wisdom teeth, for the dentist to take good x-rays which show the position of the roots of the wisdom teeth in relation to the inferior dental nerve. If no such x-ray has been performed and damage to the inferior dental nerve occurs, there may well be a claim for negligent wisdom teeth extraction.
Sometimes damage can occur to the lingual nerve too, which affects the tongue, and this could be due to negligence, depending upon the facts of the particular case.
Occasionally extraction of a wisdom tooth has been known to lead to a fracture of the mandible (the lower jaw) and this is likely to give rise to a claim.
If a dentist is not competent to have attempted removal of a wisdom tooth, that could also lead to a successful claim against him, on the basis that he should have referred the patient on to a specialist.
The Dental Negligence Team acted for a 33 year old woman who suffered significant damage to her lingual nerve following the extraction of her wisdom tooth.
Naomi Todd of the Dental Negligence Team acted for a 39 year old woman who received £50,000, following substandard cosmetic dentistry. The Claimant attended her dentist for help with her overcrowded and stained teeth and received veneers and bridgework, which was unsatisfactory.
The Claimant suffered from sensitive teeth and had to have all the veneers and bridge work removed, whilst she underwent treatment for periodontal disease and root canal treatment. The Claimant required further cosmetic dentistry and is likely to need implants in the future.
The Dental Negligence Team acted for a 50 year old woman who received £25,000 following the substandard fitting of a dental implant.
During the insertion of the first pilot drill, the dentist caused the woman acute pain. The dentist reassured the woman that nothing untoward had occurred and continued with the procedure. The pain was caused by direct trauma of the inferior alveolar nerve by the pilot drill.
The woman suffered permanent damage to her left inferior alveolar nerve, which resulted in the feeling in her lower lip and chin not returning.