T v P and Others (2019)

Excessive force used during dental extractions

Out of Court settlement £15,000.00

Instructions were received to act on behalf of Mr T in respect of negligent Dental treatment that he had received from three of his treating dentists at the same practice in Dorset.

The Claimant was seen following a referral by  a consultant in restorative dentistry at Poole Hospital and upon examination the restorative consultant was extremely surprised to find significant uncontrolled dental disease affecting most of the Claimant’s dentition. There was unsatisfactory plaque control measures with severe xerostomia, plaque and calculus with Bleeding on Probing. There was generalised chronic marginal gingivitis with a BPE score of 3/2/2/ 3/2/2.

The restorative consultant also found early caries at the bridge margins at UR4321 and buccal caries at LL6, LL4 and LR2. Extensive routine dentistry was advised in order to manage the dental disease.

The Claimants medical records were obtained and thoroughly considered.  Following consideration of medical records, the Claimant proceeded to prepare and draft a detailed and comprehensive Letter of Claim in accordance with the clinical negligence pre action protocol.

With regards to Breach of Duty the Letter of Claim advised that the Claimant attended the Defendant practice from 2007 until 2016 and attended on 93 separate occasions. The claim surrounded issues of supervised neglect and a failure to diagnose or treat periodontal disease. Extensive allegations of negligence were alleged against the various treating practitioners including that of using excessive force during the tooth extraction process.

The claim was passed to Dental Protection who acknowledged receipt of the Letter of Claim and advised that their investigations into the matter had commenced.

The Defendant failed to provide a Letter of Response in accordance with the Court rules but eventually in early 2019,  the Defendant provided a Letter of Response in which the Defendant disagreed that excessive force or an inappropriate technique was used when extracting the Claimant’s teeth and that no pain was recorded at the multiple appointments attended. Furthermore, the Defendant averred that given the medication being taken by the Claimant that he would have suffered some form of dental decay in any event. Finally, it was the Defendant’s case that the Claimant’s oral hygiene was noted to be poor and there was no sign of significant improvement. In the circumstances, implants were considered to be contra-indicated.

Notwithstanding the Defendant’s comments they advanced a Part 36 settlement offer of £15,000.00. which was accepted.

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