Having problems with fillings? Find out if you can claim dental negligence compensation
What are fillings?
Fillings are usually the first treatment used when a tooth has started to decay. They’re generally easy treatments to carry out and can help prevent the inside of the tooth from becoming infected and needing a root canal treatment.
Dentists create fillings by drilling out and removing decay from a tooth, then using either a metal amalgam filling or a composite filling (white filling) to fill in the lost parts of the tooth.
It’s quite common to need a filling at some stage in your life. However, this regularity doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. A bad or unnecessary filling can weaken a tooth, leading to more significant treatment being required.
What are the most common reasons for compensation claims for fillings?
Fillings are a straightforward dental treatment, so the chances of something going wrong are quite slim. Accidents do happen, but a filling can be replaced relatively easily, unless it has led to more severe problems such as a broken tooth or a deep tooth infection. Problems with fillings can lead to more significant problems later on, so it’s important to get them fixed as soon as possible if something has gone wrong.
Tooth has broken after or during a filling
Fillings rarely result in severe damage to a tooth, but if the tooth is already badly damaged, or if the decay is deeper than expected, it can end up breaking during the treatment.
Some fillings can also end up expanding over time, leading to more interior pressure on the tooth wall. If this expands too much, the tooth can become painful and eventually crack. This is a well-known issue with many amalgam fillings and should be explained by your dentist.
Broken teeth can have a variety of factors at play, so it’s best to talk to us before starting your claim.
Infections inside the tooth after the filling
The whole point of fillings is to remove any decay from the tooth. If the infection remains and spreads within the inside pulp of the tooth, it can cause pain and potentially require a root canal treatment to fix.
Your dentist should remove all the infected material before filling in the tooth again, so if the infection has continued in the tooth after the filling, you could have reason to make a compensation claim.
The filling isn’t correctly attached or it falls out
Fillings can be knocked out when hit with enough force and this is rarely due to a poor filling treatment. If the filling breaks or falls out while chewing or without any reason, this can be a sign of a filling not being correctly completed.
While there may not be any pain when this happens, the hole left over is also extremely susceptible to infection and can quickly lead to a root canal being needed. Your dentist should recognise and refill the gap left over.
Badly finished or raised tooth post filling
Fillings are assumed to be permanent, so they need to fit in with the rest of your teeth as much as possible. If a filling is poorly finished, it can end up being jagged and sharp, which can cut into the gums, tongue or the side of the mouth, causing painful ulcers and bleeding.
While this is a relatively easy fix, it can lead to a lot of irritation and pain in the mouth, as well as causing infections from areas of the tooth which you cannot properly clean. Likewise, if the top of a tooth has been raised by the filling material, it can make the bite uneven, making chewing and clenching the jaw painful. Both of these are a sign that the dentist has done a poor job and you may be able to make a claim.
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