Extracting a tooth is never a simple process, but a negligent dentist can make the problem much worse. Find out if you could make a claim for your tooth extraction problems
What is a dental extraction?
Dental extraction is where one or more teeth have to be removed from the gums, either due to damage, decay, or a breakage. They are most commonly the last resort to solving a dental problem, as the removal of a tooth can cause problems for the rest of the mouth if not managed properly.
Once your tooth has been removed, you’ll need to replace it with a prosthetic tooth, known as an implant. This requires dental surgery to fix and usually comes with a significant cost attached, if not paid for by the NHS. If an implant is not fitted in the gap between your teeth, the neighbouring teeth can end up moving into the gap, creating future dental issues which will also need fixing.
In most cases, a tooth extraction will go forward without a problem, but if something does go wrong, the results can be long-lasting, painful and expensive. If this is due to a fault made by your dentist, you may be able to claim significant compensation for the problems caused.
What are the most common tooth extraction problems?
Tooth extraction problems are rare, but when faced by a negligent dentist, they can cause you future issues, infections and significant expense. We’ve put together a short guide on the most common dental extraction issues faced by our clients:
Extracting the wrong tooth
It’s very rare, but having the wrong tooth extracted can happen. Whether the dentist mistakenly chose the wrong tooth, or the right tooth was pulled but it damaged or removed neighbouring teeth, you have a good chance of claiming dental negligence compensation. At no stage should this problem occur. However, you’ll still need to provide evidence that the tooth taken was healthy and didn’t require extraction. We can help you prove this when you contact us.
While extractions are the last resort to fixing a decayed tooth, there are some cases where they’re not required and the tooth could be treated or repaired. In some NHS cases, a tooth extraction is more profitable for the dentist than the reparation work it’d take to fix the tooth. Unnecessary extractions can be harder to claim for as a result of a lack of evidence, so please get in touch to discuss your options.
An infection after the tooth has been extracted
Avoiding an infection is one of the main concerns directly following a tooth extraction. With both the bone and interior gum lining being susceptible to infection, your dentist needs to treat the area properly, while also giving you advice on how to avoid your gum being infected further.
While getting an infection doesn’t immediately give you a reason to claim, if your dentist hasn’t prescribed antibiotics, hasn’t given you advice about possible infections, or you haven’t been referred for further treatment, you may well have a claim.
Leftover tooth roots in the gum line
Extracting a tooth can sometimes result in leftover roots or pieces of tooth in the gumline. This isn’t necessarily a cause for concern, as the roots sometimes help to prevent gum and jawbone infections, as well as helping to keep the tooth nerves intact.
If your dentist doesn’t notice these roots until after but still refers you for surgery, this is unlikely to lead to a compensation claim. However, if your dentist doesn’t diagnose the issue or refuses to send you for surgery to have them removed, this can be a cause for compensation.
Jawbone fractures after extraction
Unless it’s heavily damaged or decayed, removing a tooth can take a remarkable amount of force. This force can transfer down through the tooth into the jawbone, resulting in an unexpected fracture. While this is a well-known risk associated with extracting a tooth, if your dentist did not warn you about this risk, or if an independent dental professional realises that your tooth extraction required surgery, you could still have a claim.
Need more help with your tooth extraction problem? Fill out our questionnaire form for a free, no-obligation consultation. The Dental Law Claims team will help you figure out what to do next, including a No Win, No Fee claim.