Case Study: Failure to consent and negligent crown lengthening

Our client attended upon her NHS dentist for a crown preparation on an upper incisor. Shortly after this work had been done our client returned to her dentist complaining of pain from the same tooth, and the tooth was then root-filled shortly thereafter. 

From our review of our client’s dental records it was clear that our client had not been properly consented for the restoration work that was then carried out, and alternative and indeed more appropriate treatment options were not discussed with our client. In addition, the significant risks of the work that was carried out were not explained to our client (including, not least, damage to a dental pulp leading to the need for root canal therapy, which in fact then happened).

As well as the failure to properly consent our client, the defendant dentist carried out a crown lengthening procedure in a sub-standard fashion which led to unnecessary trauma to the supporting structures around the tooth in question.

Following a review of our client’s dental records a Letter of Claim was sent to the defendant dentist which resulted in an initial offer of settlement being put forward by the defendant dentist’s representatives within six weeks of the Letter of Claim being sent. Whilst the initial offer was not accepted, a successful negotiation of our client’s compensation claim was concluded shortly thereafter.

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