Written by

Sowmya Jagannath - Senior Solicitor

Dental negligence refers to situations where dental practitioners fail to provide the standard level of care to patients and this has resulted in harm or injury. Dental negligence can take various forms including misdiagnosis, medication errors, careless work or the extraction of a wrong tooth. This can lead to devastating consequences for patients including unnecessary pain, damage to teeth and gums, and infections. In this article, we will be discussing statistics surrounding dental negligence in the UK and the impacts that this can have on patients. 

Dental statistics 

The NHS Annual report states that 16.4 million adults were seen by an NHS dentist in the 24 months up to 30th June 2022 and 5.6 million children were seen in the 12 months up to 30th June 2022. 

Throughout 2021-2022, there were 26.4 million courses of treatment delivered which is an increase of 120% compared to the previous year. However, this is only two-thirds of the average volumes that were delivered annually in the five years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2022, out of 251,059 patients who tried to get an NHS dental appointment within the past 2 years, 41.2% of people said that they had a very good experience of NHS dental services, however 7.2% of people said their experience was fairly poor and 9.2% of people said that their experience was very poor. 

In 2021, there were approximately 37.2 thousand dental practitioners in employment in the United Kingdom, however in recent years, the number of dental practitioners has generally decreased in the United Kingdom, as in 2015 there were approximately 46 thousand dental practitioners in employment. 

There is also research that showed that in 2022, there were 9 out of 10 NHS dental practices that were unable to take on any new adult patients in the NHS. This coincides with data that reported that 45% of people reported that they had received delays for dental appointments or dental treatment in the 12 months prior to June 2021. This was the highest delayed service in healthcare with up to 20 million dental appointments having been delayed between March 2020 and June 2021. 

Delayed dental treatment can cause patients to have unnecessary suffering and dental damage, and in cases like this, you may be entitled to claim compensation. When avoidable pain or the worsening of your dental condition has occurred due to unnecessary delays, this can be a devastating experience for patients and you may have a dental negligence claim.  


The impact of dental negligence 

Dental negligence can have extreme consequences for patients, potentially impacting their physical health, emotional well being and finances. When dental practitioners fail to provide adequate care to patients, the impacts can be devastating. 

Not visiting your dentist can lead to serious dental complications for patients including

  • Increased risk of gum disease 
  • Increased risk of tooth decay 
  • Increased risk of tooth discolouration 

Dental negligence can cause a range of physical consequences depending on the severity of the negligence. Missed or delayed diagnosis can result in the worsening of dental conditions such as gum disease, this could lead on to the patient needing further, potentially more invasive, treatment. 

Dental negligence could also potentially cause an emotional impact on patients as experiencing unnecessary pain and complications could cause feelings of anxiety for patients. Experiencing dental negligence may also have financial implications as patients may have had to incur additional treatment costs. Patients may have also experienced a loss of income due to time off work for any additional treatment or recovery time. This can also be extremely stressful for patients and cause added emotional implications.


Dental negligence claims 

If you believe that you have experienced any sort of dental negligence and this has led to any sort of harm or injury, you may be able to claim for compensation. There are many ways in which dental negligence can occur and at Patient Claim Line, we have dealt with many dental negligence claims including: 

If you have received any type of dental negligence, either under the NHS or a private dentist, and you have been caused harm, you may be able to claim for compensation. Contact Patient Claim Line today, and we will assess your dental negligence claim on a no win no fee basis.

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