Dental Abscess Negligence – How To Claim Compensation

By Brett Williams. Last updated 4th August 2021. If you have suffered from a dental abscess, you’re no doubt aware of how painful it can be. Therefore, if the abscess could’ve been prevented or treated earlier, you might want to consider using a no win no fee solicitor to help you make a dental abscess negligence claim. Claiming for dental negligence can be complex but our panel of specialist personal injury solicitors could help you do so. In this guide, we’ll explain the symptoms of a dental abscess, the different types and how you determine whether a dentist was negligent.

Our advisors are available to offer free claims advice and a no-obligation assessment of your case. Also, our panel of solicitors, with many years of experience in personal injury claims, work on a no win no fee basis for all claims they handle. If you’d like to discuss your dental abscess claim, please call 0800 073 8801 today. Our advice and assessments really are free and there’s no pressure to proceed at all.

If you’d rather find out more about when you could be eligible to claim, please continue reading.

Dental abscess negligence claim

Dental abscess negligence claim

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A Guide To Claims For Dental Abscess Negligence

When you suffer a dental abscess, it can just be one of those things and not be the fault of a dentist or anybody else. However, there are times when a dentist fails to spot the symptoms of an abscess or did something which made it worse. If that happens, the dentist might have breached their duty of care towards which could mean that you are entitled to seek compensation from them.

To help you decide whether you’ll make a claim or not, we’re going to cover the different types of abscess that can occur, the symptoms to look out for and what happens if an abscess isn’t spotted. Also, we’ll provide information on when you could use a no win no fee service to claim for dental abscess negligence and the amounts of compensation that could be possible.

Something else to bear in mind is the fact that there is a personal injury claims time limit. This is either 3-years from the date you became ill or injured or 3-years from when your abscess was diagnosed. Therefore, please contact us sooner or later to ensure you have time for your claim to be prepared.

As well as claiming for physical injuries caused by a dental abscess, we’ll explain later in the guide about claiming for psychological injuries and also financial costs linked to those injuries.

Dental abscess negligence claims – summary

If your dentist has failed in their duty of care when treating an abscess, and you suffer as a result, you could begin a compensation claim. Infections, cysts and any other type of suffering could be claimed for and so could any associated financial losses.

After you’ve read this guide, if you have any queries or would like to discuss your options, please call our advisors on the number at the top of your screen.

What Are The Different Types Of Dental Abscess?

A dental abscess is a collection of pus which collects in or around a tooth usually caused by some form of infection. There are two types of dental abscesses that can occur:

  • Periapical Abscesses.
    This type of abscess is found on the end of the tooth (the part above the gum line).
  • Periodontal Abscesses.
    A periodontal abscess is found in the gum. 

An abscess could also be found in the bones that hold the teeth in place.

We’ll explain the symptoms of a dental abscess in a moment but it’s worth noting that, whether they’re painful or not, an abscess will not go away on its own. You’ll need to see a dentist to prevent it spreading to other parts of your body and causing other illnesses.

Signs And Symptoms Of A Tooth Abscess

There are a number of common symptoms associated with a dental abscess. Therefore, if you suffer any of those listed below, you should visit your dentist for a check-up:

  • Pain in a tooth or gum which starts suddenly and gets worse and worse.
  • Swelling or redness in your face.
  • Pain when lying down affecting your normal sleep routine.
  • A discoloured, loose or tender tooth.
  • Pain in either the neck, jaw or ear on the same side as the painful tooth or gum.
  • Red gums which are shiny and swollen.
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth.
  • Bad breath.
  • Becoming sensitive to hot or cold food and drinks.

Furthermore, if there are complications with dental abscesses and the infection spreads you might suffer a high temperature or fever. In the most serious cases, breathing, swallowing or opening your mouth might become difficult.

If you’re suffering any of the symptoms listed, especially the more serious and painful ones, we’d recommend that you visit your local dentist or the local accident and emergency department for out of hours treatment.

Diagnosing And Treating Tooth Abscesses

Diagnosis of a dental abscess will usually involve a dentist, your local A&E or NHS 111 checking for signs of any of the symptoms listed in the previous section. Once confirmed, there are a number of treatments that can be carried out. In the short-term, pain can be managed by ibuprofen (or paracetamol if you are allergic).

To treat a dental abscess, the pus needs to be drained away and the source of the infection removed. To remove the infection a dentist could:

  • Perform root canal treatment – this means drilling into the tooth, removing the infection and then placing a filling into the void.
  • Extract the tooth is a root canal is not possible.
  • Drain the pus from the gum by making a small incision.

The dentist will usually use a local anaesthetic to numb the area for any of the treatments but for more complex cases, the operation might be performed under general anaesthetic. You won’t usually be given antibiotics for a dental abscess unless the infection has spread elsewhere within the body.

What Could Happen If A Tooth Abscess Is Not Diagnosed?

Spotting a dental abscess early provides the best chance of successful treatment. If it’s not, a number of issues can occur including:

  • Numbness caused by eroded nerves.
  • Deforming of the jawbone.
  • Soft tissue erosion.
  • Lack of feeling.
  • Teeth needing to be extracted.
  • The spread of infection to other parts of the body.

Some of these issues are very serious and can have a devastating effect. That’s why you might want to claim for compensation. If you believe you’ve suffered any of the above because of dental abscess negligence, we could help you claim for compensation. Please call today to find out your options.

Tooth Abscess Misdiagnosis

In the majority of cases, a professional dentist is unlikely to misdiagnose a dental abscess, but it does happen. Also, a dentist could fail to spot other dental problems which could lead to a dental abscess occurring in the future.

Therefore, it could be possible to make a claim if:

  • The dentist completely missed the fact that you had a dental abscess.
  • They failed to provide the correct treatment for another condition which went on to cause an abscess.

When claiming for a misdiagnosis, you could claim for the initial injury but also the additional pain and suffering caused by the misdiagnosis. That could be the case because had the correct course of treatment happened earlier, you could’ve recovered sooner and suffered less.

Proving that the dentist was negligent and misdiagnosed the condition is the tricky part. We’ll cover that later in the guide but we would recommend that you use a personal injury solicitor who have the experience and understanding to try and ensure your claim is conducted properly and you receive the correct level of compensation for your suffering.

Dentists Duty Of Care To Patients

Any medical professional has a duty of care towards the people they treat. A claim for compensation can be possible if they breach their duty of care. This is true for doctors, surgeons, dental nurses, dental hygienists and of course, dentists. In dentistry, there is a piece of legislation (The Dentistry Act 1984) which places the duty of care on any dental professional and is governed by the General Dental Council.

Therefore, if it can be shown that a dentist was negligent and breached their duty of care under the legislation, then you could be entitled to make a compensation claim against them.

How Do You Establish That A Dentist Acted Negligently?

Trying to prove dental abscess negligence can be a tricky thing to accomplish. Luckily, we have a panel of solicitors with many years of experience who know what evidence is required and how to compile a claim to ensure you receive the right level of compensation.

To help prove a misdiagnosis, a medical expert or independent dentist will be used to review your medical records and to assess your symptoms. During the assessment, you could be asked to explain what symptoms you presented with and what the dentist said or did to treat them. This could be cross-checked with medical records. The independent dentist would then write a report which could be used to help make your claim.

If you believe you have a valid claim for dental negligence, we recommend that you write down what happened before speaking with us. Take your time to detail when your symptoms started. Also record the dates you visited a dentist, what they told you and how they treated you. This will make it much easier for you to recall the correct information when speaking with us and will give us a better chance of understanding your case properly.

Also, you could ask for copies of medical records from your dentist and a list of any medications they prescribed. The medical records could be used as evidence to support your claim and might help prove that the dentist acted negligently.

Dental Abscess Negligence Compensation Calculator – Updated August 2021

If you’re wondering what amount of compensation you could claim for dental abscess negligence, then take a look at the personal injury claims calculator table below:

Type of Injury Compensation Range Details
Tooth £1,020 to £1,600 Loss / Serious damage to back teeth (amount is per tooth).
Tooth £2,070 to £3,710 Loss / Serious damage to single front tooth.
Tooth £4,080 to £7,160 Loss / Serious damage to two front teeth.
Tooth £8,200 to £10,710 Loss / Serious damage to several front teeth.
Tooth Up to £35,790 Significant tooth pain, over a number of years affecting several teeth (caused by an untreated abscess)

As you can see, the amount of dental abscess compensation depends on the severity of your injuries including how many teeth were affected. Therefore, your solicitor will need to ensure your dental negligence claim contains evidence that shows how much you suffered. That can be done with medical records as well as medical reports following a medical assessment.

At this point, it’s important to point out that every claim is different. Therefore, the table above can only provide so much information. For a proper estimate of how much compensation you might be entitled to, we’d recommend calling an advisor. Once they’ve assessed your claim and understand how you were affected, they might be able to provide you with a more accurate compensation amount.

What Could Dental Abscess Negligence Compensate Me For?

In the previous section, you were shown some compensation figures. They were just one part of the compensation claims process known as general damages. These are used to compensate you for any pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

However, as part of any dental abscess negligence claim, your solicitor will be able to use other elements when claiming. Which ones they use will depend on how you were affected by the dental abscess. Here are some other things your solicitor could include in the claim:

  • Medical Expenses – while treatment on the NHS is free, you might end up paying for prescriptions and other over the counter medicines. These could be claimed back.
  • Travel Costs – As a result of your injuries, you might need to travel between doctor’s and dentist’s appointments while you’re being treated. Therefore, you might be able to ask for fuel and parking costs to be paid back.
  • Care Costs – In some cases, professional care might be required while you recover so the costs of the carer could be included in your claim.
  • Lost Income – If you require time off work to recover or while attending medical appointments, you might lose some salary depending on how your employer pays sick pay. So, if that’s the case, you could ask to be compensated for those losses.

Special Damages

These financial elements of your claim are known as special damages. They’re used to help ensure you’re in the same position, financially, as you were before the dental abscess negligence occurred.

With each of these elements, it’s best to provide some evidence to demonstrate why you are claiming and how much it cost you. Therefore, keep hold of any receipts, bank statements and wage slips. Also, we recommend keeping a diary when you spend any money linked to your injury so that it’s easier to explain to your solicitor when they ask.

Finally, if you’re not sure whether you can include an expense in your claim, please call and check with us. It’s better to do that rather than find out later that you’re out of pocket.

No Win No Fee Dental Abscess Negligence Claims

We believe that providing no win no fee services mean more people are able to claim compensation because they reduce the stress and financial risk in claiming.

When a solicitor agrees to handle your claim, they’ll prepare a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) for you both to sign. This is really important because it’s the agreement that explains that there are no solicitor’s fees to pay unless you are awarded compensation.

Also, the CFA will show the level of success fee you’ll pay if the case is won. Success fees are deducted from your compensation. As a result, you don’t need to have the funds to pay the solicitor yourself. By law, success fees can be no more than 25% of your compensation.

When all the paperwork is done, your solicitor will provide the following services:

  • They’ll help and advise you on what evidence you need so you’re not wasting time chasing information you don’t need.
  • Then they will arrange a medical assessment for you.
  • Following that the solicitor will prepare your claim and submit it, with evidence, to the defendant.
  • Importantly, they’ll handle all communications with the defendant, so you won’t need to speak to them.
  • Then they’ll handle any settlement offers and advise you on the best course of action.
  • Finally, in very rare circumstances, they’ll represent you in court. This is very rare because most cases are usually settled amicably between the claimant and the defendant.

To find out whether you could be entitled to make a no win no fee dental negligence claim, call an advisor today. They’ll assess your claim and let you know whether you’re ready to begin the process of making a claim.

How Accident Claims UK Could Help You Claim For Dental Abscess Negligence

Accident Claims UK has years of experience in handling all sorts of personal injury claims. Our team is friendly, professional and won’t waste your time with irrelevant questions. Also, they won’t put any pressure on you to continue and they’ll work at your pace.

First of all, your case will be assessed for free and your evidence reviewed. As a result of your assessment, if the case is strong enough, you could be introduced to one of our panel of specialist solicitors.

When your case is taken on, the solicitor will keep you up to date regularly throughout the process. Furthermore, should you receive a settlement offer, you’ll receive expert advice on your options.

Talk To Accident Claims UK Today

Now that you’ve read this guide about dental abscess negligence, we hope you’re ready to begin your claim with us today. If so, you can get in touch in a number of ways:

  • Call us free on 0800 073 8801 and speak directly with an advisor.
  • Use our live chat feature from any page on this site.
  • Send an email with details of your dental abscess claim to
  • Finally, you could start your claim online by filling in this online form.

Remember, when you contact us, one of our advisors will assess your claim for free. They could then introduce you to a no win no fee personal injury solicitor. Our team of advisors are friendly and, above all, professional. There’s no pressure from us, so you’ve got nothing to lose by calling today.

FAQs about dental abscess negligence

When could I claim for dental negligence?

If you suffer in any way due to dental negligence, then you could seek compensation. This could include pain caused by untreated tooth decay, nerve damage and oral cancer that was left untreated.

Is it possible to claim for dental abscess negligence?

While the majority of dental treatment is successful, if an abscess isn’t treated correctly, it could cause excruciating pain. If that happens, you could seek damages for your unnecessary suffering.

How long will I have to claim for dental negligence?

Any type of personal injury or medical negligence claim has a 3-year time limit in the UK. On many occasions, this will start from the date of your dental treatment. However, if your condition was not diagnosed until later on, then your time limit will begin from the date of knowledge.

Dental Abscess Medical Resources  

Thanks for reading this guide about dental abscess negligence. Hopefully, you’ve received all of the information you need to help you decide whether you can claim or not. To assist you further, we’ve linked to some more useful resources and guides below:

Dental Abscesses – An NHS guide providing detailed information on dental abscess symptoms, dealing with dental abscess pain and dental abscess treatment.

Find A Dentist – This is a useful tool that helps you find a dentist in your area. It shows those who offer NHS services too.

The Dentists Act 1984 – The legislation, created by the UK government, which all dentists and dental practices must adhere to.

Wrong Tooth Extraction Claims – This guide explains when you could claim compensation using a dental negligence solicitor because the wrong tooth was extracted.

Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims – A guide that explains when you could use a personal injury lawyer to help claim for suffering caused by a misdiagnosis.

Case Study: Lost Teeth Claim – This case study, while not related to dental abscesses, shows how much a claimant claimed when they lost multiple teeth in an accident.

If you require any further information, please feel free to ask an advisor.

Thank you for reading our guide about claiming for dental abscess negligence.

Article by BH.

Edited by CK.