Cosmetic dentistry work gone wrong? Know your rights

Through a combination of improved treatment and cultural influence, the popularity of cosmetic dentistry is rising by about 5% each year according to Credence Research. It is estimated that by 2026, the cosmetic dentistry market will be worth around £21 billion.

However, as with any treatment with increased popularity, there are also increased issues that sit alongside this. It is therefore important to know your rights if negative implications occur from your cosmetic dentistry treatment.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Simply put, cosmetic dentistry is any treatment or procedure undertaken to improve the appearance of your teeth. There are a large variety of treatments to choose from, but typically they are all focused on either whitening the teeth, straightening the teeth, or restoring the teeth following any damage.

Teeth whitening involves a dentist using a bleach-derived gel. The typical treatment requires the patient to wear a mouth tray containing this gel over a period of time until the teeth reach the desired colour.

Teeth straightening involves the use of braces. These braces are set onto the teeth to gradually move them to the correct position using the applied pressure. Unlike teeth whitening, this treatment can have a medical application as well as a cosmetic one, if your dentist feels that the position of your teeth could have a negative effect on your teeth and gum health.

The most common treatments involved in tooth restoration are veneers or composite fillings. The former involves placing a thin layer of porcelain or resin across damaged or crooked teeth in order to improve their overall appearance, while the latter uses a tooth-coloured composite filling to help damaged teeth recover.

While all of these treatments are generally successful today, there are risks and issues that can arise if the procedure is performed negligibly.

Types of cosmetic dentistry problems

With such an increasing cultural pressure to have perfectly, straight white teeth, the demand for cosmetic dentistry is higher than ever, with millions of people looking for treatment.

However, it is important that a registered dental professional is the one to conduct the procedure. There are a number of cheap, quick ‘alternatives’ offered today, which can lead to significant problems further down the line.

Even if a dental professional does conduct your treatment, things can still go wrong. Patients have reported that following cosmetic treatment, they have had difficulty chewing and keeping their teeth clean. This can result in infection, which if not treated can lead to further health issues.

Some unfortunate patients have even had their speech affected by treatment, which offers a constant daily reminder of the negligent work that was carried out.

What are my rights as a patient?

Medical professionals, including dentists, have a duty of care to the patients that they treat. Cosmetic procedures can go wrong and as a patient, you have the right to make a dental negligence claim against the dentist, especially if they did not adequately explain the risks of the procedure or you have been left with pain and/or discomfort that requires further costly treatment.

How can I make a dental negligence claim?

If you believe that your case warrants a dental negligence claim, the first thing you should do is seek contact with a solicitor specialising in dental law. They will go through your claim and establish whether or not to pursue the case.

How long can a dental negligence claim take?

The length of a dental negligence claim will vary significantly depending on the case. The most speedily resolved cases are those where physical evidence for the claim is abundant and obvious.

On average, dental negligence claims will take between two and three years to resolve, so do be prepared for a long process.

Cosmetic dentistry gone wrong: advice from Waldrons

With the complexities of making a dental negligence claim and the time it may take to find a resolution, it is vitally important that you seek advice from a dental law specialist solicitor.

The experienced team of legal professionals at Waldrons will offer you complete support, from your very first free phone consultation to the resolution of your claim. With a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement in place, you can be assured that you will not lose significant capital if your case is not successful.

Contact Waldrons Solicitors

Here at Waldrons, we have a team of experienced medical negligence solicitors who can help you to recover the compensation you deserve if you’ve sustained an injury due to dental negligence. Contact us today to discuss your circumstances.

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