Wrong Tooth Extraction – Can I Claim Compensation?

Wrong Tooth Extraction

Wrong Tooth Extraction Dental Negligence Claims Guide

By Cat Reeves. Last Updated 27th July 2023. Have you suffered wrong tooth extraction caused by the negligence of a medical professional, such as a dentist or doctor? In this guide, we will discuss how you could potentially have the wrong tooth taken out, what dental negligence is and what damages could be awarded for a successful dental negligence claim.  

Dental negligence could come from the failure of a dentist to provide the correct standard of care to a patient. All medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients, so to fulfil this duty, it is important not to cause unnecessary harm to patients. 

As well as examining the criteria for making a valid dental negligence claim, we will also explain how important it is to start the case within the correct time frame. Dental negligence claims must be started within the right time limit so that they do not become statute-barred. Generally, you will have 3 years to begin a dental negligence claim.  

For more advice on wrong tooth extraction claims, continue to read the guide below; however, if you would rather speak directly to a member of our team, you can do so. 

They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer free legal advice. To get in contact: 

Select A Section 

  1. An Overview Of Wrong Tooth Extraction Claims
  2. How Could The Wrong Tooth Be Extracted?
  3. Case Study – Harm Caused By Wrong Tooth Extraction
  4. Who Can Make A Dental Negligent Claim?
  5. Compensation Settlements For A Wrong Tooth Extraction
  6. Get Help Claiming For Negligent Dental Care

An Overview Of Wrong Tooth Extraction Claims  

When a medical professional agrees to treat you, they instantly owe you a duty of care to provide you with the correct standard of care and to not cause otherwise avoidable harm.  

Having a tooth out is often necessary if the tooth is decayed, causing an infection or maybe because a person has too many teeth in their mouth. But what you don’t expect when you visit a dentist is to have the wrong tooth taken out by mistake. Having the wrong tooth removed means not only that a healthy tooth has been extracted and now you are left with a gap in your teeth, but it also means the tooth that should have been taken out remains.

This leads to delayed treatment as well as having another procedure to remove the correct tooth. As well as suffering unnecessary pain, you may suffer further complications. 

To find out if you could make a dental negligence claim and what evidence you need to prove negligence, please contact a member of our team. 

 How Could The Wrong Tooth Be Extracted? 

How can a dentist remove a healthy tooth rather than the tooth that needs extracting? Below we look at ways a dentist could extract the wrong tooth.

  • A dentist could fail to check your patient’s notes and remove the wrong tooth
  • A healthy tooth could be removed by mistake if the dentist checks the wrong patient notes.
  • The dentist was distracted while performing the procedure.

As we will go through the guide, we will look closely at who could be eligible to make a dental negligence claim following a wrong tooth extraction. If you would like instant answers to your questions, you can call our advisory team any time of the day or night, and they can provide you with a free consultation.

Case Study – Harm Caused By Wrong Tooth Extraction 

To help you understand the scenarios in which you may be able to claim for wrong tooth extraction, we have included a case study. 

The claimant visited the dentist after suffering from a severe toothache for around a week.  After several x-rays and a mouth inspection, the claimant was told that he would need his right wisdom tooth taken out. The claimant was told to come back the next morning to have the procedure undertaken. 

He returned the next morning. However, rather than the dentist taking out the right wisdom tooth, he proceeded to take out the left. When the claimant realised what was going on, it was too late. The claimant was now left with having a healthy tooth removed in unnecessary surgery and having to have another procedure to take the correct tooth out. 

This not only meant more pain and suffering for the claimant, but they had also suffered unnecessary nerve damage to the trigeminal nerve, which in itself can cause symptoms such as numbness. 

Who Can Make A Dental Negligence Claim? 

As we have mentioned, dental negligence could potentially take place if the dentist or dental staff deviate from professional standards. However, to be eligible to make a dental negligence claim, your case must meet specific criteria. For example:

  • A dentist or dental nurse owed you a duty of care,
  • This duty of care was breached because professional standards were not adhered to, and
  • This breach of duty caused you harm that was otherwise avoidable.

You can find out whether you are eligible to claim by getting in touch with a member of our team. 

What Is The Time Limit For Starting A Dental Negligence Claim?

The time limit for starting a claim for wrong tooth extraction compensation is generally three years. This begins on the date you were harmed, or on the date that you connected the harm with negligence. The Limitation Act 1980 outlines this time limit, and also outlines the exceptions that come with it.

For example, the time limit does not apply to those under the age of eighteen. If you suffer harm from a wrong tooth extraction and wish to claim for yourself, you will have to wait until the time limit reinstates on your 18th birthday, and begin your claim before it runs out on your 21st birthday. Otherwise, a litigation friend can start your claim for you while the time limit is frozen.

For those who lack the mental capacity to make a dental negligence claim for themselves, the time limit is suspended indefinitely. It only reinstates if the claimant regains the appropriate mental capacity, when it begins on the date of their recovery. Otherwise, their wrong tooth extraction claim can be made by a litigation friend.

Read on to find out how much compensation for a wrong tooth extraction you could receive, or contact our team today to learn more about the time limits for starting a claim.

Compensation Settlements For A Wrong Tooth Extraction 

If your wrong tooth extraction claim is won, your dental negligence compensation may comprise general and special damages. The two heads of claim seek to reimburse you for your injuries and the impact they may have on you in different ways.

Firstly, general damages look to compensate you for any physical or emotional harm that is encountered as a result of the injury. 

Secondly, special damages compensate for any financial losses caused by the dental negligence

We have compiled a table using compensation brackets from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a  document that legal professionals use to assist them when valuing claims. 

Despite these figures being used by dental negligence solicitors, they should only be used as a guide. This is because each dental negligence claim is unique. 

Body Part Severity Compensation Bracket Details
Jaw Fracture (i) £30,490 to £45,540 Very serious multiple fractures resulting in extended treatments as well as permanent consequences, such as major pain or restrictions while eating.
Jaw Fracture (ii) £17,960 to £30,490 A serious fracture with continuing symptoms, for instance difficulty opening your mouth or eating.
Jaw Fracture (iii) £6,460 to
A straight forward fracture that completely recovers but requires immobilisation.
Teeth F Up to £38,130 Significant, chronic tooth pain, for example an untreated abscess that lasts more than several years.
Teeth F (i) £8,730 to
The loss of or damage to several front teeth.
Teeth F (ii) £4,350 to
The loss of or severe damage to two front teeth.
Teeth F (iii) £2,200 to
The loss of or severe damage to a singular front tooth.
Teeth F (iv) £1,090 to £1,710 The loss of or damage to back teeth (per tooth).

Get Help Claiming For Negligent Dental Care 

If you have decided to make a dental negligence claim, you may be looking for a solicitor to represent your case. Although having a solicitor for a dental negligence claim is not compulsory, they can bring much of their knowledge to your case. 

If you are worried about paying for a dental negligence solicitor upfront before any work has begun, you could choose to work with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis. 

No Win No Fee solicitors often operate under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which means there are no legal fees to be paid upfront or while your claim is ongoing. 

Furthermore, you will only be required to pay a success fee if your case is won. Therefore, if your case is lost and you do not receive compensation, you will not have to pay the success fee. 

The success fee is legally capped and will be deducted from the compensation you are awarded and paid to your solicitor. 

 To get in touch: 

Further Reading On Dental Negligence Claims

Here we have included some of our own guides that may be of benefit in regard to dental negligence claims

Additionally, we have provided you with some further reading: 

Thank you for reading our guide to claiming if you have undergone a wrong tooth extraction.