Tooth Fracture Compensation Claims In The UK
By Mary Nora. Last Updated 6th December 2022. Welcome to our guide on claiming tooth fracture compensation. If you’ve suffered an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, our guide could help you understand your rights and how you could claim compensation for your injuries.
In order to claim compensation, it’s not enough that the accident causing your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. The person who was negligent needs to have owed you a duty of care. Our guide aims to provide you with an idea of the duty of care you may have been owed in different circumstances.
If you still have questions after reading this guide, our advisors can help by assessing whether you have a valid claim. If they feel it has a good chance of succeeding, they can connect you with a personal injury solicitor from our panel to represent you.
A solicitor can then take your case on a No Win No Fee basis and guide you through the next steps of your claim. Additionally, they could help value your claim and get you the compensation you deserve.
Get In Touch With Our Team
For more information on making a personal injury claim, contact us on the details below:
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Tooth Fracture Compensation Claims
- What Is A Tooth Fracture?
- What Is The Structure Of The Teeth?
- Symptoms Of A Cracked Or Broken Tooth
- Dental Negligence Payouts In The UK
- Diagnosing Cracked, Chipped And Fractured Teeth
- What Is A Misdiagnosed Tooth Fracture?
- What Happens If A Broken Tooth Goes Untreated?
- Time Limits For Broken Tooth Injury Claims
- What To Do If You Broke Your Tooth
- No Win No Fee Tooth Fracture Compensation Claim Agreements
- Similar Guides
- Broken Tooth Injury Claim FAQs
Have you suffered from a slip trip or fall because someone failed to clean up a spill in a supermarket or in the workplace? Or maybe you were hit by a car as you were crossing the road, leading to your tooth being cracked? Our guide can help you claim compensation for the injuries you have sustained.
You may have sustained your cracked tooth injury in an accident that wasn’t caused by third party negligence but have had your condition missed or misdiagnosed by a doctor. If so, you may still be able to claim.
If you were owed a duty of care and this duty was breached, you may have grounds to claim compensation. We’ll provide information to help you understand the situations in which you’re owed a duty of care by a third party and how this can be breached.
Additionally, our compensation table could provide you with an idea of how much your claim is worth. We’ll also be exploring the different damages you can claim and the evidence needed to support a claim for compensation.
If you require any more information after reading this guide, please don’t hesitate to contact us on the number above.
An injury to your tooth could involve a fracture, crack or chip to the tooth. The tooth is made up of various parts, which include:
- Enamel is the hard, white outer part of the tooth.
- Dentin. This is the layer underneath the enamel that, when damaged, can lead to sensitivity or pain from exposure to heat or cold on the surface of the tooth.
- Pulp. This is a softer part of the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves.
- The cementum is the connective tissue layer that connects the roots to the gums.
- The periodontal ligament holds the teeth tightly against the jaw.
If you suffer any damage to these in an accident, it could result in different types of cracked teeth. For example, if you have a crack in your teeth that extends below the gum line, this could cause damage to the tooth pulp, which can be very painful.
Damage to any of these could happen when you experience a high impact force on your mouth or teeth. For instance:
- A road traffic accident involving a car hitting you on your pedal bike, causing you to fall face-first off your bike
- Equipment falling off a shelf at work and hitting you in the face because it was stored incorrectly
- Slipping in a public place and hitting your tooth on the edge of a table causing it to chip or crack
In some instances, a crack to your tooth may not need any treatment except for monitoring by your dentist. Other kinds of cracks or fractures to the teeth may need you to undergo a root canal. Sometimes, the tooth will need to be extracted if a root canal cannot be performed.
There are around 32 teeth in an average adult mouth. The different types of teeth are as follows:
- Incisors: These are the four front teeth at the top and bottom of your mouth used for cutting and chopping food.
- Canines: These are the sharp and pointy teeth that help you tear food.
- Premolars: These help you crush and grind food.
- Molars: These work with your tongue to mash up and help you swallow food safely.
The crown of each tooth is the bit of the tooth you can see, which is covered by a layer of enamel. Enamel is the hardest substance in the body. The root of the tooth is covered by the gum line to protect it from being exposed, which could cause pain and sensitivity.
The fractured tooth symptoms you experience may depend on the type of break you have. There are a number of different kinds of broken tooth that you might suffer from. For example:
- Craze lines: Small hairline cracks in the enamel of the teeth that may not need treatment.
- Fractured cusp: When part of the cusp, the surface of the teeth, break off. This might not affect the pulp of the tooth and, if it doesn’t, it will usually not be painful.
- Cracked teeth: A horizontal crack that doesn’t usually affect the root of the tooth.
- Vertical root fracture: This is where the crack extends to the root of the tooth, exposing the nerve.
- Split teeth: A crack that splits the tooth in half.
You may experience the following symptoms if you suffer one of these fractures:
- Swelling or inflamed gums
However, you may not experience all or any of these symptoms. As we’ve already mentioned, a fracture to the tooth cusp may not affect the pulp of the tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels. As a result, it may not bleed or be painful.
There are various ways you could suffer a fractured or broken tooth. It could be in an accident at work, in public, on the road. Alternatively, you may have suffered a tooth fracture that wasn’t caused by negligence, but negligence on the part of your dentist caused it to be worse than it otherwise would have been.
In certain situations, some people are required to take your safety seriously. For example:
- Employers, according to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 have a duty of care to their employees. Their responsibilities include carrying out risk assessments, ensuring that all employees are trained and provided with the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and maintaining good housekeeping in the workplace.
- Those in control of public places also have a responsibility to ensure the safety of those using the space as per the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.
- Road users should ensure they drive carefully and safely according to the Road Traffic Act 1988. They can also look to the Highway Code for guidance on how to act in a way that ensures the safety of others.
The legislation in place provides rules and regulations to ensure all of these people are doing everything reasonably possible to keep you safe. However, sometimes this duty of care may be breached.
How could someone breach their duty of care?
If anyone fails to provide you with a duty of care, it could result in accidents such as:
- Slips, trips or falls: A customer could slip on a spill in a supermarket due to someone failing to put a wet floor sign out within a reasonable timeframe. Or a pedestrian could trip over an uneven paving stone due to the council’s failure to maintain the pavements.
- A road traffic accident where a driver suffers a molar tooth fracture from the force of the airbag going off after another car hit into the back of them. When one car hits another in the rear, it is almost always the fault of the driver to the back. This is because they failed to maintain a safe stopping distance.
- A workplace accident where an employee fell from a defective ladder due to an employer failing to carry out regular risk assessments.
This is not an exhaustive list of the ways a duty of care can be breached. If you’re not sure whether your accident was caused by a breach of duty of care or who owed you a duty of care in the circumstance you were in, why not give our team a call? One of our advisors will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Tooth fracture statistics
According to the NHS, the following number of treatments and appointments were conducted by NHS dentists:
- 2 million adults in the 24 months up to 30 June 2019
- 7 million children in the 12 months up to 30 June 2019
- 39.7 million courses of treatment delivered 2018/19
Although the figures don’t specify the injuries or treatments performed, they highlight the vast amount of dental treatments carried out in 2018/2019.
Additionally, as mentioned above, a fall at work could cause a tooth fracture in an accident at work. Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive recorded that 29% of non-fatal injuries to employees in 2019/20 were caused by slips, trips and falls on the same level.
The graph below shows some common accident kinds in the workplace that caused non-fatal injuries, which could include a fractured tooth, in 2019/20.
The figures are provided by RIDDOR.
If you’ve suffered a dental injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may have grounds to pursue dental compensation. You may wonder how much a settlement for a broken tooth might be. When calculating dental negligence payouts in the UK, various factors are taken into account, including:
- The severity of the injury and its impact.
- Loss of amenity
- Financial loss
Your dental compensation could include general damages and special damages. General damages compensate for pain and suffering caused by your injury. If you incurred financial losses because of your broken tooth, those financial losses are covered by special damages.
When calculating dental negligence payouts in the UK, solicitors also use the amounts from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The amounts in the table below are taken from the JCG, but they are only a guide and may not match the dental compensation you would receive in a successful claim.
|Tooth||Injuries such as chronic pain in the teeth, coupled with a deterioration in their condition.||Up to £38,130
|Tooth||(i) This level of award may be appropriate for injuries such as loss of several front teeth or damage to them||£8,730 to
|Tooth||(ii) Injuries such as damage to or loss of two front teeth will usually receive this level of award||£4,350 to
|Tooth||(iii) You may be awarded this level of compensation if you've suffered serious damage to one front tooth or lost it completely||£2,200 to
|Tooth||(iv) The award may be given where the injured person has lost their back teeth or damage to them and is awarded per tooth||£1,090 to
|Jaw||Very serious: this level includes injuries such as multiple fractures that need ongoing treatment and leave permanent issues such as severe pain.||£30,490 to £45,540|
|Jaw (e) (iii)||The award will be given to simple fractures which may affect the health of the teeth||£6,460 to
The figures provided come from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which is a document legal professionals may use to help value your claim. However, the figures should only be used as a guide, as actual compensation amounts may vary.
If you require any more information on how much your claim may be worth, call our team on the number above. Otherwise, read on to find out more about how an injury of this nature might be diagnosed and treated.
If you think you’ve suffered a fractured tooth, you should seek immediate medical advice from a dentist. They can assess the nature of your injury through an examination or scan. Once your injury has been diagnosed, they can start to treat it.
However, treatment may vary depending on the severity of your tooth fracture. It might involve a dentist performing the following procedures:
- Implanting a denture or bridge
- Glueing the broken fragment of the tooth back on
- Filling the tooth or adding a cap to cover the broken tooth
- Root canal treatment. This may be performed if the tooth’s nerve has become exposed as a result of a severe break.
For more information on the treatment you may receive, seek medical advice from the NHS or your dentist. Read on to find out more about how a tooth fracture misdiagnosis could be caused by medical negligence.
When we seek advice from a medical professional, we expect that we will receive care of a certain standard. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where a dentist may fail to deliver the standard of care expected, resulting in you being injured or your condition worsening. For example, they may not assess your injury thoroughly enough based on your symptoms.
If they fail to diagnose your tooth fracture correctly, it could lead to your fractured tooth either being missed or misdiagnosed as something else. This could lead to you not getting the treatment you need for the injury you have sustained. It could also lead to incorrect treatment such as:
- Taking a tooth out when there was no need to
- Treating the wrong tooth
- Filling a tooth when it didn’t need filling
If you can prove that the dentist neglected their duty of care to you and that you suffered injury or a worsening of your condition as a direct result of dental negligence, you may be able to claim. Read on for more information on the duty of care owed to you by medical professionals.
Am I owed a duty of care by medical professionals?
A medical professional is expected to do everything reasonably possible to prevent you from coming into further harm. However, a dentist may do everything they could to prevent further harm but make a mistake that causes a patient to suffer. This would not be considered negligence.
To help establish whether a medical professional is in breach of their duty of care or not, courts will usually administer something called the Bolam test. This involves seeking the opinion of a panel of the medical professional’s peers to see whether they would have done the same thing when faced with the same evidence. If they decide that the dentist provided an appropriate standard of care, then it’s determined that no medical negligence occurred. However, if the panel of peers confirmed that they would have acted differently, then the medical professional could be considered negligent.
It’s important to note that if you have chipped or fractured your tooth and sought medical attention for it, there’s a likelihood that you would have experienced some pain and suffering even if your condition had been treated. Because of this, you will only be compensated for pain and suffering or medical expenses that you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.
There are a few things that could happen if a broken tooth is left untreated. For instance:
- Ongoing pain
- Weakness in the affected tooth
- If an exposed nerve has been left untreated, you may continue to have sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Infection of the pulp tissue in the tooth that could spread to the bone or gum
For more information on whether a dentist was liable for making your injury worse, call our team. They could connect you with a medical negligence solicitor to start your claim for tooth fracture compensation. Or for more information on the time limits that apply when making a tooth fracture compensation claim, see below.
Generally, the personal injury claims time limit is three years. You have three years from the date the accident happened or the date you obtained knowledge that the defendants carelessness is what caused your injuries. The time limit to make a medical negligence claim is the same.
However, if the person injured is under the age of 18, the three-year time limit will be frozen until the date of their 18th birthday. In this time, someone could claim on behalf of them by acting as a litigation friend. For instance, a parent, guardian, family friend or solicitor could be appointed in this role. If no claim is made, the three-year time limit will reset when they turn 18, and they’ll have until their 21st birthday to claim for themselves.
Additionally, if someone lacks the mental capacity to claim for themselves, someone could act as a litigation friend. If they regain their mental capacity, the three years will start again from the date of recovery. Otherwise, it’s frozen indefinitely.
If you have any questions regarding the time limits, contact our team for further help and advice.
When building a compensation claim, it’s important to obtain as much evidence as possible to support your claim. There are various types of evidence that could strengthen your claim for compensation.
For instance, you’ll need to provide evidence that your accident happened with the likes of CCTV footage, the details of anyone who was a witness to your accident and pictures of the accident scene. If your accident happened in public or at work, you might have recorded it in an accident book. This accident book report could help provide evidence as to the circumstances of the accident.
Additionally, you’ll require medical evidence to show the state of your injuries and that they were sustained in the accident you’re claiming for. This might include past medical records. You will also usually be invited to an independent medical assessment to determine that your injuries were caused by the accident you were involved in and to detail your prognosis.
Furthermore, if you’re claiming any additional damages, you’ll need evidence to prove the financial losses incurred. For example, you may provide payslips, receipts and invoices to show that you took time off work or paid out-of-pocket for medical treatment.
If you’ve suffered financially because of your injury, you may have apprehensions about seeking legal representation because of the large legal fees that you could incur when paying a solicitor’s hourly rate.
Our advisors can connect you with a solicitor to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that if your solicitor is unsuccessful, you won’t pay their fees. You also won’t be asked to pay them in order for them to start work on your claim or while it’s ongoing.
However, if they are successful, you’ll pay a small success fee. This is legally capped and will be agreed upon beforehand between you and your solicitor.
If you have any questions regarding the information in our guide or would like to be connected with a No Win No Fee lawyer from our panel, contact us on the details below:
If you suffered a broken tooth in the gym, see our guide for making a gym injury compensation claim.
Have you been injured by a faulty automatic door? Read our guide for more information on claiming.
For more information on your rights after an accident at work, see our guide.
For any medical advice on a chipped, cracked or broken tooth, see the NHS website.
If you require any information on preventing your child from coming into harm, see the Child Accident Prevention Trust.
For information on road safety campaigns in Britain, visit think.gov.
Can a fractured tooth be saved?
It depends on how severe the crack in the tooth is and how deep it goes. If it’s just a simple crack, it’s possible the tooth could be saved. You should always seek medical attention if you have cracked or broken a tooth.
How does a tooth get fractured?
There are many ways a tooth could get fractured. For example, you may break your tooth in a car accident, a fall or through chewing hard foods.
How do I know if my tooth is fractured?
If you experience consistent pain, increased sensitivity or an infection in your teeth, you should seek medical advice to see if your tooth is fractured. However, the symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the crack and what part of the tooth is damaged.
What do you do for a fractured tooth?
The treatment for a tooth fracture may vary depending on the nature of the injury. For more severe tooth breaks, you may need a root canal to treat any damage that has exposed the nerves of the teeth.
Thank you for reading our guide on claiming tooth fracture compensation. We hope you found it helpful.
Guide by AE
Checked by RK