How to sue a dentist

By Benjamin Ho

Doctor dentist showing patient's teeth on X-ray

Dental care is an essential aspect of maintaining overall health and well-being. Most dental professionals in the UK provide high-quality services; however, there may be instances where patients encounter issues that lead them to consider legal action.

When can you sue a dentist?

Suing a dentist should be considered as a last resort after all other attempts to resolve issues have failed. Patients may be eligible to sue a dentist under the following circumstances:

  • Dental malpractice: If a dentist provides substandard care that results in serious harm or injury, patients may have grounds for a dental malpractice lawsuit.
  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis: This applies when a dentist fails to diagnose dental conditions in a timely and accurate manner, leading to adverse health effects or unnecessary complications.
  • Informed consent violation: Patients have the right to be fully informed about any proposed dental procedure’s risks and benefits. If a dentist performs a procedure without obtaining proper informed consent, it may constitute grounds for a lawsuit.
  • Breach of contract: In some cases, dental treatment may involve a contractual agreement. If a dentist fails to fulfil the agreed-upon terms, patients may be entitled to sue for breach of contract.

Blackwater law successfully settled for £37,500 for our client who suffered from repeated and long-term dental negligence.

Dentist operating on a patients teeth

Can you sue an NHS dentist?

Suing an NHS dentist follows a slightly different process compared to private dentists. Since NHS dental services are provided by the government, any claims against an NHS dentist would be directed towards NHS Resolution; an arm’s-length body of the Department of Health and Social Care.

Patients can still file a claim for dental malpractice or negligence, but it’s crucial to adhere to the NHS complaints procedure.

Can I sue the NHS? – A Complete Guide

Have you suffered from poor dental care?

Speak to our solicitors today and find out if you could be entitled to compensation

CALL 0800 083 5500

How much does it cost to sue a dentist?

Suing a dentist can involve various expenses, and it’s essential to be aware of the potential costs before proceeding. The costs may include:

  • Legal fees: Engaging a solicitor to handle the case will incur fees. Some solicitors like Blackwater Law may work on a no-win, no-fee basis for dental negligence cases, meaning they will only be paid if the case is successful.
  • Court fees: Starting legal action requires payment of court fees, which can vary based on the complexity of the case and the amount being claimed.
  • Expert witness fees: In dental negligence cases, expert witnesses may be required to provide professional opinions. Their fees can add to the overall cost of the lawsuit.

How Does No Win, No Fee Work?

How long do you have to sue a dentist?

Generally speaking, you can launch a dental negligence compensation claim any time within a three-year period from the date of the incident or from the date when you became aware of the injury or harm caused by your dentist’s actions.

However, there are exceptions to these time limits, particularly in cases involving children or individuals lacking sufficient mental capacity, where the three-year period may not start until they reach adulthood or attain functional mental capabilities.

What can you sue a dentist for?

You may sue a dentist for various reasons, including:

  • Pain and suffering: If you have experienced physical pain and suffering due to dental malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation.
  • Medical expenses: Dental negligence can result in additional medical costs for corrective treatment, which can be claimed in the lawsuit.
  • Loss of earnings: If your ability to work is affected due to dental malpractice, you may seek compensation for lost wages.
  • Emotional distress: Significant emotional distress caused by the dentist’s actions may also be considered in a lawsuit.

Helpful Articles

There are a variety of factors that can determine how much compensation a claim can be worth. Our solicitors explain in this article. More
Loss of amenity is a part of your compensation that recognises the impact an injury has had on your enjoyment of life, beyond your ability to work. More
Compensation claims are a fairly common occurrence in the United Kingdom, with thousands of people each year making claims for personal injury, medical negligence, and other types of loss or damage. More

Dental Negligence Solicitor

Suing a dentist is a complex and serious matter that should not be taken lightly. It is crucial to consult with an experienced dental negligence solicitor specialising in dental claims to determine the merits of your case.

You could also consider alternative dispute resolution methods before resorting to legal action.

Have you suffered from poor dental care?

Speak to our solicitors today and find out if you could be entitled to compensation

CALL 0800 083 5500