Claimant awarded £30,000 as a result of negligent failure to offer the correct orthodontic treatment options and subsequent unnecessary removal of teeth

29 Mar 2017 | Case Studies

Claimant awarded £30,000 as a result of negligent failure to offer the correct orthodontic treatment options and subsequent unnecessary removal of teeth.

This case concerns a claim against a private orthodontist and medical issues concerning maxillofacial surgery and psychiatric treatment.

The Claimant was first seen by the defendant in September 2007. During that appointment it was confirmed that she would require orthodontic treatment. The Claimant was not advised of any underlying skeletal problem, nor was she advised that the option of surgery was available to her. She subsequently underwent the removal of all four first premolar teeth and fixed braces were applied.

By September 2011 the Claimant noticed no improvement in the appearance of her top teeth. She experienced pain and noticed that her top lip was disappearing. She sought a second opinion in October 2011 where she was referred to the department of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery at the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

At this attendance the Claimant was advised that the four pre-molars which had been removed should not have been extracted and that she was at risk of losing her teeth.

The claimant required further maxillofacial surgery and in June 2013 she underwent surgery.  Her lower jaw was surgically broken and re-aligned. Both jaws were immobile and elastic banded together for 7 – 8 weeks following surgery. She ate liquidised food for 7-8 weeks.

It was alleged that the defendant was negligent in failing to offer the two treatment options at the outset; either to do nothing at all or to have surgery to the lower jaw plus a brace. The brace would have been on for 18 months and the surgery would have involved 6 months’ worth of treatment, providing a total treatment period of 2 years.

It was alleged that the defendant’s negligence had caused the claimant the unnecessary removal of four teeth, the surgery she underwent to the upper jaw (she would always have had surgery to the lower jaw), a period of 4 ½ years protracted treatment, a period of time whereby her teeth were very painful, a longer period of mouth ulcers, and the period of time where she had a changed facial profile. In addition psychiatric evidence was obtained which confirmed the negligent treatment had resulted in the claimant suffering depression.

The Settlement

Settlement was reached in the total sum of £30,000.

Date of Judgment/Settlement:  03.15
Court: Out of court settlement
Claimant Solicitor: Helen Neville

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