Cosmetic Dental Negligence – Cosmetic Dentistry Errors
In recent years there has been a notable rise in the popularity of cosmetic dentistry, whether it be to achieve that ‘perfect smile’ or simply improve the appearance of one’s teeth, both for confidence and aesthetic reasons. Cosmetic procedures are often sought to correct or improve the appearance of the teeth.
However, while there has been a surge in popularity of the various cosmetic dentistry procedures that are available, unfortunately this too has brought about an increase in the number of cases of cosmetic dental negligence.
There are many procedures available to patience which can include:
- Teeth whitening/bleaching
- Gum contouring
- Bridge work
Dental implants are a costly form of treatment for those patients who wish to have missing teeth replaced. Implants are inserted into the jaw-bone in order to support any false teeth. While a successful procedure in general, errors in fitting and aftercare can lead to further complications and in some cases infections if the required aftercare is not sufficiently provided. Injuries are not just straightforward and can create reasons for the complex case of dental implant claims which can include:
- Nerve damage and injuries
- Lack of informed consent
- Failure to provide scans
- Perforation of the jaw bone
Thousands of patients will opt for veneers as its’ main aim is to cosmetically improve the appearance of the teeth/smile by cementing thin, clear laminates onto a tooth. Specially trained and skilled professionals are required to carry these procedures out to ensure that the procedure is completed with precision. There can however be occasions where too much enamel has been removed or complications may arise after treatment.
Teeth Whitening Treatment
Teeth whitening is a dental procedure that lightens the tooth colour and aims to help reduce if not remove discoloration and stains. However, for this procedure to be carried out correctly, a dentist’s diagnosis and treatment should be properly timed. A treatment should be tailored to an individual patient, taking into account tooth sensitivity and potential enamel erosion.
Generally, gum contouring is a relatively safe procedure and gums heal quickly with minimal pain and discomfort. However, the main risk of gum contouring is the removal of too much tissue which can cause the mouth to not heal properly. Additional treatment may be required to rectify this error.
The purpose of a crown is to repair and to protect the teeth, almost imitating the original tooth in colour, size and shape. If a crown is not fitted correctly, it can cause damage to the underlying tooth, which can in turn lead to tooth decay. It can be expensive to resolve these issues and may require further procedures for repairs and removals.
Claims for crowns/bridges negligence can include:
- Damage to adjacent teeth
- Porcelain fractures
- Failure to provided treatment options before fitting crowns or bridges
Braces are a common method of straightening teeth, however patients can be caused problems if the braces are fitted incorrectly. To repair the damage caused by ill-fitted braces can be both painful and costly to the patient.
Important points to note re Cosmetic Dentistry Errors
All patients require a thorough assessment before undergoing any cosmetic dentistry procedure.
It is also important to note that the grounds for a dental negligence case must not solely lie with a dissatisfaction with service received. It must be proved that a dentist failed to fulfil his/her duty of care to the patient, whether this be through a mistake made during a procedure, a misdiagnosis or indeed a failure to diagnose.