Dentists perform routine and complex treatments and procedures for their patients each day and, in most cases, they are completed without any complications. However, there are occasions when dentists make mistakes that lead to significant issues for their patients.
Scenarios, where you may be able to bring a claim for dental negligence, include:
- Failure by your dentist to take accurate medical information prior to commencing a dental treatment.
- Failure by your dentist to diagnose a significant dental issue such as periodontitis (gum disease).
- Where your dentist has failed to correctly fit an implant.
- Where your dentist has been careless during a procedure and failed to remove a foreign object from your mouth during treatment.
- Where cosmetic procedures (such as teeth whitening, veneers, or crowns) went wrong, causing significant pain and stress.
- Where tooth extraction operations have been performed incorrectly, causing damage to the nerves and gums.
- Where your dentist failed to follow acceptable standards of hygiene leading to an infection.
- Failure by your dentists to provide adequate radiology or imaging.
Of course, there may be many other valid scenarios where it is possible to bring a dental negligence compensation claim. Speak to one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors today for further advice.
Bringing a dental negligence claim
If any of the scenarios above sound similar to your experience, there are a number of steps you will need to take to initiate your dental negligence claim. This includes the following:
- Contact a specialist dental negligence solicitor – it’s important to work with a firm that has a firm track record in bringing medical negligence cases in Ireland. Be sure to thoroughly check the credentials of the solicitor who takes on your case.
- Obtain your medical records – you will not be able to bring a case without obtaining the records taken by the medical staff who treated you for your injury. Your solicitor can request these records on your behalf whilst also arranging for them to be assessed by an independent medical expert.
- Drafting a letter of claim – if the independent medical expert concludes that medical negligence has occurred, the next step will be for your solicitor to draft a Letter of Claim, outlining your case and a suggested settlement. This will be sent to the dentist or medical practitioner who treated you.
- Bringing the case to court or settling outside of court – this will depend entirely on whether your dentist medical practitioner chooses to contest the claim or agree to settle without court proceedings. Your solicitor will be able to guide you through this stage of the process.
Speak to our legal team now about your case. Call us Freephone on:
Request A Call Back
Get a call back from our legal team at a time that suits you.
Highly rated on TrustPilot
Read the latest reviews written by our happy clients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the questions often posed to our medical negligence team.
What is the legal definition of dental negligence?
Dental negligence refers to a breach of duty of care by a dental professional that results in harm or injury to a patient. This breach can occur through substandard treatment, failure to diagnose or treat conditions appropriately, or inadequate communication of risks. Negligence must be proven by demonstrating that a competent dental professional would have acted differently in similar circumstances, and that this failure directly caused harm or injury to the patient. Compensation claims for dental negligence typically seek to recover damages for pain, suffering, loss of earnings, and additional medical costs incurred as a result of the negligence.
How can I prove a dental negligence claim?
To prove your claim, you must establish four key elements: duty of care (established by the dentist-patient relationship), breach of duty (demonstrating substandard care), causation (showing the breach directly caused harm), and damages (evidence of harm or injury suffered). This typically involves gathering medical records, expert testimony, and documenting the impact of the negligence on your health and well-being. Consulting with a solicitor experienced in handling dental negligence cases can help you navigate the process and gather necessary evidence.
Will I need to appear in court to provide evidence?
With most of the cases we deal with, appearing in court is not necessary. Most claims are settled out of court through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods. If the case proceeds to trial, your solicitor will advise on whether your testimony is required and prepare you accordingly.
In what scenarios is it unlikely my claim would be unsuccessful?
It's unlikely you'd be able to bring a claim if the treatment received was within the accepted standard of care, if there's insufficient evidence to prove breach of duty or causation, if the harm suffered is minor and transient, or if the claim is time-barred due to exceeding the limitation period, which is two years from when the negligence occurred or when it was discovered.
Start your dental negligence claim
About McCarthy + Co
With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with medical negligence cases, McCarthy + Co. has expertise in bringing successful claims against dentists and other negligent dental staff. We are a family-run business, and we pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial, and helpful advice.
Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork, but we work with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance, and assistance on any form of personal or medical injury.
Our Awards & Accreditations
We are a multi-award winning firm, accredited by the Law Society of Ireland.
Directly contact our partners via email about your case.
Follow Flor on Social Media
Flor McCarthy wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.
Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
Follow John on Social Media
John McCarthy is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.
John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.