Under the Medical Practitioners Act 2017 a dentist is a recognised medical practitioner in Ireland. Dental negligence claims * arise under clinical negligence * (failure to diagnose an illness or condition, failure to provide necessary dental care,) or dental malpractice * (where incorrect dental work was done, where substandard work resulted in personal injury or changed the person’s appearance. It is important to contact a dental negligence solicitor if you think you have suffered an injury as a result of dental negligence * In order to prove that a dentist is negligent, it is necessary to establish that no reasonably competent dentist with the same qualification and expertise, faced with the same set of cirumstances, at the same time would have acted in the same way. It is also necessary to show that the injury was caused by the negligence.

Common Types of Dental Negligence* Claims include but are not limited to the following:

• Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of medical conditions such as gum disease or oral cancer

• Inadequate root canal therapy

• Failed implants

• Extracting the wrong tooth

• Failing to manage and treat decay

• Inadequate fillings

• Inadequate crowns

• Failing to manage gum disease (periodontal disease)

• Performance of unnecessary dental procedure

• Severed nerve claim

• Poor standards of hygiene leading to infection

• Fractured Mandible claim

Making a Claim

The process for making a dental negligence claim * in Ireland is different when compared to other personal injury claims. In Personal injury claims * it is often necessary to apply to the Injuries Board first. Dental negligence claims * like other medical negligence claims * are brought straight to court and are not assessed by the Injuries Board.

You should take the following steps if you think you have a dental negligence* claim:

1. Contact a Dental Negligence Solicitor *

Dental negligence is a very complex area of law. It is advisable that you speak with a dental negligence solicitor * as soon as possible after the incident. Your solicitor can then advise you on the steps to be taken to ensure that the claim is dealt with as efficiently as possible. Record the date and time of the dental negligence * and the details of the type of dental treatment or procedure you received.

2. Dental Records

It will be necessary to obtain all of your relevant dental records. Your solicitor will prepare an authority for you to sign to take up your dental records. The records will need to be examined in consultation with you

3. Independent Dental Expert Assessment

Your dental records will need to be reviewed by an independent dental expert. Your solicitor will discuss with you the appropriate expert and will arrange to brief the expert. Your dental negligence solicitor* will meet with you following receipt of the report to determine if there is a claim for dental negligence*.

Statute of Limitations – Legal Time Frames

It is very important to be aware that there are time limits in place within which you can make a claim for dental negligence. For dental negligence claims the law in relation to the Statute of Limitations (time limits) within which a case can be taken is two years from the date of the accident/ injury or in some circumstances two years from the date a person became aware that their illness/injury was a result of dental negligence. In the case of persons with intellectual impairment or in the case of Minors (persons under the age of 18 years) the time limits are extended by the legislation. For further advice on these issues, you should contact a member of our team immediately in order to ascertain what the specific time limits are in your case. Dental negligence is closely related to medical negligence.

Contact us to find out more about your Dental negligence* case:

We will provide you with the advice you need. For more information contact our dental negligence solicitor at richael.odriscoll@fodlaw.ie or on 0214278131.

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Fachtna O’Driscoll Cork Solicitors, 9 South Mall, Cork. Tel +353 (0)21 4278131 Fax +353 (0)21 4279140 Email info@fodlaw.ie