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With the benefit of professional legal advice, a mother who had to learn to walk again after a dental infection spread to her brain has won £40,000 in compensation from a dentist who treated her negligently.
The woman had to undergo emergency surgery after an abscess that had originated in her mouth triggered the brain infection. She could very easily have died and, although she has made a remarkable recovery, she still suffers residual disability, including left-side weakness.
She had been suffering from chronic adult periodontitis, a condition caused by a build-up of bacteria in the mouth, which led to substantial loss of bone. Because it was not treated, she had to have six teeth removed. The dentist admitted that he had failed to carry out basic periodontal examinations or take regular screening scans.
In making the damages award, the High Court rejected arguments that, even had the woman been properly advised by the dentist, she would not have given up smoking, practised exemplary oral hygiene or regularly attended check-ups and treatment appointments. She had in no way caused or contributed to her injuries.