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A 67-year-old woman has received compensation after her dentist failed both to treat her ongoing chronic gum disease and to detect substantial bone loss to her jaw.
Philippa Haye began seeing the dentist in 1976 and attended for regular check-ups without anything seemingly being amiss.
The first sign of trouble came in 2011 when she booked an urgent appointment because her front teeth were very loose and painful. She was shocked when her dentist told her that she had severe gum disease and would need to have five teeth taken out, including four of her front teeth.
Mrs Haye went ahead with the treatment and was fitted with a partial denture. This was very loose, but in spite of her complaints, her dentist failed to remedy the problem.
In 2012, Mrs Haye again sought treatment for severe pain in her lower jaw and was told that another tooth would have to be removed.
After her original dentist retired, she saw a different practitioner at the same surgery, who told her that she was suffering from chronic gum disease and substantial bone loss. The gum disease was by this time so advanced that Mrs Haye required specialist treatment, which included root canal treatment and a further tooth extraction.
Mrs Haye decided to bring a personal injury claim as X-rays showed that as far back as 1992 bone loss had been evident in her jaw, but this had gone untreated. By the time she received remedial treatment, the cost was substantial.
The dentist did not admit liability but agreed to pay compensation of £46,000 in an out-of-court settlement.