A woman who claims she was left with a dribble following an allegedly unnecessary tooth extraction has won a payout of £19,000.
Katherine Lake says her life has been negatively affected by the consequences of the procedure, which took place under the care of Dr Rebecca Moss and Dr John Frazer Wanstall at YourSmile Dental Care in Loughborough.
Neither dentist has admitted liability, and both have said they do not agree with the alleged facts of the case as presented by the Dental Law Partnership, which took up Ms Lake's case. The payment was agreed in an out-of-court settlement.
Ms Lake, 57, had initially sought treatment for toothache, with fillings put in place to ease her pain, her lawyers claimed.
The pain persisted, however, and the tooth was later removed on the advice of the dentists, they added.
'The tooth did not need to be removed'
Following that operation, she lost feeling in her mouth, it was claimed. The Dental Law Partnership alleged its investigators found that the tooth did not need to be removed, and said they uncovered a number of alleged errors in the patient's care and treatment.
Ms Lake, of Loughborough, went for a number of check-ups at YourSmile Dental Care in the years prior to the tooth’s removal, said the law firm.
Inquiries by the Dental Law Partnership found that during those check-ups, both Dr Moss and Dr Wanstall allegedly failed to acknowledge and treat the decay on the tooth they would later extract, it claimed.
The extraction led to consequences for the patient which have negatively affected her physical and mental health, with symptoms including an unpredictable dribble, it was claimed.
Ms Lake said: "I thought having the tooth removed would help get rid of the pain I had originally been dealing with.
"However it didn’t seem to help at all. It was three days after the extraction that I knew something really wasn’t right.
"The constant ache on the left side of my face continued and developed into an infection which caused a lot of pain and I needed antibiotics to recover. The numbness has remained and, even now, half of my lip is permanently affected."
Ms Lake now struggled to eat some foods, and had to use a straw when drinking due to her nerve endings being permanently damaged, she claimed.
'I used to play the bagpipes and now I can't'
She said: "The experience has seriously impacted my day-to-day life. I used to play the bagpipes in a band and am physically no longer able to do this.
"I also have difficulty eating and drinking and sometimes dribble without realising, which makes public situations harder."Smiling isn’t the same anymore and I feel very self-conscious about my face. I’ve had to undergo counselling to deal with the clinical trauma as the anxiety that now surrounds visiting the dentist is all-consuming, and often disturbs my sleep."
Ms Lake's case was picked up by the Dental Law Partnership in 2018, with her seeking damages from both Dr Moss and Dr Wanstall.
Her case concluded earlier this year, and she agreed the sum of £19,000 in an out-of-court settlement, with no liability admitted.
YourSmile Dental Care in Loughborough has since closed down and been replaced by Bupa Dental Care. Neither dentist works there.In a joint statement, Dr Moss and Dr Wanstall said: "We would like to make it clear that we do not agree with the facts as conveyed by the Dental Law Partnership, and we will not provide details of any patient’s treatment and management because of our professional duty to protect the confidentiality of our patients."