Woman who turned to DIY dentistry wins over £15k compensation after dentists failings

Lucy Bodycote, 44, has been awarded £15,500 in a legal settlement with her dental practice. Credit: BPM Media

A woman says she had to drain pus from her infected gum for days, after her dentists failed to treat her rotten teeth.

Lucy Bodycote, 44, has been awarded £15,500 in a legal settlement with her dental practice - which disputes her story - after she was left in the position of carrying out her own DIY dentistry.Over several years, Lucy, from Narborough in Leicestershire, says she saw nine different dentists at The Avenue Dental Practice in Enderby.

Ms Bodycote says she was left begging the dentist to remove her tooth, in a procedure which she says she could then 'still feel everything'.

An X-ray shows untreated decay and infection in Lucy's upper left teeth. Credit: BPM Media

She claims she had a number of issues with them in the run-up to the Covid-19 pandemic.When lockdown came into affect she says she had to drain pus from a lump on her gum after her face swelled up.

She said: "At the start of March 2020 I was experiencing problems with an infected tooth, as pus was leaking from it, and the left side of my face started to swell up."I was prescribed antibiotics but as we were about to go into lockdown I couldn't get an appointment at my dentist and I was told the only way to be seen was going to A&E. The hospital was the last place I wanted to be with Covid so rife at the time, so I was left having to drain the lump on my gum every day which was really unpleasant."

She says she started going to the surgery in Stewart Avenue in 2004 and had many appointments with the dentists at the practice who provided multiple fillings over the years.When she started to experience pain in one tooth she says she was provided with antibiotics, however these didn’t seem to help ease her pain so she asked for the tooth to be extracted - but it didn't go to plan.

She said: “I was in so much pain and after multiple emergency visits and rounds of antibiotics my tooth pain still prevailed."Eventually I told the clinic I could not take it any longer and needed the tooth out. I had to beg for them to take my tooth out as I felt that was the only option," she claims."I had anaesthetic injections for the procedure, however, I could still feel everything. I was informed that I couldn’t have any more anaesthesia and remember leaving in floods of tears from the pain without so much as a follow-up call to check if I was okay.”After her experiences in lockdown, Ms Bodycote decided to pay extra and go private.

She went to an appointment at the new dentist and, she says, several problems she had not been aware of were discovered.She said: “After I had my examination, it came to light that I had multiple rotting teeth, a capped tooth fitted incorrectly leaving a gap, and multiple other errors."

Ms Bodycote had multiple rotting teeth. Credit: BPM Media

She contacted the specialist medical negligence solicitors Dental Law Partnership in 2020.

It said analysis of her dental records showed that if her dentists in Enderby had used reasonable care and skill, she would not have experienced untreated decay in five different teeth, have had to have multiple root fillings, and experience the loss of several teeth.Speaking about how the ordeal has affected her, she said: “I’m deeply disappointed in the dentists who treated me because I put my fate in their hands and they messed up so many of my teeth. After forking out thousands of pounds to rectify my damaged teeth, and having more teeth removed, I decided to contact the Dental Law Partnership to see if they could help.”Lucy's legal action against The Avenue was settled in October 2022 but the The Avenue did not admit liability.

Tim Armitage of the Dental Law Partnership said: “The distress and pain our client has experienced was completely unnecessary. If the dentists had carried out adequate treatment in the first place, her problems could have been avoided.”Dr Ismail Bhyat, practice principal at The Avenue, said: “While we do not accept the accuracy of the facts portrayed by The Dental Law Partnership, we are limited in what we can say because of patient confidentiality. However, we are pleased the matter has been brought to a satisfactory conclusion and that all parties can now move on.”