A dentist with more than 30 years’ experience and practised in London’s Harley Street has agreed to pay £14,000 compensation to a patient who was left needing A&E treatment when his face ‘ballooned up’ after a botched bridge fitting.
Patient David Mann thought he was guaranteed the very best treatment when learning of Philip Kurland’s history as a leading cosmetic dentist professional with decades of experience.
However, he faced a ‘nightmare’ two-and-a-half years of pain and has been left suffering from repeated abscesses to date, needing legal representation from medical negligence specialists Hudgell Solicitors to finally secure compensation and ensure he could cover the £10,000 cost of repairing the damage done.
Mr Mann, 40, of Chichester, West Sussex, had simply been looking for a better solution to the two-tooth dental brace he wore, as he had been finding it uncomfortable.
He was advised by Kurland to have an extra tooth taken out, and a substantial bridge fitted which stretched across the space of five teeth – at the cost of £2,500.
However, what was supposed to be a simple procedure turned into a nightmare for Mr Mann, who now faces having to have a further two teeth removed as part of the work to correct the errors of the past.
“It was a nightmare from the very start, and now I need to have all the work done again from scratch, including having yet more teeth removed, all because of the damage caused over the past two-and-a-half years,” said Mr Mann.
“As soon as he first fitted the bridge I found it very uncomfortable and painful, it was crooked and twisted, but he just said it was to be expected because of the work that had been done, and that it would soon settle down.
“After a week I returned and he reluctantly agreed to take it off and put a temporary bridge in place until a permanent replacement was ready, but he wasn’t happy at having to do it again. He even made a comment that he wouldn’t be replacing the next one.
“From that point on I continued to suffer from really bad pains and toothache, which I knew must have been down to the bridge. Each time I went to the dentist I told him about the pains, but his answer was to just take antibiotics, which I said I didn’t want to do. He was very dismissive.
“It affected me day to day. It made be grumpy at times as it was a really bad pain, as anyone who has had really bad toothache will know, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I didn’t feel good, and I’d feel really hot even when it wasn’t a warm day.
“When I returned to have the new permanent bridge fitted a month later, there was a really bad smell when he took the temporary one out. I warned him then that I’d been experiencing a really bad taste in my mouth, and that there must be something wrong.
“I could only really explain it as tasting like an infection. I knew there was a problem, but again he said it was normal and that the pain had been due to the nerve being exposed, saying it would settle with the new bridge fitted.”
With the replacement bridge fitted, Mr Mann hoped the dentist would soon be proved right, and that the pain would disappear.
However, in the days after, the right-hand side of his face began to swell badly, so much so that he needed treatment in his local hospital A&E department, where a large abscess was found.
“I can remember my partner Samantha looking at me in horror and saying my face had just ballooned up on one side. She said that I looked like a hamster. It got so bad that my eye on the right side of my face was almost completely closed and my partner said ‘we’ve got to get you to hospital.”
Mr Kurland left the dental practice in Chichester where he had carried out the work on Mr Mann shortly after, and it took representation through Hudgell Solicitors before a compensation payment was agreed through the his insurers.
“This was a clear case of dental negligence, so much so that even today, more than two-and-a-half years after the original work to fit the bridge, our client is still no further in terms of receiving the treatment he requires. Indeed, he continues to suffer from regular, painful abscesses,” said Sarah Smith, trainee solicitor at Hudgell Solicitors.
“It not only cost him £2,500 for the original work which now needs replacing, but also extra costs in root canal treatment which was also needed following the poorly fitted bridge and subsequent abscesses. He has also had to take antibiotics repeatedly to lessen the pain.
“Added to this, the dentist dragged this matter out during the legal process, leaving Mr Mann in limbo over his dental health. He was unable to find any dentists willing to take on repair work with legal action pending, and as the initial work had been done in private, he was unable to get help on the NHS.
“He could and should have been compensated much earlier. Thankfully now, with this settlement, he’ll be able to cover the costs of the treatment he needs, and have some money left over to compensate for the pain and suffering he has experienced.”