Claim Now

June 25th 2015

Medical Negligence

Do you check-up on your dentist’s insurance in case treatment goes wrong?

Do you check-up on your dentist’s insurance in case treatment goes wrong?

A trip to the dentist can be a frightening experience for many people.

A trip to the dentist can be a frightening experience for many people.

For some, their worst fears are realised when they discover they have been provided with poor treatment and face having to pay a considerable sum for their remedial treatment.

So, what can you do if this happens to you?

One option is to pursue the dental practice’s complaints procedure, and or pursue a dental negligence claim against the dentist.

Currently, there is no legal requirement for dentists to have professional insurance. However, the General Dental Council (GDC), which regulates the profession, recommends practising dentists maintain adequate professional indemnity or insurance.

Although there majority of dentists do this, there are a few rogue dentists who do not.

As it stands, there are approximately 39,500 dentists registered on the GDC website and it is not known how many of these are uninsured. It is thought that several hundred dentists may not be.

But how many of us think about checking to see if our dentist is insured before we have any treatment?

I know I certainly don’t, and neither did a client who instructed me to pursue a dental negligence claim on her behalf.

My client had been fitted with an ill-fitting bridge which cost her approximately £2,000 and during the treatment, she suffered damage to two healthy front teeth.

As a consequence of the negligent treatment, my client required root canal treatment and crowns at her lateral incisor (lower left 2) and first premolar (lower left 4). The root canal treatment cost was £750+ per tooth. The crowns will require replacement around every 12 years at a cost of approximately £700+ per crown.

Upon investigating the claim however, we discovered that not only had the dentist failed to maintain proper insurance, but also he had left the country and emigrated to South Africa.

It tuned out that there was a string of complaints against this dentist, and the GDC held a Disciplinary Hearing where other allegations were heard, including poor care administered to his patients over his many years of practice.

Following this, he was registered on the GDC website with warnings. This was of little comfort to my client who required remedial treatment immediately and had to find the money for this. Likewise the other patients who were harmed by him.

So what can you do in this situation like this?

  1. Check to make sure your dentist is insured – prevention is much better.
  2. Pursue the dentist personally, but note this is a whole different process to dealing with an insurer.

The problem is that the GDC only recommend that dentists should have dental insurance. There is no legal requirement for them to do so. The GDC do not check up on dentists to see if they have in fact taken out insurance. Nor can they help you deal with the problem of dentists that are not co-operative and those who you cannot contact.

This has become more common because younger dentists are more mobile and move from practice to practice. Approximately one third of dentists in the UK are trained abroad. The trend is that they practice in the UK for a few years and then leave the UK and return back to their country of origin. If a dentist leaves the country, there is not much the patient can do.

Is there a solution?

A simple solution would be for the GDC to make it a requirement for all dentists to provide proof of their insurance before they can register or renew their registration.

An alternative solution is that an organisation is set up equivalent to the motor insurance bureau which provides redress for victims of accidents involving uninsured drivers. This will bridge the gap for those who have suffered injuries or damage as a result of dental negligence, and do not have the means to fund the cost of remedial treatment.

There are plans to bring in legislation which will make insurance a legal requirement, but it is not clear when this is set to come into effect.

This will mean that a dentist will need to disclose to the GDC that they have the necessary cover in place before they can register or renew their registration. The dentist will still not be required by the GDC to provide proof of their professional indemnity, and I suspect there will be a few dentists who will continue to exploit the system.

This is why an uninsured Dental Scheme would be a worthwhile safety net.

What Our Clients Say

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Becci was amazing"

Becci was amazing, she was so friendly and helpful and couldn’t have done a better job at helping me with my claim. Very happy.

Katherine JanineNovember 08, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Quick honest service"

Quick honest service, smooth process with excellent staff

MR COOPEROctober 30, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"HUDGELL SOLICITORS are great lawyers…"

HUDGELL SOLICITORS are great lawyers whit amazing customers service. I got pretty good deal only because of them I'm quite happy I chose Hudgell solicitor.

DominikOctober 30, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Good all round service"

Good all round service

John AndrewOctober 19, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Efficient"

Quick, efficient service provided by Jayne Woodock. Would definitely contact Hudgell Solicitors again in the future if the need arises

KerryOctober 10, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Thank you"

I have never had to go down the route of claiming for anything like this so when I was advised to do so I did some research and Hugell Solicitors caught my eye. And I’m so glad I picked them, everything was explained well and helped with any questions I…

ZoeOctober 04, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"No problems from start to finish for my…"

No problems from start to finish for my claim.Kept updated regularly and a good outcome even though the defendants were being evasive. Thanks.

r3monkeyOctober 03, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Very professional,efficient service,informative and friendly service. I would highly recommend Hudgell solicitors.

HelenOctober 01, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Good experience"

Good experience

Margaret ElizabethAugust 31, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Friendly, helpful and professional.

M J JAugust 09, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"I would recommend this firm of…solicitor to anyone"

I would recommend this firm of solicitor to anyone I have had a 5 star treatment from Jayne woodcock I cant praise her enough she kept me informed every step of my claim and I cannot thank her enough excellent Jimmy Mcdermott

Jimmy McJuly 28, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Very helpful and thorough"

Very helpful and thorough. The team kept me updated throughout. Thank you

EsmeJuly 25, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Couldn’t fault Hudgell Solicitors."

Couldn’t fault Hudgell Solicitors. They were professional, pleasant informative and helpful and got a result which was better than I had ever expected. When Becci left the practice and Alex took over my claim it was a seamless change over, indicating a personel strength in depth. Thank you.

Vic.July 24, 2019