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Don’t be left feeling the pain – physical and financial – from an uninsured dentist

Statistics suggest that around one in every four of us suffers from some sort of anxiety before heading to the dentist.

In the vast majority of cases, it is a wholly unfounded fear, as most of us will thankfully go through life enjoying excellent dental care from dedicated and talented professionals.

However, as specialists in handling claims for dental negligence across the UK, we at Neil Hudgell Solicitors often see the bad side of dentistry, representing clients who suffer as their teeth are left in poor, sometimes very painful condition.

Thankfully, in many cases, we are able to recover financial damages on their behalf through the dentists’ insurers or indemnity cover.

It compensates patients for their pain and suffering, recovers any loss of earnings if they have needed time off work, and also covers the costs of any remedial treatment needed.

Of course, this is when the dentist involved is fully insured – something many people wrongly believe each practicing dentist in the UK must be.

Think again.

Experts at the Dental Law Partnership have estimated that as many as 200,000 patients could be at risk from practitioners who are defying laws requiring them to have full insurance.

Last year, the General Dental Council watchdog received 2,990 new complaints, a 90 per cent increase on 2012, and most related to negligent treatment such as poorly fitted fillings and failed implants. It is a big problem.

Unfortunately, with more than a quarter of the 40,000 dentists in the UK qualifying abroad and having little or no training in Britain, many are then found to be uninsured.

As a result, when patients seek compensation, they find it almost impossible. Some dentists simply disappear without a trace once a first claim against them is made.

The General Dental Council  insists all dentists with their own practice must have insurance or indemnity cover costing £1,500-£3,000 a year, and new laws introduced in July now make it a criminal offence to practise without cover.

But a recent study showed that of 95 cases involving foreign-trained dentists disciplined for poor treatment, 20 did not attend the hearing and 21 did not have indemnity cover – more than a fifth of cases.

Clearly, the law doesn’t do enough.

It doesn’t require a dentist to inform patients as to whether they have insurance cover, and there is no duty upon a dentist’s insurer to co-operate with a patient in the event of a claim. As a result, we are told there are still hundreds of uninsured dentists practicing.

Given the recent case of Nottingham dentist Desmond D’Mello, who was suspended from practice for potentially putting more than 22,000 patients at risk of blood-borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis through flouting infection control rules, a worrying picture of dental care in the UK is currently being painted.

As experts in this area, we firmly believe it needs to be closely looked at by the Government, and serious action must be taken to tighten up the entire dentistry industry.

It is unacceptable for such a key part of the health service to be so poorly and loosely governed, leaving thousands of patients at risk of suffering – both physically and financially.

Read our previous blog article: HIV and Hepatitis scare for 22,000 patients of Nottinghamshire dentist Desmond D’Mello

What Our Clients Say

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"Anthony and his team at Hudgell…"

Anthony and his team at Hudgell solicitors are extremely professional and caring People. From the first phone conversation right through to completion i was always kept updated, if i had any concerns and contacted them, they were always happy to listen and put my mind at rest. I would highly…

Mrs lisa martinJanuary 21, 2020

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"Excellent service"

Great service . Made me feel at ease . Proffesional and very quick to respond to any questions or concerns I would highly reccomend

LesleyJanuary 21, 2020

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"Excellent service"

Excellent service

JensonJanuary 21, 2020

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"Excellent service"

Excellent service, Alex Garven was most helpful in dealing with my claim. Many thanks for his hard work in getting a result for me,. It took quite a while but during that time I received regular progress updates and a quick response if I had any queries .

Jill ElliottJanuary 15, 2020

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"Lauren Dale"

Lauren Dale was so sensitive when dealing with my mums claim and she totally understood what i really wanted from the outcome. she kept me fully informed of everything, as and when it happened. I cannot thank her enough for her help and understanding on such a sensitive case. 5…

Jane from North YorkshieJanuary 11, 2020

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"Excellent Service"

Excellent, professional and friendly solicitors. It was a very simple process and they kept in constant contact to update me on any developments. Would definitely recommend.

Philippa January 09, 2020

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"Could not have been simpler or easier"

Could not have been simpler or easier, they did everything required and more. Nice, pleasant to talk to, they do all the leg work, put everything into context and resolve as quick as possible. Hopefully will not have to use again but if a situation arises then would not hesitate…

DarrenJanuary 08, 2020

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"Very helpful and always kept in touch…"

Very helpful and always kept in touch via email through the while process. Highly recommended

Joseph Conrad Waudby January 07, 2020

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"Brilliant customer service"

Brilliant customer service, always will contact you as they say they will. Have been very helpful with my case and explained the process thoroughly, very easy to understand. Would definitely recommend.

Julia MatildaJanuary 07, 2020

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"Verry happy with the result they got…"

Verry happy with the result they got for my claim very officiant and professional my particular solicitor was the most friendly official type person that I have dealt with before really happy with the freindly kind manner in which they dealt with myself and my claim I would recommend them…

Richard RobertsJanuary 07, 2020

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"Very impressed with the fast turn…"

Very impressed with the fast turn around of Hudgell. Very responsive and friendly too.

CustomerJanuary 03, 2020

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"Wonderful service"

Wonderful service, was kept up to date regularly and once they received an offer to settle my case, they advised that they could get a better offer and did just that, will definitely pick up the phone again if I ever require their services in future.

Jordan HowarthJanuary 03, 2020

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"These solicitors were very helpful and…"

These solicitors were very helpful and I was surprised when they told me that they were pursuing a totally different avenue to the one I thought was available. They were very efficient, constantly in communication with myself and were direct with the opposite party. Needless to say, they won my…

GARY COSGROVEJanuary 03, 2020

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"Take a leaf out of there book"

I would certainly recommend Was kept up to date via email promptly each time I asked a question Postal and email correspondence was fluent and my claim settled in a timely manner Many thanks to Alex and his hard work

Mandy Michelle WainwrightJanuary 03, 2020

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"Couldn’t of chose a better solicitors…"

Couldn’t of chose a better solicitors to go through my claim with, Sarah informed me every step of the way (even when they was nothing to update me with) was such a quick process and she couldn’t of been more helpful ! 5*

Courtney FriendJanuary 03, 2020

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"karl griffin fantastic man"

karl griffin was fantastic extremely helpful and fought every step of the way for me he was always there whenever i needed him i highly recommend hudgell solicitors to anyone who needs there help they made a horrible situation dissappear

Jeni DaleJanuary 03, 2020

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"Alex is amazing"

Alex is amazing! He took over my claim and everything changed from negative to positive. Case still ongoing but fantastic service so far from Alex. Great communication - answering calls and emails. Spot on in everything. I am very glad he is handling my case now and I am confident…

Seth OppongDecember 27, 2019

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"Highly recommended"

Excellent service and communication from start to finish. The whole process of handling my personal injury claim was dealt with quickly and courteously.

MikeNovember 26, 2019

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"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