Dental Neglect over 5 years results in £15,700 compensation for Plymouth man
Specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership triumph after an 18 month out-of-court battle to compensate Plymouth man for the negligent treatment he received from a quartet of professional dentists.
Geoff Pithouse, 38, from the Woolwell area of the city, was a patient of the Windsor Place Dental Surgery since 2005. He has recently won a legal action against four of its dentists for their severe neglect and indolence in the handling of his treatment. The case, which was successfully settled out-of-court for £15,700 following an 18-month battle, was brought against Dr Chitre, Dr Aviss-Monro, Dr Toteva and Dr Malby after Mr Pithouse was found to have been treated inadequately by all four dentists while under their care.
As a result of the dentists’ poor treatment, Mr Pithouse has lost a tooth and was forced to endure a series of lengthy remedial procedures for tooth decay, poor root canal treatments and a replacement fillings. Following all these corrective treatments, he will still have to endure procedures throughout his life, such was the scale of the dentists’ negligence.
Associate solicitor, Heather Owen at the Dental Law Partnership, said: “It’s a dentist’s responsibility to identify and treat disease in a patient’s mouth. In this case, all four dentists at Windsor Place Dental Surgery failed on multiple occasions to recognise the presence of tooth decay as well as other dental issues in a timely manner – which was then compounded by the lack of skill and precision during My Pithouse’s remedial treatments.
Mr Pithouse, an appliance engineer explained: “I’ve always kept up with regular checks at the dentist and had been seeing the same dentist twice a year at Windsor Place since 2005; I even paid extra for necessary treatments and hygienist visits. It wasn’t until 2009 after my regular dentist left the practice that I started being passed from pillar to post.
“Between 2009 and 2012, my routine six-monthly check-ups and any necessary treatments were provided three different dentists, Dr Chitre, Dr Malby and Dr Avis-Monro. It wasn’t until Christmas Eve 2011 that I started suffering with horrendous toothache in one of my upper right molars – the same tooth that had been treated by all the dentists on a number of occasions! In January I went back to see Dr Aviss-Monro and she treated me for minor tooth decay and I must admit, she seemed very proficient at the time. However, in hindsight, the treatment came too late and the then three dentist’s failure to identify the bigger issue earlier, triggered a massively detrimental snowball effect.
“From April 2012 until November 2013, I had to endure multiple treatments carried out by Dr Toteva, Dr Aviss-Monro together with another dentist for more tooth decay, a replacement filling, root canals and cavity issues, the list was endless and each experience became even more traumatic than the last. It got to the point where I literally couldn’t afford to pay for any more procedures and was forced to get a loan from the bank to pay for the treatments. I visited the practice so many times that I began to feel guilty, as if the issues were somehow self-inflicted; even the receptionist would automatically recognise my voice each time I called to make an appointment.
“Over time, I descended from a pretty normal, confident guy, to feeling extremely self-conscious and depressed. My family life was also affected as the quality time with my three young boys really came to a halt.
“Work was also a nightmare, I was constantly feeling weak and lifting heavy objects, an essential part of my job, would make my head throb from the pressure. I’d then suffer awful side effects from having to dose up on codeine and other strong pain killers multiple times a day – it was a vicious cycle.
“Enough was enough – I decided I had to gain a second opinion so I visited a local private dentist. I was absolutely furious when I was told I actually needed corrective treatment for all the botched procedures and untreated decay I had suffered so far.”
Geoff was advised to approach the Dental Law Partnership at the end of 2013 where lawyers at the practice took on his case. After an 18-month legal battle they eventually reached an out-of-court settlement, in April 2015, for damages to the amount of £15,700. None of the dentists involved admitted liability.
“Looking back, I feel as if five whole years of my life have been lost The advice I’d give to others would be to never feel awkward when questioning their dentist’s treatment and, although I wouldn’t encourage people to be suspicious of everyone, I’d seriously recommend getting a second opinion if they feel uncomfortable. I have since left the dental practice and have been able to complete the first stage of my corrective surgery as a result of the settlement I received.
“I can’t thank Dental Law Partnership enough for the help they’ve given me; their services really are second to none and the no nonsense communication throughout was very reassuring – definitely recommended.”