A man has been awarded £8,500 compensation after claims that a dentist failed to treat his tooth decay.
Laurence Cole, 60, from Lyme Regis, said he has lost one tooth and has been told he will lose another because of the delay over treatment.
He started suffering from toothache in October 2015, and made an appointment at the Lyme Bay Dental Practice. His regular dentist was Dr Katharina Blome-Becht.
Mr Cole said: “I had toothache, and initially saw a different dentist at the practice. He said I’d need root canal treatment and that I should come back to see Dr Blome-Becht a few days later. But when I returned Dr Blome-Becht did not undertake root canal treatment, and just prescribed antibiotics. I was rather confused given what I’d been told at my previous appointment but you naturally trust your dentist.”
Mr Cole visited Gran Canaria for a holiday to celebrate his wife’s 60th birthday, and said the trip was ‘almost ruined’ by his toothache.
When Mr Cole returned from holiday he went back to see Dr Blome-Becht.
He added: “Dr Blome-Becht said I now needed root canal treatment but that ‘she wouldn’t trust herself to do it’. I was gobsmacked.”
He then ‘stormed out’ after speaking to the practice manager.
In December 2015 Mr Cole was suffering from severe toothache and infections in his upper right wisdom tooth, which was removed later that month. In February 2016 on attending a different dentist at Lyme Bay Medical & Dental Practice, X-rays were taken immediately revealed that he had more dental problems than he thought. As a result, Mr Cole will now need crowns and implants at two of his teeth for the rest of his life.
The Dental Law Partnership, which took on Mr Cole’s case, said their analysis showed the dentist failed to spot and treat decay visible in X-rays taken in 2015.
A spokesman said: “The decay had led to the pain and infections Mr Cole experienced at his teeth, and the need for them to be extracted. Dr Blome-Becht had also failed to properly restore one of Mr Cole’s teeth.”
Robert Pettitt of the Dental Law Partnership added: “What our client went through was completely unnecessary. If the dentist had undertaken the proper treatment in the first place the suffering he experienced could have been avoided. We hope the compensation he receives goes some way towards paying for any corrective treatment required.”
The Dental Law Partnership took on Mr Cole’s case in December 2015. The case was successfully settled in November 2017 when the dentist paid £8,500 in an out of court settlement. The dentist did not admit liability.
Dr Blome-Becht said: “While I do not accept the accuracy of the facts portrayed by The Dental Law Partnership, I am limited in what I can say because of my professional duty to protect patient confidentiality at all times. I am pleased the matter has been resolved to the patient’s satisfaction and that all parties can now move on.”
Sarah Hill, practice manager at the Lyme Bay Dental Practice, said that Dr Blome-Brecht left the practice in 2016 and that she was unable to comment further.