Is there a fixed sum you can claim in compensation for having the wrong tooth extracted?
There is no fixed sum of compensation for having the wrong tooth extracted because there are so many variables that determine the value of a claim for a wrong tooth extraction. The location and health of the tooth that was mistakenly taken out, plus the cost of remedial work to disguise the mistake and the future pain and suffering when the tooth that should have been extracted is removed, are all factors which combine to determine the how much compensation for a dentist taking out the wrong tooth you are entitled to.
When calculating the value of compensation for having the wrong tooth extracted, a solicitor would ask an independent dental expert to review your dental chart and ascertain the unnecessary treatment you have been through and the likely volume of work that may be required to correct your dentist´s mistake. The expert´s assessment will be the basis of a claim for a wrong tooth extraction, but the solicitor will also want to know how the extraction of the wrong tooth has affected you personally.
Bearing in mind that the tooth which was incorrectly taken out is likely to be adjacent to the tooth still due for extraction, the resulting gap in your teeth is ultimately going to be twice the size of that when one is taken out. This is likely to cause problems with eating and drinking, possibly speaking and – depending on the location of the teeth – potential confidence issues.
Using the worst case scenario of a model who cannot work until a visible gap between their teeth is repaired; it is conceivable that a claim for compensation for a dentist taking out the wrong tooth could also include a substantial amount in respect of lost earnings.
As you can see, it is unlikely that any two claims for compensation for having the wrong tooth extracted are going to be identical – even when the location of the teeth which were taken out by mistake is the same – and therefore you should always discuss the circumstances of your treatment and the impact your dentist´s negligence has had on your quality of life with a solicitor.
One further reason for speaking with a solicitor without delay is if your claim for a wrong tooth extraction is made against a private practice rather than against the HSE. Even before you have considered claiming compensation for a dentist taking out the wrong tooth, you might find that you are approached with an unsolicited offer of compensation by the private practice´s medical insurance company.
Offers of compensation for having the wrong tooth extracted should always be referred to a solicitor, because if you were to inadvertently accept the settlement offered by the insurance company, and it proved inadequate to pay for the remedial treatment required to repair the damage to your teeth cause by yours dentist´s negligence, you cannot go back to the insurance company and request more!