How To Sue A Dentist – Find Out If You Could Make A Dental Negligence Claim

We go to dentists for many kinds of dental work, from standard check-ups and cleanings to more thorough procedures. They are trusted with our health. Therefore, negligent treatment can have a potentially disastrous impact on a patient’s life. Our guide on how to sue a dentist explains when and how you can seek compensation.

In this guide to the dental negligence claims process, you can learn how compensation for the effects of a dentist causing avoidable harm is calculated. 

Furthermore, we explain how support in claiming against a negligent dentist can be provided on a No Win No Fee basis by a specialist solicitor from our panel.

As well as reading through this detailed guide, you can get useful insight into dental negligence cases by contacting us. This free round-the-clock service also offers you the opportunity to learn if you have a valid claim that a solicitor could take on. Choose one of these options to begin:

  • Call us on 0800 408 7827.
  • Go online to contact us through our form.
  • Click on the live chat tab when it pops up below.

A dentist holding a small mirror, from the perspective of inside a patient's mouth.

Choose A Section

  1. How To Sue A Dentist
  2. What Evidence Do I Need To Sue A Dentist?
  3. How Much Dental Negligence Compensation Could I Receive?
  4. How To Sue A Dentist With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  5. Read More About How To Claim Compensation

How To Sue A Dentist

When you undergo treatment with a dentist, they owe you a duty of care. This means that they should be upholding standards.

A dental compensation claim is similar to a medical negligence case. You could make a dental negligence claim if you can show that:

  • You were owed a duty of care by a dental professional.
  • The dentist failed to uphold their duty because their treatment fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent dentist. For example, a dentist did not perform a proper check, leading to an oral cancer misdiagnosis which allowed the issue to worsen.
  • You suffered avoidable harm because of this negligent dental care.

If you’ve suffered harm because of poor treatment from a dentist, you may be able to start a compensation claim. All you have to do to discover if your case is eligible is call our free helpline through the number shown above.

Who Is The General Dental Council?

A dental practitioner, like all other healthcare professionals, is expected to provide care that meets certain professional standards. The General Dental Council (GDC), the UK’s dental professional regulator, sets out standards for dental teams. Meeting these standards means taking such steps as:

  • Listen to your patients.
  • Treat patients with dignity and respect.
  • Be honest and act with integrity.
  • Take a holistic and preventative approach to the individual patient.
  • Hygienic and safe environment
  • Treat patients without discrimination.
  • Put patients’ interests first.
  • Ensure patients can seek compensation when necessary.
  • Be lawful.


A dentist placing a small tool in a patient's open mouth.

What Evidence Do I Need To Sue A Dentist?

Your dental malpractice claim requires plenty of relevant evidence, such as:

  • Proof of who treated you and where.
  • A copy of your dental records. This can help prove dental negligence or show remedial treatment you’ve received after an incident.
  • Diary entries. You could keep a record of your treatment and symptoms.
  • A record of correspondence with the dental practice. This might include a letter or email.
  • Payslips, receipts and other documents proving financial loss. Continue on to our compensation sections to learn why this proof is important to a claim.
  • Witness contact details.

As well as explaining how to sue a dentist, our helpful advisors can explain how a dental negligence solicitor can be instructed to help you gather evidence for your legal claim.

How Do I Access My Dental Records?

Because of UK GDPR, you have a legal right to get a copy of your medical records. Typically, you do not have to pay a fee. You might make this request to get evidence of dental negligence. 

Dental practices are obliged to provide information whenever a reasonable request is made. It is likely that you will need to contact the practice directly. They may have a certain process for data requests, or you can make a Subject Access Request (SAR).

Please feel free to contact us any time if you’d like to know more about accessing your dental records.

How Much Dental Negligence Compensation Could I Receive? 

If you received negligent treatment and made a successful claim against a dentist, your payout could consist of up to two parts. These parts, referred to as heads of loss in a dental claim, are:

  • General damages, which compensate for physical injury and psychological pain caused by negligent care. For example, it could cause a jaw break or fracture and anxiety that follows.
  • Special damages, the head of loss accounting for the financial impact of avoidable harm suffered due to negligent dentistry. Examples of financial losses include the cost of corrective treatment, a loss of earnings or the cost of travel to and from appointments.

Those working out how much compensation is awarded under the general damages head of loss might refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document features suggestive compensation brackets for different forms of harm.

This table is made up of JCG figures, except for the top line. All compensation payouts depend on the individual circumstances of each case, so the table is only meant as a guide.

Injury SeverityAmount
Multiple Severe Injuries Plus Future Treatment Costs And Other Financial LossesSeriousUp to £50,000+
Facial DisfigurementVery Severe Scarring£36,340 to £118,790
Facial DisfigurementSignificant Scarring£11,120 to £36,720
Fractures of JawsVery Serious Multiple Fractures£37,210 to £55,570
Fractures of Jaws Serious Fracture With Permanent Consequences£11,120 to £36,720
Damage to TeethSignificant and Chronic Tooth PainUp to £46,540
Damage to TeethSerious Damage to Several Front Teeth£10,660 to £13,930
Damage to TeethSerious Damage to Two Front Teeth£5,310 to £9,310
Skeletal InjuriesLe Fort Fractures of Frontal Facial Bones£29,060 to £44,840
Skeletal InjuriesMultiple Fractures of Facial Bones£18,180 to £29,220

How To Sue A Dentist With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

Our panel’s dental negligence solicitors are dental claims experts and can help you with your case concerning substandard dental treatment. You can get their expert insight on how to sue a dentist. The dental negligence solicitors on our panel offer their services via a No Win No Fee arrangement through a Conditional Fee Agreement, which means:

  • You don’t pay a penny for their work upfront or as the case progresses.
  • They promise not to ask you to cover their legal fees if the claim fails.
  • Their payment for helping you win, called a success fee, is only a small proportion of your compensation. The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 sets a clear legal ceiling on the percentage that can go to a solicitor.

You can call today for free and impartial advice on claiming for the effects of poor dental care. An advisor can help you learn if you have a valid dental negligence claim. Should we find that there’s a reasonable case, an advisor can connect you to a suitable solicitor.

There’s no obligation to claim, so for a pressure-free consultation:

A seated solicitor in a dark suit holds out a left hand as if explaining how to sue a dentist.

Read More About How To Claim Compensation

We offer plenty of advice, including these guides:

Here is some further useful information:

We hope this has helped you expand your understanding of how to sue a dentist. For even more support, all you need to do is call us at a time of your choosing.