O’Reilly Stewart Healthcare were instructed on behalf of Ms F, to investigate dental treatment. Dionne Darragh acted in this case.
In or around June 2016, Ms F attended with her local dentist for root canal treatment. The procedure was not successful and resulted in damage to the nerve to her lip and jaw. Primary liability was accepted. It appeared that either the damage was caused by the root filling extending beyond the apex or that the root canal filling material passed into the interior dental canal, resulting in the sensory deficit. The level of paraesthesia was disputed.
We obtained an opinion from an independent Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon which confirmed mapping carried out to the area of loss of sensation was in keeping with the distribution of the inferior dental nerve and the dental nerve branch. The expert confirmed that it can take up to 18 months for the nerve to regenerate, but further testing confirmed the loss of sensation was permanent. Due to the time frame post procedure, it was considered unlikely that there would be any further signs or improvement in the paraesthesia of the lip.
The nerve damaged was a sensory nerve, not a motor nerve, so thankfully the numbness is not visually recognisable. Ms F however was left with loss of sensation in the lower right quadrant of her lip and lower jaw.
The medical evidence confirmed that the post-operative numbness was a direct consequence of the damage to the inferior dental nerve following root canal treatment and there is no chance of the nerve regenerating.
We entered into pre-proceeding discussions with the Dentist’s insurer and sought damages for the pain and suffering, level of permanent paraesthesia, although subjective, and the upset and distress to our client.
Negotiations proved successful and the case settled in the sum of £30,000.