OBM

Medical Negligence

Dental Negligence

When you visit a dentist, you expect to receive high-quality care and treatment. But what if that doesn't happen? What if your dentist makes an error that causes you pain and suffering? If you've had a dental procedure and something went wrong, it can be difficult to know how to proceed. We're here to help.

The growth of the orthodontic and cosmetic dental industry in recent years has led to a rise in dental negligence claims, both in Ireland and popular dental tourism locations such as Turkey. For the most part, dentists are highly skilled medical professionals who usually provide high standards of care to their patients. However, mistakes can happen, and this can lead to significant pain and trauma for patients. If you have experienced injury at the hands of your dentist, you may be able to bring a claim for dental negligence compensation.

The first thing you should do is talk with your dentist about what happened and why. If they can't explain it or if they offer a clearly unreasonable explanation, then you may want to consider filing a dental negligence claim against them. You can start the process by contacting our dental malpractice specialists to discuss your claim.

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What constitutes dental negligence?

As per the Medical Practitioners Act 2017, a dentist is a recognised medical practitioner in Ireland. Dental negligence is the failure to provide appropriate care for a patient that would be reasonably expected in their situation. You can file a claim for dental negligence if your dentist did not meet the standard of care that would have been provided by another dentist in comparable circumstances. A good example is when a dentist makes an irreversible error that results in permanent damage to a patient's teeth or gums, such as root canal failure or tooth loss due to improper treatment plan design or execution.

To file a claim for dental negligence, you’ll need to prove that:

  • Your dentist failed to meet the standard of care.
  • You suffered injury as a result of this failure.

Dental negligence malpractice claims can be submitted against the following practitioners:

  • General dentists
  • Orthodontists
  • Periodontists
  • Prosthodontists (prosthetic dentistry)
  • Dental Technicians
  • Hygienists
  • Dental Nurses
  • Periodontist

In line with the Irish Statute of Limitations, you have two years from the day your dental injury is sustained or disease/infection diagnosed to make your claim. However, this is a little different in cases involving children, where the two year time limit for dental negligence claims does not start until they turn 18 years old.

What types of dental error medical negligence can I claim for?

In line with the Irish Statute of Limitations, you have two years from the day your dental injury is sustained or disease/infection diagnosed to make your claim. However, this is a little different in cases involving children, where the two year time limit for dental negligence claims does not start until they turn 18 years old.

  • Clinical Negligence: This broadly covers a case in which a dentist or clinic fails to give you the appropriate care you need, either by failing to identify the issue during an examination or incorrectly diagnosing your disease, e.g. incorrectly misdiagnosing a mouth ulcer condition as oral cancer.
  • Dental Malpractice: Despite being connected to negligence, this often covers instances of either incorrect treatment or a “botched” job that caused pain, injury, a negative impact on your appearance, and/or unnecessary loss of teeth or dental function.

Some common examples of dental errors within these categories that could lead to a claim for dental negligence include:

  • Failing to notice signs of oral cancer early enough.
  • Failing to perform necessary surgery after a tooth extraction.
  • Damaging soft tissue during a root canal procedure.
  • Failure to diagnose a problem.
  • Inadequate treatment or surgery.
  • Unnecessary dental treatment or surgery.
  • Improper use of equipment (such as drills).
  • Where cosmetic procedures (such as teeth whitening, veneers, or crowns) went wrong, causing significant pain and stress.

If you've experienced any of the above errors, you may be able to make a claim against your dentist.

How do I make a claim against my dentist?

If you think your dentist has been negligent, you can make a claim. You are entitled to make a claim for dental malpractice whether you have sought private care or public dental work (through the HSE). A parent can also make a claim for dental negligence on behalf of their child. Please remember that it is important to keep note of any and all correspondence with your dentist throughout this process.

To make a claim for dental negligence compensation in Ireland, you'll need to consult with a solicitor who specialises in this type of case and determine whether they believe they can prove negligence on behalf of your dentist. If your solicitor advises to proceed with your claim, you will need to take a number of steps to initiate the process:

  • Collect your medical records: You will need to obtain the records taken by any medical staff who treated you for your injury. We can request these records on your behalf and have them assessed by an independent medical expert.
  • Draft a Letter of Claim: Once it is concluded that medical negligence has occurred, we will draft a Letter of Claim with the details of your case and proposed settlement. We will then send this to the dentist in question.
  • Taking the case to court or settling outside of court: The decision of whether to go to court with the case will depend on whether your dentist contests the claim. In many cases, the dental practitioner agrees to settle without court proceedings. Our experienced dental negligence compensation solicitors will guide you through this process every step of the way to ensure the best possible outcome.


At OBM, our solicitors are highly skilled and experienced in the area of dental negligence and can properly advise you on the next steps going forward.. From the moment we first discuss your case, we ensure you receive the empathy and respect you deserve. It is our number one priority to act in your best interests and you can be assured that we will only recommend pursuing your claim if you believe you have a valid case against your dental practitioner.


For a confidential consultation about your dental negligence claim, call us on 01-8746959 or submit a query using our website form and one of our specialist solicitors will get back to you right away.