A 60-year-old woman, employed as a preschool assistant in Galway, has been awarded nearly €100,000 by the High Court in compensation for complications suffered following negligent dental work. The claim was filed against two dental practitioners, who operated a practice in Ennis, Co Clare.
The claimant alleged that she experienced severe physical and psychological pain as a result of the defective dental treatment she received from the defendants. Initially, the defendants fully denied responsibility.
However, they then failed to appear at a scheduled hearing. The defendants’ solicitors initially engaged with the case but later withdrew after failing to obtain instructions from their clients.
Mr. Justice Micheál O’Higgins awarded the claimant €99,789 following her testimony, input from a dental specialist, and reports from multiple dental experts.
Justice O’Higgins noted that the claimant had dental issues in her 40s, lost her lower incisor teeth in 2012, and had implants replaced in 2013. Additionally, she had a family history of periodontal disease.
The woman first visited the defendants in April 2013, and was provided with an estimate for the intended work. As she was not financially well-off, she had to borrow the cost of the treatment from her credit union.
The defendants installed a bridge and two implants, connecting all teeth and implants into a single eight-tooth bridge, which Justice O’Higgins deemed non-standard practice. The judge concluded that natural teeth should only be linked to implants and a bridge as a last resort.
He accepted the claimant’s testimony that the work caused her significant pain, even leading to severe infections in her teeth. Despite considering her family history and pre-existing dental issues, the judge determined that the defective treatment provided by the defendants was the primary cause of her ongoing suffering.