A Caerphilly town dental surgery has paid one its patients £12,000 in an out-of-court settlement after she sued them.
Harriet Weyman, a 30-year-old marketing assistant from Hengoed, was awarded the money after two of her teeth had to be removed despite several attempts at treatment.
Mother-of-two Ms Weyman visited Dr Lindsay Rich between April 2006 and March 2015 at Clive Street Dental Practice, Caerphilly.
Ms Weyman’s dental problems began in 2010 when one of her teeth fractured.
Dr Rich placed a filling which seemed to solve the problem, but the following month Ms Weyman was suffering from toothache and was back in the dentist’s chair having a filling placed at a different tooth.
Then in 2012, Ms Weyman’s toothache returned. She made an appointment with Dr Rich, who placed another filling at the tooth that had previously fractured. Then, three months later, the tooth fractured again.
“I thought it was strange that the tooth had fractured twice, despite Dr Rich’s treatment,” Ms Weyman explained. “It had all happened within quite a short space of time.”
Ms Weyman’s pain subsided for a few months after a crown was placed. But she was back with the dentist in October 2013 suffering from excruciating toothache. However, nothing Dr Rich did really seemed to make a difference.
“I started to think I just had bad teeth,” Ms Weyman said.
But Ms Weyman was still suffering from toothache in September 2014, so she went back to see Dr Rich yet again.
“I complained to Dr Rich again,” Ms Weyman said. “I was desperate and thought there must be something he could do. He undertook various examinations and cleaned my tooth but nothing made a difference. I was still suffering from toothache in 2015 but Dr Rich just prescribed antibiotics. Then in the summer of 2015, a filling Dr Rich had placed fell out twice.”
Finally, Ms Weyman visited a different dental practice.
“My new dentist was shocked at what he found,” Ms Weyman said. “He told me that both teeth Dr Rich had been treating were severely decayed. The one that hadn’t fallen out was getting blacker by the day, and the other was so badly decayed it had fallen out while I was eating dinner at home.”
Ms Weyman contacted dental negligence solicitors Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of her dental records revealed that tooth decay was not spotted and treated. Adequate fillings were also not provided.
“The whole thing was a nightmare,” Ms Weyman said. “I had my daughter in 2010 and then my second child in 2012 while all of this was going on. You don’t get much sleep with new born babies in the house, and even less with chronic toothache on top of that. The pain was just awful. I was at my friend’s wedding and had to leave early because I couldn’t face anything other than lying in bed. I’m just glad it’s all over.”
Tim Armitage of the Dental Law Partnership commented: “The distress and pain our client experienced was completely unnecessary. If the dentist had carried out adequate treatment in the first place, all her problems could have been avoided.”
The Dental Law Partnership took on Ms Weyman’s case in 2018. The case was successfully settled in 2019 when the dentist paid £12,000 in an out of court settlement. The dentist did not admit liability.
Clive Street Dental Practice in Caerphilly, declined to comment.