Before having any non-essential medical treatment, including dental implants, it is important to have a thorough and full discussion with your clinician. As a patient you need to know exactly what procedure you are having done, why you are having it done (what outcome do you want) and what are the risks associated with the procedure. If you are unsure after speaking to your dentist ask for time to think or get a second opinion. Some things you may wish to discuss with your dentist before undergoing the procedure are:
- First, and perhaps most important, pick a reputable dentist / dental practice that has a good trading history.
- Are there any reasons why you are not suitable for dental implants?
- What are the risks and benefits? When thinking about risk ask your dentist how often things go wrong, is the risk high or is it low? Make sure you understand what additional treatment you will need to have if things do not go according to plan – is this included in the price?
- Take some time to consider whether dental implant treatment is really for you. Remember, just because you have been to a consultation does not mean you are obligated to undergo treatment.
- Make a diary note of the discussion you had with your dentist before getting your dental implants.
- Make sure your dentist explains properly how to care for your dental implants after surgery.
- Ask for a follow up appointment and if you have any concerns raise these with your dentist.
The above is a non-exhaustive lists of things you should consider when having dental implants claims. The most important thing a patient can do is arm themselves with as much information to ensure they are making an informed decision.
Unfortunately, even the best laid plans can go awry. If you find that you are not happy with your dental implants then you should go back to the dentist that carried out the surgery as the fix might be simple. If you do not want to go to the same dentist then ask to see another dentist. If you remain dissatisfied with the treatment or feel that you have suffered damage then you may consider some of the following:
- Make a written complaint. In your complaint ask the Dentist to specifically explain why the results were not as expected. Ask if anything could have been done differently to have avoided the unwanted outcome. Also, you are entitled to ask the Dentist outright if they feel they made an error.
- Insist on a written response to your complaint. If you remain unhappy with the Dentist’s response then you may wish to consider contacting a specialist dental negligence solicitors. If you do make sure you provide the following: a copy of the complaints letter and the response, this is very useful for the early investigative stages, provide a copy of the notes you have made of any consultations you had with your dentist, explain why you are not happy with the results and why you think the dentist is to blame. I cannot stress enough that the most important thing you can give your solicitor is information, one thing I always say to my Clients, “tell me everything you think is relevant, I would rather have too much information than not enough”.