When it comes to oral health, visiting a dentist stands as a cornerstone for ensuring optimal dental well-being. While most dental professionals in Scotland fulfil their responsibilities with utmost diligence and precision, there are instances where lapses in their standard of care can lead to unintended consequences. Such oversights, whether in cosmetic procedures or routine treatments, can manifest as lasting and occasionally expensive repercussions for patients. At PICS, we comprehend the significance of these situations and are committed to guiding individuals through the intricate maze of dental negligence claims in Scotland, ensuring their concerns are both heard and addressed.

What Is Classed as Dental Negligence in Scotland?

Imagine this: you settle into the dentist’s chair, trustingly expecting top-notch care, only to find yourself grappling with unforeseen complications down the line. 

In Scotland, just like in any part of our vast world, dental negligence is defined by lapses in the standard of care, leading to harm or distress for patients. It might be a dentist not fully explaining the risks of a procedure, a cosmetic treatment causing damage to nearby teeth, or even the gut-wrenching scenario of the wrong tooth being removed. 

Gum health, which plays a quiet yet pivotal role in our overall health, can also be compromised if not diligently monitored by professionals. We believe everyone deserves to be well-informed about these possible oversights and their rights. No one should feel alone when their smile, is at stake.

Causes of Dental Negligence:

Here are some of the most common causes of dental negligence in Scotland.

A lack of relevant information:

Going to the dentist, for most of us, is like stepping into unfamiliar territory. We know little about our own oral health and dental treatment and rely heavily on our dentist to be our guide. However, if a dentist doesn’t provide enough information, we might not be able to make the correct decision regarding our treatment. This could be because the dentist didn’t have enough time, or maybe they thought we wouldn’t understand the legal jargon. When our trusted dentists withhold essential details about treatments, we’re left with no or incomplete information about our condition. This lack of clarity can steer us down paths we never intended to take, sometimes leading to unfortunate accidents. It’s essential to have clear, comprehensive information to ensure our oral health journey is smooth and free from unwanted accidents.

Cosmetic procedures:

We all dream of having that perfect, dazzling smile, and that’s where cosmetic dentistry comes in. It includes those popular treatments like teeth whitening, veneers, and even implants. They can give our confidence a big boost, but these treatments need a steady hand and lots of skill. 

Imagine getting a tattoo from a newbie; it sounds scary, doesn’t it? It is the same with cosmetic dentistry; if done by someone without the right know-how, things can take a wrong turn. Damaged teeth, nerve issues, or even results that look nothing like what we imagined. Rushing into cosmetic procedures without the right expertise can dramatically increase the chances of dental negligence. 

Extraction of teeth:

Nobody really looks forward to getting a tooth pulled out. It’s one of those things we’d rather skip but sometimes can’t. Extracting teeth is a serious job and needs a lot of care, but sometimes, even with the best intentions, things might not go as planned. Maybe the wrong tooth gets removed, or there’s harm to the gums and nerves. Now, imagine the shock of discovering a healthy tooth missing or facing more pain after an extraction than before! These mistakes don’t just hurt our mouths but our trust, too. In short, errors during tooth extraction can be more than just simple mistakes; they can be clear cases of dental negligence.

Gum disease:

Our gums are like the foundation of a house; if the foundation isn’t strong, even the most beautiful mansion can crumble. Gums play a similar role to our teeth. Most adults in Scotland have some level of gum disease, and this can be a severe issue. If left unchecked, gum disease can lead to bigger problems like heart issues and even strokes. 

We all have a part to play in keeping our gums healthy, like good brushing habits and staying away from too much sugary stuff. However, if we’re seeing a dentist regularly and they miss out on spotting gum disease early on, then this is a serious oversight on their part. If untreated gum issues cause harm because they weren’t identified in time, this can be a case of dental negligence.

Root canal treatment:

During the root canal treatment procedure, the tooth’s root gets removed, and the space (or the “root canal”) is filled up to keep nasty infections at bay. However, this is a delicate procedure that requires immense expertise and attention to detail. When negligence occurs during such a process it can lead to severe consequences for the dental health of the patient. 

It can be anything like a tooth breaking off, some of the roots still remaining in the root canal, or errors during filling. When these problems arise, they can lead to infections and more pain. If someone’s having a root canal, it’s essential to have it done correctly. If not, and it leads to more issues down the road, it might just be a case of dental negligence. 

How To Claim For Dental Negligence In Scotland?

Navigating the waters of dental negligence claims might seem daunting, but having a clear road map can make the journey a lot smoother. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you sail through: 

Recognise the Problem: Before anything else, pay close attention to how you feel after treatment and try to find something wrong. It could be anything, such as ongoing pain after a treatment, a cosmetic procedure that didn’t go as promised, or a lack of essential information about a treatment that led you to make a wrong decision.

Keep Records: Note down every detail relevant to your dental negligence case. Save appointment cards, receipts, and any related paperwork. These documents can be helpful down the line when making a claim.

Seek a Second Opinion: Before you jump to conclusions, get a second opinion from another dentist, preferably with more experience in dental practice than your previous dentist. Even if things seem wrong, seek advice from another dentist about your condition. They can offer clarity, either confirming your suspicions or putting your worries to rest.

Official Complaint: Make an official complaint to your private dentist or their clinic. It’s always best to start here, as they might offer a resolution. Plus, it gives them a chance to understand what went wrong and hopefully prevent it from happening to someone else.

 Gather Evidence: If you don’t get satisfactory results from the official complaint, then it is time to gather evidence to prepare for claim. This might include medical records, photographic evidence of the damage, or statements from witnesses.

Hire Dental Negligence Lawyers Scotland: While you can start the claim process alone, having excellent Dental Negligence Solicitors like those from our panel by your side can make things smoother. They can help you navigate the legal maze and stand up for your rights.

Negotiation Phase: Much like haggling, there might be some back-and-forth between you and the opposite party. Your solicitor and the defendant’s solicitors will likely discuss the claim’s details, aiming to reach an agreement without going to court.

Court Proceedings: If negotiations don’t work out and a settlement remains elusive, you might find yourself heading to court. However, don’t let that intimidate you; you will have a skilled solicitor by your side, guiding you through every twist and turn, ensuring you get what you deserve.

Verdict: After hearing from both sides, the court will deliver its verdict. Whether it’s in your favour or not, it’s the end of your claim journey.

Settlement: If the verdict goes your way, or if an agreement is reached before the court, you’ll receive the decided Dental Negligence Compensation. 

Can I sue my dentist in Scotland?

Yes! If you think got negligent treatment and you suffer as a result, you’ve got every right to sue your dentist. It’s not about pointing fingers but more about ensuring everyone’s doing their best for their patients. Embarking on this journey of making a claim can seem a bit daunting, but you are not alone in this. There’s a structured path to walk on and our expert Dental Solicitors to walk alongside you. Whether it is a serious tooth injury or a seemingly minor filling mistake, your concerns matter. After all, our teeth aren’t just for flashing bright smiles; they’re central to our overall health; they deserve the best care possible. 

Can you claim for dental negligence?

The simple answer is yes, you can! If your dentist fails duty of care and did not provide an appropriate standard of care in their treatment, causing you pain and suffering, you have every right to stand up and claim justice. 

It’s not about casting blame or stirring the pot but ensuring that you receive the appropriate response to any oversights. If your oral health is negatively affected after a visit to the dentist, and you feel it is because of negligence, don’t wait; take action to get the justice you deserve. 

What Is The Time Limit For Dental Negligence Claims?

When it comes to dental negligence claims, time is of the essence. You can’t wait forever to make your claim; here are the time limits on dental negligence claims Scotland.

Standard Time Limit:

Typically, you have 3 years from the date of the negligence or when you realise your injury’s link to negligence to make a claim.

For Children:

If the mishap happened when you were under 16, things change a bit. The 3-year timer doesn’t start until your 16th birthday. That means you have until you turn 19 to make a dental negligence claim.

Mental Capacity:

If someone doesn’t have the mental capacity to make legal decisions, there’s no set time limit. However, if they regain their mental capacity, that 3-year clock could start ticking, so keep an eye on things.

Exceptions Exist:

Sometimes, there are rare cases where the court makes an exception and allows you to make a claim after the usual time limit. However, these are very uncommon and happen only because of compelling circumstances. A qualified solicitor can provide legal advice on whether you are eligible for such an exception. 

How much can you claim for dental negligence?

As with any claim, the amount of compensation you might get depends on the nature and severity of the injury and its effects on your daily life. Here is a rough guideline on how much compensation you might be able to get.

Jaw Issues:

  • If you’ve got very serious multiple fractures in your jaw, it will need a lot of time, and there might be long-lasting issues. In such cases, you could claim between £30,490 and £45,540.
  • If a fracture in the jaw is moderately severe and you can recover from it without long-term issues, then you might get anywhere from £17,960 to £30,490.
  • If you suffered from a simple Jaw fracture that heals up nicely, your claims might range from £6,460 to £8,730.

Teeth Troubles:

  • If a tooth issue, such as an untreated abscess, gives you chronic pain, you could claim up to £38,130.
  • If you suffered serious damage or loss of several front teeth, then your claim might range anywhere from £8,730 to £11,410.
  • If it’s just two front teeth that are seriously damaged or lost, you could claim £4,350 to £7,630 in such cases.
  • If one of your front teeth was damaged or gone, then your claim can range from £2,200 to £3,950.
  • If you lose one or more of your back teeth, then for every tooth, you might be able to claim between £1,090 and £1,710.

What Are My Rights As A Patient In Scotland?

Scotland places a clear emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of its citizens in different situations, including while being a patient. Here are some rights that every patient has in Scotland. 

Right to Respect:

First off, you’re entitled to respect. Your interactions with healthcare professionals should always leave you feeling respected and valued. Remember, to them, you shouldn’t just be an appointment slot but an individual with genuine emotions, thoughts, and worries. Your well-being, both physical and emotional, should always be at the forefront of your care.

Informed Decisions:

You have the full right to be informed. Whether it’s about a tooth extraction or a major surgery, the healthcare team should tell you the advantages, the disadvantages, and any potential risks. This way, you can make choices that feel right for you.


Your personal and health details should be locked away, visible only to you and the ones actively caring for you. Ensuring your information stays private is paramount.

Right to complain:

Should you ever sense that something’s amiss or believe you’ve experienced unjust treatment, you have the full right to complain. Doing so should never compromise the quality of care you receive.

Access to Records:

You have the right to see your dental records; after all, it is your information.

Choice of Treatment:

You should be given options, not orders. This means having a say in the treatment you receive, and yes, even refusing it if you think it’s not the best fit.

Wait Times and Care Quality:

You deserve timely and quality care. There are guidelines in place to ensure you’re not left waiting endlessly and that the treatment you get is top-tier.

Being a patient doesn’t mean being passive. You have rights, and they’re there to make sure you get the care you deserve. 

PICS Helps You Make Dental Negligence Claims In Scotland:

Navigating the realm of dental negligence claims can be a daunting task, but with PICS by your side, you’re not alone. We pride ourselves on our expansive network of Personal Injury Lawyers Scotland, many of whom are experts in dental negligence claims. They know all the ins and outs of these cases and can effortlessly guide you to victory regardless of the challenges and obstacles.

We understand that pursuing a claim might have financial implications that can weigh on your mind. That’s why our team works on a No Win No Fee Scotland. When making claims on no win no fee basis you won’t have to worry about paying money upfront. Our expert solicitors will fight for you, pouring in their dedication and expertise, and you only bear a cost if there’s a successful outcome.

Contact us and book a session with our expert personal injury advisors. They will hear your story, assess your case, and help you connect with appropriate No Win No Fee Dental Solicitors.