Pay out for man whose tooth decay was missed by dentists

Stuart Wagstaff won a £11,500 compensation pay-out after his tooth rotted away

Stuart Wagstaff won a £11,500 compensation pay-out after his tooth rotted away - Credit: Archant

A man from Godmanchester has won a £11,500 compensation pay-out after his dentist failed to spot and treat his tooth decay.

Stuart Wagstaff, aged 40, contacted a specialist law firm when he suffered ‘excruciating pain’ which led to him having a tooth removed.

The business manager says he visited the dental practice, in Mill Green, Warboys, for five years and always had regular check-ups.

The Dental Law Partnership took on Mr Wagstaff’s case in 2017 and the case was successfully settled in 2018 when Dr Tiberiu Lucuta paid Mr Wagstaff £11,500 in an out-of-court settlement. Dr Lucuta and the practice did not admit liability.

Dr Lucuta is no longer at the practice and it has since been taken over by the Mydentist chain.

“I’d been a patient at the practice for a long time,” Mr Wagstaff said, “and I assumed the dentists knew what they were doing. I was always told my teeth were in good health.”

Mr Wagstaff’s problems began in 2016 when he was told he needed root canal treatment.

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“It was a bit of a shock,” Mr Wagstaff explained. “But I naturally took the dentist’s advice. I think most people would agree – if a dentist says you need treatment you just go ahead with it.”

But Mr Wagstaff’s root canal treatment did not go according to plan and the procedure was aborted halfway through.

“She just stopped the procedure and said she needed to fit a temporary filling instead. It was very strange,” he explained.

“I was told the tooth was not restorable and would need to be surgically extracted. It all seemed a bit sudden, and obviously it wasn’t great. It’s not nice being told your tooth needs to be surgically extracted.

“The tooth was also excruciatingly painful. The extraction was horrendous, because the tooth was surgically removed I had to have stitches in my gums. I was in so much pain I had to take time off work to recover. The whole situation was ridiculous.”

Mr Wagstaff contacted the Dental Law Partnership and analysis of his dental records revealed that the dentists at the practice had consistently failed to spot and treat decay that was clearly visible in x-rays taken as far back as 2013.

Georgina France, from the law firm, said: “The distress and pain our client experienced was completely unnecessary. If the dentists had provided adequate treatment in the first place all his suffering could have been avoided.”

A spokesman for Mydentist said: “Patient care is our priority and we are disappointed that Mr Wagstaff has had this experience. We are unable to comment further on this issue as the settlement was reached by the dentist and not the practice and Dr Lucuta no longer works there.”