By Gary Smee Thursday 27 September 2012 Updated: 28/09 11:24
A STUDENT who lost several teeth after her dentist failed to notice tooth decay has been awarded £33,000 in an out of court settlement.
Katie Rogers, 18, from Evesham sued Dr Geoffrey Sharples after his failures required her to have four permanent teeth taken out when he was practising at Abbey Dental Practice in Pershore High Street.
Miss Rogers, who was 15 at the time and had been visiting Dr Sharples regularly for four years prior to the extractions said it had been an extremely distressing time for her.
"It was a shock to be told that I needed four teeth taking out. If you have a problem you expect maybe a filling, but not a whole tooth removing," she said.
Miss Rogers had two adjacent lower teeth extracted from both sides of her mouth, which left large gaps. She has since required orthodontic treatment to close the spaces to the size of one tooth and in future will need two implants to fill the remaining spaces.
The implants, with bone grafting, will cost approximately £9,700 and the implant retained crowns will need replacing every 15 years costing £1,500 each.
"It is really upsetting to have lost these teeth and frustrating to know that I will feel the effects for the rest of my life, but I’m glad that this is settled and I can now move on," Miss Rogers added.
"The money will go towards the implants that I need now and in the future."
Evidence provided for Miss Rogers' lawyer, Heather Williams, from specialist dental negligence law firm, the Dental Law Partnership, showed Dr Sharples had failed to spot tooth decay at the teeth and treat it in a timely manner.
Ms Williams said: "We were advised that if this decay had been spotted earlier then it could have been treated with a filling or, at worst, a root canal treatment. As it is, the delay in recognising the problem left my client needing four teeth removed.
"Spotting and treating tooth decay is an integral part of being a dentist and Dr Sharples’ failures have led to my client suffering traumatic and irreversible damage."
Dr Sharples admitted partial liability and has since left Abbey Dental Practice.
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