Nerve damage after removal of wisdom teeth
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The claimant, Mrs M, brought a claim for damages against her dentist following removal of her four wisdom teeth.
After a number of years without any problems, Mrs M was advised to have all four wisdom teeth removed. She attended the dental surgery and had these teeth removed under sedation. The operation took longer than expected and when Mrs M came round she was in a lot of pain.
A week later Mrs M attended the surgery to have the stitches removed from her lower jaw. She complained of numbness to the right border of the tongue. Two months later there was still no improvement. Mrs M described tingling that varied during the day. She was referred to hospital for an assessment for suspected lingual nerve damage.
She was seen at hospital and informed that the chances of finding the damaged nerve endings would be unlikely. It was even more unlikely that Mrs M would regain normal feeling in her mouth again and she was warned that there would be a risk of further permanent damage if more treatment was attempted. Mrs M therefore decided not to undergo surgical re-exploration of the nerve. Her speech and taste have also been affected.
The symptoms in Mrs M's tongue have not improved over the past three years. Her tongue feels constantly swollen and she has a feeling of constant thirst. She has to think about her speech and finds it difficult to pronounce certain words. Food and drink now taste very bland; she is now only able to taste spicy food and gums and tongue feel completely numb on the right hand side of her mouth.
The incident has affected Mrs M's confidence and she is now much quieter. Speech therapy was suggested by our expert.
BLClaims Solicitors' Clinical Negligence team obtained £19,000 damages in compensation for Mrs M as a result of the problems with her treatment.
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