Dentists pay out over diagnosis failure

Jacqueline Ford
Jacqueline Ford
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A Thornton woman has been awarded a four-figure payout from her former dentists after her gum disease went undiagnosed.

Jacqueline Ford from Thornton needed protracted remedial treatment to fix the problems.

The 51-year-old civil servant had been a patient of Dr Nizar Kharma at Elms Dental Practice in London Street Fleetwood for nine years and had been a patient at the practice for almost 30 years.

But Mrs Ford’s problems only came to light when she visited a new specialist at a different practice in 2014.

She began legal action and Dr Kharma and Dr Jon Coventry, whom she saw in 2013, paid her £6,500 in an out-of-court settlement. Neither admitted liability.

Mrs Ford said: “I’d been a patient at the practice since I was very young so I always trusted the dentists there. They always told me my teeth were in good health, so I never thought there was anything to worry about.

“I had some old crowns that needed replacing. So I went to see a specialist dentist.

“I had been self-conscious about my smile so was looking forward to getting the work done.”

But at Mrs Ford’s first appointment with the specialist, she was told she was suffering from gum disease, decay, and had significant bone loss at two of her teeth.

Mrs Ford said: “I was in a complete state of shock.

“As far as I was concerned, apart from what I wanted to have re-done to fix my smile, there was absolutely nothing wrong with my teeth.

“Neither Dr Kharma nor Dr Coventry had ever mentioned any issues with my gums or crowns when I went to see them. But now I was being told I had bone loss and problems with decay.

To suddenly be told I have all these dental issues was soul destroying.”

Mrs Ford pursued compensation through the Dental Law Partnership and received the settlement in May this year.

The Gazette contacted the Elms Dental Practice, where both the dentists had worked, and was told it is now under new ownership.