Man awarded damages after dentists failed to spot gum disease

Craig Gaunt
Craig Gaunt

A Sutton man has won more than £20,000 in damages after his dentist failed to diagnose gum disease.

Craig Gaunt, 44, has been awarded £22,000 in compensation from Dental Surgery in Sutton, with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, The Dental Law Partnership.

His dentists’ failure to diagnose and treat gum disease has resulted in the need for Mr Gaunt to have three teeth extracted in the future.

Mr Gaunt was a patient of Dr Wafula between September 2002 and January 2008 at Dental Surgery in Portland Square, Sutton and he was then treated by three dentists, Dr Malgorzata Majewska, Dr Henri Wafula and Dr Michel Santamarina, between August 2008 and July 2014 at Manor Street in Sutton.

Mr Gaunt always believed that he was in safe hands, but unfortunately this turned out not to be the case.

Craig said: “I’d had regular check-ups every six months and was always told my teeth were in good condition. So as far as I was concerned, everything was fine.”

Mr Gaunt became concerned in 2010 when Dr Majewska stopped carrying out scale and polishes, and recommended he had check-ups annually rather than every six months.

He said: “I remember thinking it sounded too good to be true. I believed my teeth were in good condition, but my dentist suddenly saying I needed to see them less seemed strange.

“I started to wonder whether the check-ups I was getting were as thorough as they should be.

Apprehensive about the treatment he was receiving, Mr Gaunt saw a different dentist. The new dentist took X-rays that immediately revealed he had gum disease.

Mr Gaunt was told the situation needed to be closely monitored and extensive periodontal therapy was required

Craig said: “I was in complete shock. I’d been led to believe my teeth were fine, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth.”

Analysis of Mr Gaunt’s dental records revealed that the dentists had failed to carry out regular X-rays, which would have enabled them to diagnose the gum disease.

As a result, Mr Gaunt faces the loss of three teeth in 10 years.

Craig said: “It makes me so angry. If the dentists had been doing their jobs properly they would have spotted my gum disease. I would have been treated sooner, and I wouldn’t have lost any teeth.

“Even though the gum disease is now under control, in many ways it’s too late. I am still going to have to endure having three of my teeth extracted, and face years of further treatment.”

Daniel Kinnear of The Dental Law Partnership said: “What our client experienced was completely unnecessary. If the dentists had provided the appropriate treatment in the first place the dental problems he experienced could have been avoided, and he wouldn’t have lost any teeth (save for his wisdom teeth). We hope the compensation received goes some way towards paying for any further treatment required.”

The Dental Law Partnership took on Mr Gaunt’s case in 2015. The case was successfully settled in 2017 when the dentists paid £22,000 in an out of court settlement. None of the dentists admitted liability.

The Chad contacted the dental surgery however they declined to comment.