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What is Dental Negligence?

Irish law provides that you cannot commence a legal action alleging medical negligence against a member of the healthcare profession unless you have a report from a suitably qualified expert confirming that a mistake was made, writes Martin Kerrigan, Solicitor.

Medical Negligence (or Clinical Negligence, as it is also called), occurs when a healthcare professional acts in a manner which is below the standard of care to be expected of such a medical person resulting in consequential injury to the patient.

These negligent acts can vary from a failure to read a scan correctly, to a failure to diagnose a patient and even surgical errors. 

An example of where medical negligence can arise is in dental treatment. The majority of dental patients treated in Ireland are treated successfully. However, errors can occur and when they do, they can have adverse consequences to a patient. 

We have seen several types of injury due to dental malpractice or dental negligence. Such injuries include: –

Injury as a result of poor standard of dental work,

Misdiagnosis or a delay in diagnosis of gum disease or oral cancer,

Incorrect tooth extraction,

Severed nerve/nerves arising from dental treatment,

Performance of unnecessary dental procedures.

Under the current law in Ireland, a patient (who feels that he/she is a victim of dental negligence) has two years from the date of the wrongdoing (or the date of knowledge of the wrongdoing) to formally start a legal case. However, as there are several steps which must be carried out before such a case can be formally started, you must seek advice from a Solicitor as soon as you become aware of the wrongdoing.

If you have suffered an injury as a consequence of dental treatment and want advice, it is best to seek the advice of a qualified professional as soon as possible.  Berwick Solicitors have specialised in this area for many years. 

In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

Martin Kerrigan is a Solicitor working in Medical Negligence and Personal Injury Law. For further advice, email  HYPERLINK “”