A MAN has won more than £12,000 in compensation after visits to the dentist left him needing hospital treatment.
David Holt has successfully sued Dr Graham Thomson over work he had done on his teeth at Church View Dental practice in Houghton.
Mr Holt’s teeth may now need dental implants in the future as well as more treatment to remedy bridgework problems.
Mr Holt, 51, first saw Dr Thomson in autumn 2004 to discuss options for his front four teeth.
In February 2005, Dr Thomson suggested veneers for Mr Holt’s upper-left and upper-right canines and a four-unit bridge as part of a treatment plan.
A gum infection in March delayed the procedure temporarily.
Dr Thomson then extracted David’s two front teeth two months later and fitted him with a temporary bridge.
David said: “I wasn’t happy with my bridge at all.
“It didn’t look right and pushed my top teeth out of line with my lower ones.
“I thought it was because I’d just had the bridge fitted so it would settle down, but three months later there was still no improvement so I went to see Dr Thomson again.”
At this appointment, Dr Thomson replaced the temporary bridge.
However, within a month, Mr Holt said the bridge fractured and he was back at the dental practice.
Mr Holt, who lived in Hendon for more than 20 years but now lives in Kirkpatrick-Fleming, Lockerbie, in Scotland, explained: “It was a big blow to my confidence because it was in such an obvious part of my mouth.
“I had to wait until March 2006 for a replacement bridge to be fitted by Dr Thomson and hoped things would be much better than last time.”
But Mr Holt then decided to seek a second opinion after continued problems with his teeth.
Mr Holt’s new dentist told him that his upper-right lateral incisor had a vertical root fracture and there was decay.
He also found out that his bridge was unsustainable.
David was referred to Newcastle Dental Hospital where specialists told him that his right lateral incisor was in an advanced state of decay so would need to be removed.
“The specialist at the hospital was straight with me and told me I would need an extensive programme of treatment to put things right,” added Mr Holt.
“I subsequently also found out I would lose my other incisor as a result of having this bridge.”
The Dental Law Partnership (DLP) took on Mr Holt’s case and he successfully sued Dr Thomson, winning £12,500.
DLP solicitor Jenny Wood said: “Dr Thomson made a number of errors over a six-year period which has had far-reaching consequences for Mr Holt.
“The treatment provided was far below the standards expected of him.”
David said: “The extent of the problems that Dr Thomson has left me with is unbelievable.
“I’m glad my case has now been settled so I can try to move on and get to the end of this ordeal.”
Dr Thomson did not admit liability in the case.
Dr Thomson told the Echo: “I am deeply saddened that the treatment did not go as we both would have wished, and whilst it can’t turn back the clock, I hope that the settlement goes some way to resolving the matter.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further on this case due to patient confidentiality.
“However, I can assure my patients that their welfare is always my first concern.”