A WOMAN has been awarded £10,000 in compensation after blunders by her Wearside dentist left her with decaying teeth.
Lucy Stoker, of Town End Farm, successfully sued Dr Nigel Edwards from Peel Street Dental Practice in Sunderland after he failed to diagnose and treat decay and infection, leaving one tooth in such bad condition it had to be removed.
The 30-year-old care assistant now faces the prospect of losing more teeth.
Lucy started going to see the Hendon-based dentist in January 2006 when she was experiencing toothache.
“He took an X-ray of my mouth and said I needed a filling but told me to wait for a few months so my tooth could settle down first,” she said.
The X-ray actually showed Lucy’s lower left molar was infected, which Dr Edwards missed. The dentist also missed signs of decay in a tooth in the upper-right side of her mouth.
Lucy returned to see Dr Edwards again in February 2008 because of excruciating pain in the same tooth on the left side.
Lucy said: “He told me I now needed a root canal and filling in my tooth as part of a new treatment plan. I had no reason not to trust Dr Edwards so I went ahead with the procedure.
“I didn’t know that this was the treatment I desperately needed to begin with, so his suggested remedy was already too little too late.”
Dr Edwards also missed signs of advancing tooth decay in three other teeth despite X-rays and several appointments between January 2006 and December 2010.
Lucy wanted a second opinion and registered at a different practice, where her new dentist found numerous problems with her teeth.
She was told the decay in the four affected teeth was extremely advanced.
One tooth needed to be removed immediately and it was only a matter of time before another would need taking out.
Lucy said: “I couldn’t believe my teeth had become this bad – knowing I would lose some of my teeth was absolutely devastating.”
The Dental Law Partnership (DLP) took on Lucy’s case and was presented with evidence she suffered as a direct result of the treatment provided by Dr Edwards.
Dr Edwards did not admit liability in the case, but settled out of court.
Christine Salter, Lucy’s Solicitor from the DLP, said: “The delay in diagnosing and treating Lucy’s tooth decay has led to dramatic consequences for her.
“She has lost one tooth already and faces the prospect of losing another two.
“She also needs to undergo root canal treatment and a crown, a procedure that could have been avoided if Dr Edwards had provided appropriate care in the first place.”
Lucy said: “I trusted Dr Edwards and he let me down.
“It’s very upsetting to know that this could have been avoided.”
The Echo contacted Peel Street Dental Practice for a comment but staff said that Dr Edwards does not work there at the moment.