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Retired Sunderland teacher gets £52,000 payout over claims dentist ‘failed to spot decaying teeth’

Judith Mcardle.
Judith Mcardle.
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A retired Sunderland teacher has been awarded more than £50,000 after she claims her dentist of more than 20 years failed to spot that her teeth were decaying.

Judith Mcardle, 54, says she has had to have all of the teeth on the top row of her mouth extracted due to “undiagnosed periodontitis” - following her treatment at David Vaughan Dental Care in Pallion between 1992 and 2015.

An X-ray of Judith Mcardle's teeth showing the missing upper teeth and bone loss around the remainder due to gum disease.

An X-ray of Judith Mcardle's teeth showing the missing upper teeth and bone loss around the remainder due to gum disease.

Mrs Mcardle says she is now facing having to have numerous implants in the future and has been left “devastated” by the situation.

The Dental Law Partnership - which took on Mrs Mcardle’s case - says she has now been awarded £52,000 in an out-of-court compensation package.

David Vaughan Dental Care, run by Dr David Vaughan, did not admit liability in the case.

Despite attempts by the Echo to contact the company by phone, email and in person, no-one was available for comment.

An X-ray of Judith Mcardle's teeth showing all upper teeth removed and replaced with six implants and two bridges.

An X-ray of Judith Mcardle's teeth showing all upper teeth removed and replaced with six implants and two bridges.

The shutters were down at the Merle Terrace surgery when we visited.

Mrs Mcardle says she visited Dr Vaughan and staff for regular check-ups and underwent fillings, root canal treatments and crown fittings across a number of teeth.

She also had six teeth extracted.

She said: “I’d certainly had a few dental issues over the years and had my wisdom teeth removed, but nothing that was a major cause for concern.

Judith Mcardle.

Judith Mcardle.

“I’ve always looked after my teeth and have had them polished regularly at the dentist. I thought everything was OK.”

Mrs Mcardle says her problems began in December 2013 when she went to see Dr Vaughan after her mouth had become swollen.

She claims the dentist prescribed antibiotics.

Further issues arose when she says she visited Dr Vaughan in July 2014 after experiencing severe pain and sensitivity in her teeth.

She says that the dentist carried out root canal treatment and gave her a filling.

Mrs Mcardle continued to attend until 2015 until - unhappy with her treatment - she went in search of a second opinion.

The new dentist informed Mrs Mcardle of the poor state of her teeth and told her she was likely to lose a number of them in the near future.

She said: “I just couldn’t believe it. I left in floods of tears. I was devastated.”

In the months that followed, Mrs Mcardle continued attending the new dental practice to be treated for the extensive damage to her teeth as a result of periodontitis.

However despite further treatment, a number of her teeth were in such poor condition that they could not be saved.

She said: “I now have no teeth on the top row of my mouth. I feel so low and so embarrassed all the time.”

Analysis of her dental records revealed that Dr Vaughan had failed to identify and treat periodontal disease for over 20 years and provided ineffective treatment that did not improve her dental health.

Mrs Mcardle added: “It’s heartbreaking to know that this all could have been avoided.”

Daniel Kinnear of the Dental Law Partnership said: “If the dentist had identified and provided adequate treatment for the problem in the first place, then her dental problems could have been avoided.”

David Vaughan Dental Care could not be contacted for comment about Mrs Mcardle’s claims over her treatment.