Can I claim for nerve damage to the tongue by a dentist? I visited another dentist for a second opinion, and he has told me I have a lingual nerve injury from my previous treatment.
It is always important to get a second opinion if you feel that you have sustained a nerve injury due to the carelessness of a dentist, as this can help to establish whether you have grounds to make a claim for nerve damage to the tongue by a dentist. Since you have now had a suspected lingual nerve injury confirmed, you should write a letter of complaint to your dentist requesting an explanation of how this injury was caused.
A lingual nerve injury is a risk associated with certain dental treatments such as the extraction of wisdom teeth due to the variable location of the lingual nerve, and the difficulty in performing treatments such as the removal of impacted molars. The injury can result from a complication with dental surgery, although it can also be caused by carelessness of the dentist when damage to the lingual nerve is caused by a scalpel, drill or other dental instrument.
An injury to the lingual nerve can cause three main symptoms, which are termed anaesthesia (numbness in the tongue), tongue paresthesia (tingling sensations) and tongue dysesthesia (involving pain and burning sensations). These may be temporary, lasting just a few days, or they can be permanent if serious damage to the nerve in the tongue has been caused.
To establish whether it is possible to make a compensation claim for dentist negligence due to a lingual nerve injury, you must speak with a personal injury* solicitor. The circumstances under which the injury was sustained must be thoroughly investigated before the right to make a compensation claim for dentist negligence can be confirmed. Although an injury to the lingual nerve may appear to have clearly been caused by negligence of the dentist, this must be proven if a claim for nerve damage to the tongue by a dentist is to be successful.
A solicitor will write to the dentist requesting an explanation of how the injury was sustained, and a medical examination will be scheduled to confirm the extent of the nerve injury from dental treatment. Your case will then need to be reviewed by a dental expert to establish whether the injury was avoidable under the circumstances, and if a competent dentist – exercising a reasonable amount of care – would have been able to perform your treatment without causing nerve damage.
If it can be established ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that your injury resulted from negligence of the dentist, you will be entitled to claim dental nerve injury compensation and you will be advised of the procedures which must be followed in order to do so. You will also receive an accurate assessment of the amount of compensation you are entitled to claim for your nerve injury from dental treatment and you can then make an informed decision about whether it will be worth your while proceeding with legal action.