December 3, 2012

Former dentist joins Withy King following rapid rise in dental claims

A former dentist has joined Withy King’s dental negligence practice on the back of rising numbers of complaints from unhappy patients.

Dr Chris Evans, who worked as a dentist for 14 years before qualifying as a solicitor, has joined Withy King which has experienced a 200 per cent increase in enquiries relating to sub-standard dental treatment.

Withy King is currently dealing with over 50 enquiries a month from dental patients who have experienced problems as a result of diagnostic failings or poor management of their condition. Compensation for dental negligence is also rising; one recent claim handled by Withy King was settled for £60k.

The firm’s experiences bear out the findings of a report published recently by the Dental Complaints Service which revealed the number of complaints about private dental treatment has risen by 17 per cent, from 1,559 complaints in 2010-11 to 1,887 complaints in 2011-12. These related mainly to crowns (16 per cent), full and partial dentures (15 per cent), fillings (14 per cent), root canal (nine per cent) and implants (nine per cent).

Withy King said they were seeing a similar range of complaints with the most common currently being the failure to diagnose gum disease and the mistreatment of it.

Dr Evans, who has worked in NHS and private practice, hospitals and specialist clinics, said: “Having been a dentist for 14 years, I know only too well the devastating physical and psychological effects that sub-standard dentistry and poor dental management can have on people’s lives, having had to undertake corrective dentistry during my career to rectify other dentists’ mistakes.

“I became interested in the law fairly early on in my career and it got to the point where I just knew it was what I wanted to do. My role as a dental negligence lawyer allows me to use my technical knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible outcome for people who have suffered as a result of poor dental treatment. It’s a hugely rewarding job in a niche but increasingly busy area of the law.”

Dr Evans studied dentistry at Kings College School of Medicine and Dentistry, London. He has completed training in both intravenous and inhalation sedation and gained distinction in the first year of the Kings, Guys and St Thomas’ MSc in radiology and dental radiography. In his 14 years of dental practice, Dr Evans had an interest in treating and managing anxious and “phobic” patients, medically compromised patients and periodontal disease.

At Withy King, Dr Evans is undertaking a wide range of dental cases including poorly fitting bridges, veneers, failure to diagnose and manage periodontal disease, substandard orthodontic treatment as well as initial screening and evaluation of new dental enquiries.

Simon Elliman, partner and head of the dental negligence team at Withy King, said: “It is rare to find a solicitor with Chris’ combination of knowledge, experience and empathy. We are extremely pleased that he has joined Withy King at this busy time. Our case load is bigger than it has ever been and we are achieving high levels of compensation for patients, particularly where extensive remedial dental treatment is required.”

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