A BARNSLEY teacher who underwent routine dental treatment which led to years of discomfort has been awarded compensation having reached an out-of-court settlement with the practice responsible.

Katherine Spencer, 63, was awarded £8,000 by her former dentist with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, Dental Law Partnership.

The payment was awarded after Ms Spencer was given inappropriate dental bridge treatment, which failed to address underlying dental issues and led to years of discomfort and distress.

Ms Spencer was a regular patient at Crigglestone Dental Care, Wakefield, but due to the backlog of appointments caused by the pandemic she started being treated by a locum.

“I have always taken care of my dental health and had a dental bridge that had been in place for 28 years,” Katherine said.

“In late 2021, I visited for a couple of appointments, and the locum suggested replacing my long-term bridge.

“In December 2021, I attended appointments to have my old bridge removed and the new one installed.

“I knew very soon that something didn’t feel right.

“The bridge felt too high in my gums and very tight, so I had to revisit the practice to have it adjusted by the same locum a few days later.

“It ruined Christmas that year as my gums remained really sore and I couldn’t eat anything other than very soft foods for the entire festive period.”

Distressed with the whole experience and unable to bite properly, Ms Spencer went back to visit her original dentist on New Year’s Eve who made adjustments and had to remove some excess glue that had been left from the original treatment.

“In January I had to revisit the practice multiple times as the area under the bridge was in a lot of pain and highly sensitive,” Katherine added.

“In February, I revisited my original dentist who reviewed X-rays taken by the locum and spotted a failed root canal at the teeth under the bridge that hadn’t been treated.”

Katherine was told to visit a specialist in March 2022 as a result but she was ‘horrified’ to hear that she needed further root canal treatment, and that the case was far more complicated than the locum had led her to believe.

The lowest point was in August 2023 before the bridge replacement when, the day before Ms Spencer’s son’s wedding in France, the bridge broke at the front, leaving a large visible gap in her teeth.

“I was absolutely hysterical - I had the tooth that had fallen out of the bridge in my hand and had to find an emergency dentist in the French countryside to stick the tooth back in on the morning of the wedding.

“I couldn’t eat during the wedding as I was terrified of the tooth falling out.”

Frustrated with the experiences she had gone through, Ms Spencer contacted the Dental Law Partnership in April 2022.

Further analysis revealed the locum should have diagnosed and treated Katherine’s underlying issues.

“The fallout from the dental errors made have affected every facet of my life and the two years of remedial treatment have been complete hell,” Katherine said.

“The whole experience has affected me a lot mentally - it affected my speech and massively impacted my work.”

The dentist involved did not admit liability and law professionals acting on Katherine’s behalf said it was further proof of a ‘broken system’.

Kyle Padley, of the Dental Law Partnership, said: “The distress and pain our client has experienced was completely unnecessary.

“If the dentist involved had provided more satisfactory treatment, many of her problems could have been avoided.”