Young Blackpool woman wins compensation for dental negligence after dentist improperly fitted braces and caused permanent damage to teeth
Kira Sandham got her braces when she was 16. He has now been told that his damaged front teeth could fall out within five years.
The customer service analyst now suffers from nightmares where her teeth are falling out, and is embarrassed to smile and speak, and faces a lifetime of expensive treatments because of the damage.
Kira had always taken care of her teeth and had no fillings. But in 2017, she was referred for braces to straighten her teeth.
It was installed by Dr Kumar Akundi, at Orthoworld 2000 in Blackpool.
After six months, she noticed they weren’t straighter, so she returned to her practice on Whitegate Drive, to find out why.
She says: “[I was told] the braces treatment had to be stopped immediately and removed due to root resorption causing my front teeth to fall out, but he reassured me that my teeth should still last a lifetime.
But Kira, who was working in the hotel business at the time, wasn’t happy. She was embarrassed by the spaces between her teeth.
She therefore sought a second opinion from another dentist.
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“I was told that the floss behind my teeth was misplaced and unhygienic due to the difficulty of reaching a toothbrush behind it. The specialist estimated that my damaged teeth will only last another five years. To hear that at my age i will lose a tooth in the future was very upsetting.
The former BFC student now faces a life of expensive and painful treatments, and will most likely need implants in the near future.
Kira added: Not only is it a huge financial burden, but I’m now all too conscious of how my teeth look. I’m afraid to show my teeth when I smile or talk, even just to my friends and family. I also suffer from anxiety about the future treatment I will need and I have nightmares of my teeth falling out”.
She went to the Dental Law Partnership in 2020, the leading dental negligence law firm in the UK that took up her case.
Analysis of her dental records revealed that had Dr Akundi shown reasonable care and skill when fitting the splint, Miss Sandham would have avoided the need for an implant in the future . Due to poor performance of fixed orthodontic treatment, Miss Sandham’s front teeth were displaced in a traumatic occlusion which caused root resorption in three teeth. This meant that the treatment had to be abandoned. As a result, she will lose a tooth in the future and will need composite bonding to restore the gaps left at 3 teeth.
Rebecca McVety of the Dental Law Partnership commented: “The distress and pain our client experienced was completely unnecessary. If the dentist had performed proper treatment in the first place, his problems could have been avoided.
In April 2022, Kira was awarded £12,500 in an out-of-court settlement, although Dr Kumar Akundi did not admit liability.
An Orthoworld spokesperson said: “Providing the highest standards of patient care is our priority. We would like to apologize for Ms. Sandham’s experience.