A compensation payment totalling £15,250 has been made after a woman was left with permanent numbness in her face due to an error by a dentist.
Christina Knights underwent dental surgery in September 2008 at the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby. The operation was to remove her wisdom teeth, and she was told that it was a straightforward procedure.
After the procedure Mrs Knights had no feeling in her chin and bottom lip. She consulted her dentist, who told her that this was normal, and that the feeling would return after six months.
However, after noticing no improvement, Mrs Knights sought the opinion of a specialist in Sheffield. He recommended she have corrective surgery, but unfortunately this was unsuccessful. It was found that during the first operation, two of the nerves in her lower jaw were severed.
As a result of this, she has been left with permanent numbness in her chin and bottom lip. She tells the Grimsby Telegraph that this affects her in many ways. It affects her speech and eating, and her bottom lip turns blue in cold weather.
The paper reports that she made a compensation claim against Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Trust, which has just been settled in an out-of-court settlement.
Her legal team reportedly showed that the NHS staff had not reviewed her mouth x-ray correctly. This x-ray showed that the nerves were close to the root of her wisdom teeth, resulting in an increased risk of nerve damage. An alternative treatment could have involved removing only the top of the tooth and leaving the root in place.