Young Blackpool woman gets compensation for dental negligence after dentist fitted a brace incorrectly and caused permanent tooth damage

A 21 year old Blackpool woman has been awarded £12,500 for dental negligence after a routine brace fitting left her with permanent damage to her front teeth.
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Kira Sandham had her brace fitted when she was 16. Now she’s been told her damaged front teeth may fall out within five years.

The customer service analyst now suffers from nightmares of her teeth falling out, and is self-conscious about smiling and speaking, and faces a lifetime of expensive treatments because of the damage.

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Kira had always looked after her teeth and had no fillings. But in 2017 she was referred for an orthodontic brace to straighten her teeth.

Kira Sandham was left with permanent damage after a dentist fitted a brace incorrectly.Kira Sandham was left with permanent damage after a dentist fitted a brace incorrectly.
Kira Sandham was left with permanent damage after a dentist fitted a brace incorrectly.

It was fitted by Dr Kumar Akundi, at Orthoworld 2000 in Blackpool.

After six months she noticed they were no straighter, so she went back to his surgery at on Whitegate Drive, to find out why.

She said: “[I was told] the braces treatment needed to be halted immediately and removed due to root resorption, which was making my front teeth loose but he reassured me my teeth should still last a lifetime.”

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But Kira, who was working in hospitality at the time, wasn’t happy. She was self-conscious about the gaps between her teeth.

Kira Sandham was left with permanent damage after a dentist fitted a brace incorrectly.Kira Sandham was left with permanent damage after a dentist fitted a brace incorrectly.
Kira Sandham was left with permanent damage after a dentist fitted a brace incorrectly.

So she sought a second opinion from another dentist.

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“I was told the wire behind my teeth was placed poorly and un-hygienically because of how difficult it is to reach a toothbrush behind it. The specialist estimated that my damaged teeth will only last another five years. Hearing that at my age I will lose a tooth in the future was very upsetting.”

The former BFC student now faces a lifetime of costly and painful treatments, and is very likely to need implants in the near future.

Image showing the shortened roots on Kira Sandham's front teeth caused by the incorrect braceImage showing the shortened roots on Kira Sandham's front teeth caused by the incorrect brace
Image showing the shortened roots on Kira Sandham's front teeth caused by the incorrect brace

Kira added: Not only is this a huge financial burden but I now am overly conscious of the appearance of my teeth. I worry about showing my teeth when I smile or speak, even just to friends and family. I also suffer from anxiety over the future treatment I will need and have nightmares of my teeth falling out”.

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She went to the Dental Law Partnership in 2020, the leading law firm in the UK which specialises in dental negligence who took on her case.

Analysis of her dental records revealed that if Dr Akundi had used reasonable care and skill when fitting the brace, Miss Sandham would have avoided the need for an implant in the future. Due to the poor execution of the fixed orthodontic treatment Miss Sandham’s front teeth were moved into traumatic occlusion which caused root resorption at three teeth. This meant the treatment had to be abandoned. As a result she will lose a tooth in the future and will need composite bonding to restore gaps left at 3 teeth.

Rebecca McVety of the Dental Law Partnership commented: “The distress and pain our client has experienced was completely unnecessary. If the dentist had carried out adequate treatment in the first place, her 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.

A spokesperson for Orthoworld said: “Providing the highest standards of patient care is our priority. We would like to apologise for the experience Ms Sandham has had.”

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