Unconfirmed cause

This case concerned a patient whose lip broke out in cuts after dental treatment. He went back to his dentist and she inquired about his diet and gave him some oral gel to treat his lip. The gel did not help.

The patient went to a solicitor who wanted to get medical experts from the UK involved and take a civil case but the patient didn’t want to do this. However, his lip still needed attention. He had to go to a specialist but he couldn’t afford this.

The DCRS suggested the patient go to his GP and get his opinion of whether the problem was caused by the dental work or not. The Service said that if the GP thought it was caused by the dental work then the dentist should pay for the patient to visit a consultant. The patient said he had gone to his GP about his lip on three occasions,

and to a dermatologist. He said he had paid €200 for over the counter creams in the 13 months since his dental treatment. The dentist got in contact with the patient to say that she felt she was not at fault but was happy to refer the patient to a consultant.

The DCRS recommended the patient go to the consultant and said that if the consultant said the problems were caused by the dentistry, then the dentist should pay for the consultant and whatever treatment was required.

The dentist sent the DCRS a letter which the Service passed on to the patient. The patient admitted that he had problems with his skin before, especially around his head but said he never had trouble with his lower lip. He said that while in treatment with the dentist, she touched off his lip with her drill.

The patient sent a text to the dentist saying the matter had “cleared up”. However, he said his lip had flared up again afterwards.

The DCRS told the patient that the dentist did not believe she contributed in any way to his problem, so the Service would need some evidence from a dentist or doctor stating that the damage to his lip could be attributed to the dentist’s work. This was not produced and after examining all other evidence, the DCRS closed the case.