Dentist forced to pay out £137,000 after pointless procedure

17 March 2022
2 min read

Sumit Aggarwal, of Compass Clinical in Norfolk, was forced to pay £137,000 to former patient Lindsey Harris, after he extracted three of her teeth in a 90 minute procedure, instead of performing a 12 minute procedure for a chipped tooth.

According to Metro, “He smashed a tooth to pieces and ripped out a second one that had been damaged in the process. A third one was also taken out but he did not tell Lindsey until after the operation.”

It was reported that she told a hearing at Central London county Court that “she never consented to having any of her teeth taken out and now has to wear a partial denture”.

Lindsey had also told the court that she had been “so nervous ahead of the appointment that the dental nurse held her hand and had to constantly reassure her”.

Speaking about the operation, she said, “It took forever, it was horrendous. There was an awful lot of blood involved. I was left in agony after the anaesthetic wore off.”

Defending the claim, Steve Plant, director of Compass Clinic Ltd, told the judge, “Dentistry isn’t engineering. Dealing with the human body things can go wrong.” 

The Metro also reported that he “claimed that Lindsey had added to her own woes by having not attended the dentist for four years prior to presenting with the chipped tooth”.

However, Lindsey, a chef, “told the judge she had been ‘running a very busy restaurant’ and had not had time to attend for regular check-ups prior to chipping her tooth”. 

Finding both defendants liable, the judge said, “Mr Aggarwal cannot suggest he did anything other than negligent treatment. 

“This plainly was a traumatic experience. The extraction should have taken 12 minutes, and this took an hour and a half. She was conscious throughout, in pain and bleeding.”

Quoting a dental expert assessing Lindey’s ordeal, the judge said, “I’m very concerned that when the patient goes in to have one tooth removed that was saveable, they end up losing three teeth with subsequent trauma.  

“The three teeth were taken out without appropriate consent. Three teeth were lost without any clinical necessity.”

It was also reported by the news outlet that “The judge went on to find that the dental practice was vicariously liable for the locum dentist’s blunders and ruled both defendants were jointly liable for the chef’s loss.”

Mr Aggarwal and the practice were found negligent and ordered to pay £137,000 in costs and damages.

Mr Plant said the dental business would have to fold in light of his ruling, saying, “There’s no way we can bear these costs.”

Mr Aggarwal told the judge he has since stopped working as a dentist.