I’m getting a £20k NHS payout after my daughter’s teeth chipped into ‘pieces of rice’

A MUM is getting a £20,000 payout from the NHS after her daughter’s teeth chipped into “pieces of rice” as a result of dodgy dental care.

Lisa Brown, 33, claims she was told "everything was fine" when she took her girl, Poppy Brown, 13, to the dentist.

But the single mum, who lives in Bournemouth, Dorset, said: "Poppy would be eating and bits of her teeth were falling out.

"She was suddenly complaining of toothache and stopped eating that much.

"If she did have something crunchy, we’d see little bits of her teeth like chipped rice left behind. It was horrendous.”

Lisa, who also has a one-year-old daughter, will need to fork out £11,000 for private dental care to fix Poppy’s long-standing teeth problems.

She first registered Poppy at the dental practice {my}dentist in Christchurch, Dorset, in 2014, when the family moved to the area.

Lisa, a businesswoman, said: “I made sure Poppy brushed her teeth twice every day.

"All she was allowed to drink was water and milk – no squash and nothing fizzy. She didn’t even have sweets or biscuits. I was so strict and thought I was doing all the right things.

“She’d go and have her check-ups, the dentist would look in her mouth for a couple of minutes and we’d be told everything was fine.”

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Lisa was “shocked” to be told her daughter needed her first filling in 2016, at the age of seven, but put it down to the amount of fruit she ate.

While waiting for the follow-up appointment, Lisa's alarm bells began to ring.

She said: “We kept being put off over when the appointment for the filling would be. First I was told it’d be within a fortnight. Then it was an 18-month wait."

Noticing her daughter's increasing discomfort, it was at this point when she started finding bits of teeth "like chipped rice" after eating.

She said: “Poppy wasn’t sleeping with the pain.

"I called {my}dentist in Christchurch and was told someone would call me back. No one did, so I called a local private dental practice and got in the next day.”

It was then that Lisa says she was informed her daughter’s dental issues were far more than the "single filling" she claims she was told to expect.

She was informed that Poppy had a tooth abscess, an infection and needed teeth removed due to the serious level of her decay.

One of the extractions was deemed so urgent that it was performed on the spot on her terrified little girl.

Poppy had three baby teeth removed and four fillings over six painful appointments.

She faces additional orthodontic issues, with significant dental misalignment and overcrowding.

Many of Poppy's adult teeth are now impacted into her jaw, according to Lisa, who says one tooth is growing through the roof of her mouth.

She said: "She's had to wear fixed mouth retainers – metal rings around her teeth – and we’re facing at least one more operation.”

Lisa says the private dental care to correct Poppy’s current issues will cost at least £11,000, on top of the £1,500 she has already spent over the past six years.

She said: “That’s the only reason I sought legal help with all of this.

"Waiting on the NHS list to get this fixed will take years and Poppy’s already been through enough. She needs proper help and care as quickly as she can get it.”

Law firm The Dental Law Partnership took on Poppy's case in 2016, obtaining an out-of-court settlement of £20,000 last year, although the dental practice refused to admit liability.

In a letter of response when a settlement was being explored, the lawyers for dentist Dr Diana Nuca made it clear that if the decay had been detected earlier, she would not have avoided further orthodontic treatment altogether.

Meanwhile, Poppy has found the whole ordeal a nightmare.

She said: “I found the whole experience really upsetting.

"I didn’t mind going to the dentist before all of this, but now I get really scared before I have to go,”

Heather Owen, of the Dental Law Partnership, said: “The distress and pain our young client has experienced was completely unnecessary.

"If the dentist had carried out adequate treatment in the first place, her problems could have been avoided.”

A spokesperson for {my}dentist responded on behalf of the practice.

They said: “We would like to apologise unreservedly for the experience Poppy and her Mum have had. The dentist involved left our practice in 2017.”

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Dr Diana Nuca was approached for a comment through her current employer, Bupa.

A spokesperson for Bupa said: “Dr Nuca won’t be commenting on this.”

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