Marika Cucuzza, 25, suffered ‘excruciating’ pain for nine months due to ‘substandard’ treatment from Dr Gabriela Gacea at M & N Dental Practice.
She first visited the Grove Place practice when she had toothache in February 2016 and Dr Gacea placed a filling in the tooth.
When the pain still persisted a month later, the dentist prescribed antibiotics and advised that root canal treatment should be carried out.
Marika said: “Dr Gacea gave me two options – either have the root canal treatment or have the tooth extracted. I am still young so I chose to try and save my tooth as the gap would have been visible. You always trust that your dentist knows best.”
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But after the root canal work the toothache became even worse and eventually Dr Gacea fitted a crown – but still the pain persisted.
Finally Marika moved to a new dentist, where X-rays revealed an abcess had formed due to untreated decay.
Marika contacted The Dental Law Partnership and analysis of her dental records revealed the root canal treatment performed by Dr Gacea fell far below the acceptable standard, leading to avoidable pain, infection, and the potential loss of the tooth.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Marika, who had never had problems with her teeth previously.
“I was in severe pain for nine months and it was all for nothing. I had such a shock when I saw the x-ray.
“My gums and my tooth were a mess because of the abscess – caused by the decay that should have been treated months before.
“It’s taken over a year with a new dentist to get my teeth back to good health – but none of this should have happened in the first place.”
Amanda Pietrusiak from The Dental Law Partnership said: “The distress and pain our client experienced was completely unnecessary. If the dentist had carried out adequate treatment in the first place, all of her problems could have been avoided.”
She added: “We hope the compensation she receives goes some way towards paying for any additional treatment that is required.”
The Dental Law Partnership took on Miss Cucuzza’s case and it was successfully settled when the dentist paid £8,000 in an out of court settlement. Dr Gacea did not admit liability.