Medical Negligence

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Botched dental treatment leads to loss of front teeth

View profile for Malcolm Underhill
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A mother has lost her front teeth after botched cosmetic dental treatment by an unlicensed beautician. Kellie Taylor, 43, admitted she “didn't even think about what could go wrong” after spotting an offer for a £65 course of tooth whitening at a beauty salon in Lancaster last February.

Technician had no qualifications


It would later transpire beautician Natalie Kowalczyk - who had no dental qualifications - used a peroxide which weakened Ms Taylor's gums, leaving her dentist with no option but to pull her teeth out.

Ms Kowalczyk was offering the treatment despite the law clearly tooth whitening must only be carried out by registered dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians working to the prescription of a dentist. She has since admitted unlawfully practising dentistry, and been ordered to pay compensation to Ms Taylor.

But Ms Taylor said the experience has left her with low self-confidence and left her facing more expensive treatment to restore her appearance.

She said: “I went to have it done for pure vanity reasons and it left me scared of leaving the house for people seeing what I looked like. There was an offer on tooth whitening and it sounded like a good deal so I went along and didn't even think about what could go wrong. Half way through everything started to feel sore and sensitive. I didn't know how it was supposed to feel but I could tell it wasn't right. Two weeks later I was still on painkillers and when I went to the dentist he said there was nothing he could do but take my teeth out.”

Ms Taylor now relies on a plate with two false teeth attached which she has to glue into place in her mouth.

She added: “It's a huge inconvenience and it doesn't matter how natural they look, I know they're not my own teeth. She doesn't understand the consequences her actions have had on my life and how it has affected my confidence. I've not had one apology or any sign that she's accepted what she's done is wrong.”

Ms Kowalczyk was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £250 compensation to Kellie for her pain and suffering after admitting the offence at Lancaster Magistrates Court.

She also had to pay £65 to reimburse the cost of the treatment, which was carried out at Jo & Cass salon.

Ms Taylor said: “I'm glad she was found guilty but it doesn't do anything for me short-term. £315 doesn't cover the pain and suffering I've had. I thought everything was legal and above board. I don't know how someone has the nerve to try and perform a procedure like that without the correct training and qualifications.”

Kowalczyk, who is still working at the salon, was also ordered to pay General Dental Council costs of £1468.63 and a £15 victim surcharge.

By law, tooth whitening must only be carried out by registered dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians working to the prescription of a dentist.

This was confirmed by the High Court when in May 2013 it overturned a magistrates court's decision to acquit a qualified beautician, Lorna Jamous, of practising dentistry after she carried out tooth bleaching procedures in her salon.

The General Dental Council has produced tooth whitening FAQs for those considering having the treatment.

Compensation for victims of medical negligence

You are entitled to expect a certain standard of treatment from those providing medical assistance to you. If this treatment falls below standard you may be entitled to recover the cost of the private medical treatment needed to correct the failings on the part of those originally treating you. Our goal at IBB Law is to obtain justice for victims of the negligence by others, by securing compensation that reflects their pain and suffering, as well as related financial losses including loss of earnings, treatment costs and specialist care costs.

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