Woman awarded thousands after turning to 'unpleasant' DIY dentistry
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Lucy Bodycote swollen cheek

Lucy Bodycote attempted DIY dentistry after her surgery but failed to fix her problems (Image: Submitted)

A woman claims she had to spend days draining her infected gums after dentists failed to treat her rotten teeth.

Lucy Bodycote has been awarded £15,500 in a legal settlement with her dental practice after she says she was forced to carry out “really unpleasant” DIY dentistry.

The 44-year-old’s dental practice says it “does not accept the accuracy” of the facts portrayed by Lucy’s solicitors.

Over several years, Lucy of Huncote, Leicestershire, says she saw nine different dentists at The Avenue Dental Practice.

When Covid lockdown came into effect, she claims she had to drain her gum after her face swelled up. 

She told Leicestershire Live: “At the start of March 2020 I was experiencing problems with an infected tooth and the left side of my face started to swell up.

“I was prescribed antibiotics but as we were about to go into lockdown I couldn’t get an appointment at my dentist and I was told the only way to be seen was going to A&E.

“The hospital was the last place I wanted to be with Covid so rife at the time, so I was left having to drain the lump on my gum every day which was really unpleasant.”

She recalls her problems had begun years earlier.

She says she started going to the surgery in Stewart Avenue in 2004 and had many appointments with the dentists at the practice who provided multiple fillings over the years.

When she started to experience pain in one tooth, she says she was provided with antibiotics, however these did not seem to help ease her pain so she asked for the tooth to be extracted – but this did not go to plan.

She said: “I was in so much pain and after multiple emergency visits and rounds of antibiotics my tooth pain still prevailed.

“Eventually I told the clinic I could not take it any longer and needed the tooth out.

“I had to beg for them to take my tooth out as I felt that was the only option,” she claims.

X ray

Untreated decay and infection in Lucy’s upper left-side teeth (Image: Submitted)

“I had anaesthetic injections for the procedure, however, I could still feel everything.

“I was informed that I couldn’t have any more anaesthesia and remember leaving in floods of tears from the pain without so much as a follow-up call to check if I was okay.”

After her experiences in lockdown she decided it was time to pay extra and go private.

She went to an appointment at the new dentist and claims several problems she had not been aware of were discovered.

She claims: “After I had my examination, it came to light that I had multiple rotting teeth, a capped tooth fitted incorrectly leaving a gap, and multiple other errors.”


Lucy contacted the Dental Law Partnership in 2020 (Image: Submitted)

She contacted the specialist medical negligence solicitors Dental Law Partnership in 2020.

It said analysis of her dental records showed that, if The Avenue Dental Practice had used reasonable care and skill, she would not have experienced untreated decay in five different teeth, have had to have multiple root fillings, and experience the loss of several teeth.

Speaking about how the ordeal has affected her, she said: “I’m deeply disappointed in the dentists who treated me because I put my fate in their hands and they messed up so many of my teeth.

“After forking out thousands of pounds to rectify my damaged teeth, and having more teeth removed, I decided to contact the Dental Law Partnership to see if they could help.”

Lucy’s legal action against The Avenue was settled in October 2022 but the practice did not admit liability.

Tim Armitage of the Dental Law Partnership said: “The distress and pain our client has experienced was completely unnecessary.

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

Dr Ismail Bhyat, practice principal at The Avenue, said: “While we do not accept the accuracy of the facts portrayed by The Dental Law Partnership, we are limited in what we can say because of patient confidentiality.

“However, we are pleased the matter has been brought to a satisfactory conclusion and that all parties can now move on.”

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