A 23-year old woman who had sued a dentist when braces fitted to straighten her teeth went wrong has been awarded over €77,000 by the High Court.
Sarah O’Gorman told the High Court she thought at one stage her teeth would fall out and she felt her teeth crack when touched after going for a €2,300 deal on braces.
Making the award, Mr Justice Michael Hanna said the clerical officer had been put through three years of pain and discomfort that was unnecessary.
“What she suffered was over and above what she ought to have experienced,” he said.
The judge added the court had to mark the “considerable trauma” the woman, whom he described as having a lovely smile and being very pleasant, had experienced.
Sarah O'Gorman, Captain’s Road, Crumlin, Dublin had sued dentist Riyadh Emara of Canal View Dental Surgery, Grove Road, Rathmines, Dublin for orthodontic treatment carried out between October 2013 and September 2016
The orthodontic treatment, she claimed was performed in a manner which was unsatisfactory in every respect. There was also it was claimed a failure to inform Ms O’Gorman of the risk her front teeth could become mobile as a result of the treatment and the treatment was carried out in an incorrect manner.
Judgement had been granted last month against the dentist Riyadh Emara in default of appearance and the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.
Awarding a total of €77,750, Mr Justice Hanna said the treatment was “entirely inappropriate.”
The judge said that Ms O’Gorman underwent pain and discomfort and also had a harrowing experience as the dentist also tried to deal with a problematic wisdom tooth.
The judge said it was a complex case and even when the young woman later sought help from a specialist orthodontist, he had sought a second opinion before the appliance was removed.
Ms O’Gorman’s case, the judge said was a difficult one which should have been referred to a specialist orthodontist.
The judge said in 2016, the brace was removed and was caught in time and he now hoped she can look forward from the traumatic period in her life.
In evidence Ms O’Gorman told her counsel David McGrath SC she had gone to the dentist at when school friends told her of a €2,300 braces deal.
She said she wore the metal braces for two years but half way through the dentist took off the bottom brace. She noticed her front teeth felt mobile and later sought the advice of a specialist and the top brace was taken off.
“The concern was my teeth would fall out. I was waking up in the middle if the night the roots of my teeth were so sore,’ she said.
She added: “I thought my teeth were going to fall out if I bit in to something hard.”
She broke down as she told the court with her specialist treatment she is now starting to smile again.
“I didn’t smile before,” she said.