A WOMAN who attended her dentist every six months since 1993 has received a €40,000 settlement after she discovered her gums were "not in a fit state".
The woman, from the east of the country, was one of 130 dental patients who took their grievances to the Dental Complaints Resolution Service which offers free mediation on disputes.
Her case was outlined in its annual report yesterday, which revealed how it was only after she went to another dentist for cosmetic work that she became aware of the state of her gums.
"The dentist questioned when she had last visited a dentist, and when she said it had been in the last six months, the patient felt he did not believe her, implying it looked like she had not been in years."
She ended up having to go to a periodontist and a specialist. She was forced to pay a considerable sum for dental work and suffered pain and stress.
Michael Kilcoyne, vice-chair of the Consumers Association and facilitator for the Dental Complaints Resolution Service, said the woman brought her case after her regular dentist did not reply to her letter of complaint.
Following mediation, the dentist agreed to pay the patient €40,000 to cover the cost of treating her teeth. This included €27,900 for the cost of implants and gum treatment, a €5,100 refund for treatment already paid for and €7,000 to cover the cost of regular check-ups for the next 10 to 12 years.
The service, which is run by the Irish Dental Association, normally resolves a case within two months although a number still remain open for longer.