A PENARTH woman who said dentistry treatment led to her mouth being “ruined” has received a £40,000 out-of-court settlement.

Lynne Haines, a 56-year-old HR advisor, said she suffered more than a decade of severe undiagnosed gum disease.

The case was settled against Dr John Graham for treatment he gave while working at Croft Dental Practice in Gadlys, Aberdare, between 2001 and 2014.

Dr Graham, who retired in 2014, did not admit liability.

Penarth Times: Lynne Haines before periodontal progressionLynne Haines before periodontal progression (Image: Supplied)

'It ruined my smile, me and my confidence'

During Ms Haines treatment, she claims periodontal disease was ignored for more than a decade, resulting in huge gaps in her mouth and the loss of several teeth, alongside having a significant impact on her mental health.

Despite regularly visiting Dr Graham, Ms Haines says she was never provided with any advice or indication that there was anything seriously wrong with her teeth.

During this time, she says a gap in her front teeth had begun to appear.

In 2018, after complaining that her gums were receding, Ms Haines was referred to specialists, where it was revealed she was suffering with severe periodontal disease.

She was then referred for therapy to treat the extreme bone loss.

Ms Haines, who, after moving to Penarth, travelled a 44-mile round trip to the dental surgery she had attended all her life, said she never missed an appointment.

She recalled the moment it became too much and she was really concerned for the state of her mouth.

“I had a huge gap in my front teeth and many teeth were becoming wobbly,” said Ms Haines.

“The treatment was painful and intrusive and my mouth was constantly sensitive.

“I felt so self-conscious that I never smiled and constantly worried. It was a horrible experience and really affected me every day.

“(Then) in 2020, for the first time in my life, I moved to a private dentist in order to have another round of intensive periodontal treatment.

“They were shocked at how I had been treated, saying I’d undergone years of mistreatment and they advised that the periodontal disease was so severe that I’m likely to lose all of my teeth - which was devastating.

“At every appointment, I would end up in tears as I was so embarrassed with the state of my teeth, especially as I had always taken care to look after them, and overwhelmed that this is going to be an issue for the rest of my life.”

Penarth Times: The gap in Ms Haines' teethThe gap in Ms Haines' teeth (Image: Supplied)

Penarth Times: Ms Haines the day the gap in her teeth was finally fixedMs Haines the day the gap in her teeth was finally fixed (Image: Supplied)

At her wits end, Ms Haines contacted the Dental Law Partnership in 2020.

Analysis is alleged to have revealed that periodontal disease should have been diagnosed and treated as far back as 2001, which would have avoided the catastrophic progression of bone loss Ms Haines experienced.

“I was so angry that I had put my whole trust in the dentist who had ruined my smile, me and my confidence,” said Ms Haines.

“My job requires me to do a lot of face-to-face meetings and I hated being on video calls with my camera on throughout the pandemic.”

For now, the disease is back under control, however Ms Haines says the experience has left her with “deep mental scars”.

“The disease is under control for now, but I won’t ever get my bone density back and have to be extremely careful looking after my gums and attending appointments.

“I’ve had some composite bonding now which has fixed the appearance of my top teeth, but I know this isn’t a permanent solution and will need to be replaced in a few years.

“While I am happy with my appearance for now, the whole experience has left deep mental scars.”

Attempts to contact Dr Graham were unsuccessful.

Croft Dental Practice did not respond to requests for comment.