'My dental work was supposed to be the answer to my prayers. It was the complete opposite'

Gareth Kershaw -Credit:Gareth Kershaw
Gareth Kershaw -Credit:Gareth Kershaw

A train driver whose dodgy implant treatment left him unable to eat properly for years was forced to resort to DIY dentistry.

Gareth Kershaw, a train driver from the Leigh area of Wigan, first began experiencing problems after visiting a Bury-based dentist in 2018.

The appointment came after his false teeth fell out when he sneezed while on holiday in Disneyland.

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With only several natural teeth left, the 50-year-old hoped a permanent fixture of dentures would prevent the problem happening again.

His dentist recommended removing his remaining teeth and replacing his dentures, which involved placing four implants in his upper mouth and two implants in his lower mouth to retain the dentures.

But things started going wrong after the treatment when Gareth experienced a sharp pain while the dentist was taking impressions of the new implants and dentures.

Despite Gareth’s concerns, the dentist told him not to worry – but more problems were on the horizon.

Gareth is now suffering with his teeth -Credit:Gareth Kershaw
Gareth is now suffering with his teeth -Credit:Gareth Kershaw

A few months later, one of Gareth’s implants fell out of his mouth while he was having another impression taken.

When the first implant failed, the dentist said he only needed three in his upper mouth, but Gareth had already paid for four. This was because the dentist initially told him this was needed to make the denture stable.

“I had constant issues after that as I ended up losing more implants,” he said. “And when they fitted new ones in, the dentures kept feeling so loose and were never stable.”

Gareth visited another practice in 2021 where he learned his denture stability was questionable and he’s been living with uncomfortable clip-ons ever since.

Frustrated with the experiences he had gone through, he contacted the Dental Law Partnership in 2019. Further analysis revealed the extent of the poor dental treatment he had received from the dentist, which resulted in the avoidable loss of two titanium implants and a lack of remedial treatment.

Gareth had endured bad teeth throughout his childhood and would avoid smiling at others, masking his mouth with his hands when he talked.

Gareth -Credit:Gareth Kershaw
Gareth -Credit:Gareth Kershaw

He hoped the permanent dentures would finally be the answer to his hopes and wishes – but it’s been nothing short of a nightmare.

Gareth says eating has been “extremely difficult” due to his unstable dentures while the dodgy treatment has also left him with a stabbing pain in his gums.

He says he’s been forced to resort to DIY dentistry as his clip-on dentures keep breaking. “It’s been extremely difficult to eat properly for four years as my dentures move excessively when I eat, and the friction causes a stabbing pain on my gums,” he added.

“I’m also anxious about what I can eat as I’ve had a significant amount of food trapped. Aftercare makes all the difference and if the clinic had corrected my poor treatment it would have been fine, but now the clip-on dentures keep breaking and I’ve even had to repair it a couple of times myself using denture repair kits. It’s also so embarrassing to clean them when I’m eating with company.

“Growing up, I had bad teeth, so I would avoid smiling at people and masked my mouth with my hands when I talked.

“I thought this treatment would finally be an answer to all my prayers. But what happened was the complete opposite. The dentist treated my health as a business, rather than prioritising my wellbeing.”

Kyle Padley, of the Dental Law Partnership, said: “The distress and pain our client has experienced was completely unnecessary. If the dentist involved had provided more satisfactory treatment, his problems could have been avoided.”

The Dental Law Partnership took on Gareth’s case in 2019. The case was successfully settled in January 2024 when Mr Kershaw was paid £7,000 in an out of court settlement. The dentist involved did not admit liability.