Case study: Periodontitis

16 May 2019

In this case study Mr Antony Visocchi, Dental Surgeon, discusses a case of chronic periodontitis, a common disease and the cause of many claims involving dentists. In this associated article he explores the condition and the circumstances that can lead to cases of clinical negligence arising. 

Mr K, a gentleman in his mid-fifties, regularly attended the dentist at six month intervals. He had been seeing the same dentist for 12½ years and his clinical records showed that a scale and polish had been performed at each appointment. His clinical records showed that the dentist had noted concerns about ‘mobile teeth’, no radiographs were taken and the dentist decided to take a ‘wait and see’ approach.

Unaware that there may have been an issue with his teeth, Mr K discovered he had an abscess which caused a tooth to require extraction. Over the next 10 months he lost a further 8 teeth, at which point he decided to get a second opinion on the underlying cause of this rapid tooth loss. He was advised that he had severe, chronic adult periodontal disease affecting all the remaining teeth and that most of his teeth had 75%-80% bone loss.

Mr K has undergone extensive treatment to stabilise the disease and he now only has 6 teeth left and wears a denture. Unfortunately, he will also lose at least 2 more teeth in the next 12 months. Mr K now finds it hard to leave his house due to the loss of confidence caused by losing so many of his teeth. The case is ongoing, however the claim for restorative treatment alone will be £25,000 – £40,000 due to the extent of the disease and damage caused over such a long period.


Mr Visocchi is a highly skilled dental practitioner who provides expert opinion to the General Dental Council Fitness to Practice Panel in respect of the GDC’s fitness to practice process, as well as being an independent expert for negligence, personal injury and indemnity solicitors. The remainder of his time is split between being a dental practice inspector for NHS Forth Valley, serves on the panel of Expert Advisers for the National Institute of Health & Care Excellence (NICE) Centre for Guidelines and is a clinical lecturer at Aberdeen Institute of Dentistry

Mr Visocchi is available for instruction via Medicolegal Partners.  He is able to accept instructions in all aspects of general dental practice including, but not limited to:

  • Examination and diagnosis
  • Consent
  • Emergency care
  • Treatment routinely undertaken in general dental practice
  • General dental practice regulation & compliance
  • Scope of practice

If you have a dental negligence case that you would like to discuss with him, please get in touch.  More information about his experience, can be found here.