A secondary school teacher struggles to drink cold water after two dentists at the same practice allegedly failed to diagnose decay.

Nicholas Lowe, who works as a graphic design teacher in Hackney, has been given £6,500 after decay in two of his teeth allegedly went undiagnosed at Highgate Dental Centre.

The 36-year-old was first treated by Dr Punit Shah in 2018, when he was given fillings in two of his teeth.

Two years later, in February 2020, he had a routine checkup with another dentist at the practice, Dr Manita Sharma, and claims he was told that nothing abnormal was detected after X-rays were taken.

But Nicholas said that months later he experienced “throbbing pain” in his teeth.

He added: “I went back to Dr Shah who found that the fillings he’d done had both failed and cracked.

“He took an X-ray which showed extensive decay because food had been trapped under the filling and had decayed deep in the tooth over the years, but Dr Sharma hadn’t spotted it.”

Dr Shah took out both fillings, removed the decay and then refilled the teeth.

When he was still “in agony” a month later, Nicholas returned to find the decay had started again under the fillings, and he was told one tooth would need a root canal or extraction.

Nicholas said: “I was angry, sad and in pain, and I didn’t want to go back there ever again so I went to a different dental practice who conducted my root canal treatment and advised that the other tooth also needed one."

“But I’m trying to avoid it for as long as possible to prolong the nerves being removed, as it will mean I have another dead tooth.”

He added: “The tooth that’s had a root canal will need a lot of work in the future to ensure it lasts as long as it can before I lose it, and the other one is very sensitive, so I haven’t been able to eat anything cold, like ice cream, for years. Even cold water hurts.”

The secondary school teacher decided to contact The Dental Law Partnership (DLP), a law firm specialising in dental negligence.

Rebecca McVety, of DLP, claimed that if the two dentists had provided “more satisfactory” treatment, Nicholas’ problems could have been avoided.  

DLP took on his case in 2021, and it was successfully settled in January 2024 when Nicholas was paid £6,500 in an out of court settlement.

The two dentists involved did not admit liability. 

Highgate Dental Centre did not respond to a request for comment.