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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I'm having a molar out on 29 July at an nhs clinic. I've

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I'm having a molar out on 29 July at an nhs clinic. I've asked the clinic if I can have the gold inlay in the molar. The clinic have fobbed me off with phone calls clearly not from a dentist but some unfortunate clerk. The organisation to which I wish to sell the inlay say I can send them the whole tooth, as the clinic is making a great deal of fuss about whether or how the inlay is to be detached from the tooth. I have written to the clinic asserting that the inlay is my property and they have no right to deprive me of it. I have written to them twice. I posted the second letter on 4 July and have yet to receive a response.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Is this a private clinic?

My apologies. I can see that it is an NHS clinic that you are having the issue with. Are they willing to remove the inlay out of the tooth?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you for your response. Please leave it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The first response I received was a phone call from someone who was clearly not a dentist. She said the clinic was obliged to dispose of the tooth. I replied I did not want the tooth, just the inlay. I got another phone call suggestign my de
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I look forward to your email.

No problem at all.

Many thanks for your patience. You are correct that the molar is your property and if you wanted to have it back after the replacement, you should be allowed this. However, at the same time you would be bound by the terms of service that the clinic works under and they may say that they are going to keep the replaced tooth after the procedure. There is nothing illegal in doing so if this has been agreed in advance and you proceeded with having the work done on the basis of their terms which stated that. So it is all down to what was agreed at the outset and under what terms you had agreed to have the procedure done. It could be that their standard terms state they retain any replaced teeth and that there is no flexibility in these. In such circumstances you have to decide if you are willing to proceed under these terms or not. Of course you cannot be forced to proceed if you disagree with them but at the same time they are not obliged to offer the service if you do not agree to their terms. So you either have to agree on something that works for both of you, or you will have to decide if you want to proceed with the work based on the existing terms.

If no specific terms were agreed about who retains property of the tooth after its replacement and they then refuse to return that to you, then you are able to pursue them for the return of the tooth or for the value of the tooth, including the gold inlay.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should they refuse to return the tooth when it was not agreed they can keep it, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you. If they refuse to give back the molar when they had no contractual right to retain it, whilst you cannot physically force them to give that back, you can pursue them for compensation up to its value.

Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much. I've written three letters though didn't send them by recorded delivery. I've also emailed them attaching copies of the three letters. Copies are attached and I'll be very grateful if you read them.

Hi there, it is not mandatory o use recorded delivery, that is just recommended in case they try and claim they never received them.

I have seen the letters, no problem with them – you have specified your position clearly and at this stage are not committed to proceeding with using them – you cannot be forced to use the if they do not agree to your terms so you just have to wait and see if they do and if they do not – you just find another dentist who is willing to.