Nine out of Ten Dentists Are Afraid Patients may Sue Them
According to new statistics from Dental Protection, 89% of dentists are afraid of being sued by their patients, and nearly three-quarters of these feel that fear impacts how they treat patients, in what industry professionals have described as “worrying” and an environment that is increasingly challenging for dental professionals.
The starkest statistic found that 98% of dentists who responded to the survey believe they are living in a society that is increasingly litigious in nature, and 77% of dentists feeling more stressed or anxious due to the fear of a court case.
The survey, undertaken by Dental Protection, looked into dental claims, dentolegal issues, which treatments are commonly the target of legal claims and the view of dental professionals on legal claims. According to their research, Dental Protection found that the key areas for legal claims include diagnosing dental caries, periodontal gum disease and root canal treatments.
Dental Protection’s dental director, Raj Ratten, commented that a dentist will end up disadvantaged in their ability to defend allegations if they do not have comprehensive, organised records, complete clinical records and proper consent.
Ratten continues by noting that Dental Protection encourage dentists to explain to their patients the risks, benefits and costs of all treatment options, and make sure their patients are clear about what the procedure is and the expected results.
If a patient is not happy with any aspect of their dental care, Ratten concludes, all dentists should see it as an opportunity to resolve the issue quickly.Join this Discussion