Avoiding Dentists Medical Malpractice Claims

As a dentist, there are many things you can do to avoid a malpractice action against you. The type of patients you decide to take on, your own confidence about the type of work you may be asked to perform, and your actions and demeanor following any surgery or treatment could have a serious financial impact, not to mention that you should always have dentists med mal insurance for just those occasions.

An informed dentist is less likely to make an error

You should never begin any treatment without making sure that you and the patient are on the same page. For example, a patient may claim a member of the office staff told them that you would merely be smoothing out an incisor to hide a small imperfection. Your information may have been to perform a full crown or cap. Always confirm directly with the patient what type of procedure you have planned for that visit.

Know what your comfort level is

If you decide to treat a patient for a procedure that a reasonably competent dentist would have referred to a specialist, you will be held to the same standard of care as the specialist. If you make a mistake that causes injury or serious pain to your patient, and the patient sues, claiming that the same procedure performed by an oral surgeon would have achieved a better result, you may have a difficult time proving otherwise.

Don’t be too aggressive when it comes to collections

Patients often refuse to pay their bills for one of two reasons; either they can’t afford it, or they are unhappy about some aspect of their treatment. If they are unhappy about the result of your work, the minute you commence aggressive collection, they are likely to hire an attorney and sue you for malpractice.

Being a dentist has its rewards as well as its concerns. Don’t be a victim of a dentists med mal suit. Carry proper amounts of insurance, and treat your patients well.

photo credit: John Twohig Photography cc

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