According to J. P. Graskemper, DDS, JD, there are two main reasons patients sue dental professionals:
(1) The patient claims they have been harmed either through treatment or non-treatment.
(2) The patient wants money.
One of the universal problems I saw was the improper documentation of dental charts. The procedure was always there, but a whole lot of information was consistently missing. This made it difficult to review past treatment, diagnostic information and treatment plans.
It’s so common to have a terrifically difficult day and forget the little things that can become big things on another day. These were great reminders to past lessons of my own.
Risk management in a dental setting can be of great benefit for little expense. It’s easy to educate a staff to promptly identify and investigate problem situations. Recognizing the need for good documentation and identification of problems can help you avoid claims and lawsuits. While these techniques will not always prevent a claim, they will provide the best defenses to claims.