3 Dental Mistakes That Could Result In A Lawsuit
No one wants to go into the dentist's office thinking that they're going to leave worse than when they came in. Likewise, no dentist wants to willingly do harm to a patient. However, problems do occur. Many of these problems can result in a lawsuit. There are a few common mistakes that a dentist can make that might result in a lawsuit.
Failure To Advise Staff
When dentists fail to advise their staff regarding medical issues regarding their patients, then the potential for a lawsuit grows and grows. This is usually the case when it comes to documentation.
Complete, consistent and accurate documentation must be made available to your staff at all times and it is imperative that it is made available to you, as well. Make sure that your lobby staff understands that patients must have all of their paperwork properly filled out and that their medical records are up to date. This does not merely include dental records from other dentists, but medical records from physicians or surgeons that are pertinent to dental work, as well.
Poor Chairside Manner
It is difficult to believe, but a lack of chairside manner can eventually lead to a patient filing a lawsuit against a dentist. The fact of the matter is, patients who are treated with respect and dignity are far less likely to file a lawsuit if something "bad" happens. Even when quality care is delivered, patients who are frequently treated badly, by being ignored or being given attitude by either the dentist or staff, are far more likely to pursue legal action if something does happen to go wrong. A good relationship between the dentist and patient can curb this behavior and both parties can generally amicably resolve any issues that may have otherwise ended in litigious behavior.
Failure To Refer
A good dentist knows the limits of their abilities and should be able to tell a patient when they have reached the maximum amount of quality care in the hands of the dentist in question. This means that if a patient requires a procedure that is beyond the ability of the dentist at hand, the dentist should refer the patient to a dentist who will better be able to proficiently help the patient with his or her dental problem. Failure to refer in such a manner can lead to a lawsuit.
There is a lot of ground for litigious action in the world of dentistry and dental hygiene. However, it is usually best if both parties of the dentist and the patient can resolve the issue amicably. If you feel like you have been mistreated by a dentist, contact a medical malpractice lawyer to see if you have a case. Contact a provider, such as R.J. Marzella & Associates, P.C., for more information.