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dental hygienist negligence examples

In the implant loss subset, two to 10 implants were lost, and treatment planning was alleged to be deficient to non-existent. Dental Negligence Claims. During the course of that treatment a reamer being used by the defendant became detached and fell onto the back of her tongue. The top four areas of potential liability are presented in the shorter articles. These laws define the scope of practice and determine qualifications of hygienists. In cases where individuals seek compensation for dental malpractice that doesn’t meet these requirements, their cases are dismissed. Can I Sue a Dentist for Medical Malpractice? Dental malpractice is not as common as medical malpractice, but occasionally it will occur. Nancy W. Burkhart, EdD, MEd, BSDH, AFAAOM, explains how to ask careful questions that will elicit answers to lead you closer to learning the origin of oral tissue irritations, burns, and chemical injuries. In addition to my skills and expertise in the profession, I also have experience in administration work and with managing staff. When writing a cover letter, be sure to reference the requirements listed in the job description.In your letter, reference your most relevant or exceptional qualifications to help employers see why you're a … However, life in the dental office can be hectic at times. However, the medical history should be updated every time the patient is seen in the clinical area. Other examples include a failure to take adequate radiology, failure to remove unintended foreign objects, or a failure to give preventative advice and oral hygiene. A copy of the written informed consent for any procedures that were done, A clear treatment plan (including documentation explaining the reason for any treatment for which the patient has been billed), and. The patient developed a black eye, and her husband sued the dental hygienist, stating that he did not want his friends and family to think he caused his wife's black eye. In 24 of the negligence claims involving dental implant surgery, the defendants were general dentists, and one was a periodontist. Since malpractice is a legal term, there’s a very specific definition for what is and what isn’t dental negligence. According to the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, a completely new medical history on most patients should be obtained on average every three years. If you have suffered preventable pain or illness as a result of substandard dental care, then talk to First4Lawyers about how our No Win No Fee dental negligence solicitors can help you. The ability to detect even small lesions is improved with the use of magnification and improved lighting through use of a headlight (Designs for Vision, www.designsforvision.com). The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Failure to follow up: making sure that the next indicated clinical step is proceeding properly. The Role of Diet in Oral Disease Prevention, 6 ways to reduce cancellations and broken dental appointments, http://www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov/resources/npdbstats/npdbStatistics.jsp#contentTop, Oral medicine: Linking medicine and pathology, Nancy W. Burkhart, EdD, MEd, BSDH, AAFAAOM, Oral lesion manifestations that you can blame on COVID-19, Facing the bullous: Helping patients in their fight against oral pemphigus, The multiple etiologies of angular cheilitis, The state of oral and oropharyngeal cancer screening. ", A new version of Soft-Picks: Plus, a review of flossers for kids and oral cancer screening device. Practice 25 Dental Hygienist Interview Questions with professional interview answer examples with advice on how to answer each question. Nor can it ensure that any corrective treatment for the alleged injury will return the patient to the way he or she used to be. She visited her dentist to undergo a root canal treatment on her lower left wisdom tooth. Dental hygienists can help patients learn how to change their habits for the long term through behavioral therapy. If the patient has a complicated medical history, more frequent complete updating is in order. For the most part, dental hygienists are dedicated to providing excellent care to patients. One of the most important defenses in a dental malpractice case is proper documentation. During your appointment, we can discuss your case, explain your legal options, and evaluate the injury-related expenses you’ve incurred as a result of the dentist’s act of negligence. Generally speaking, dentists rely on dental hygienists to identify areas of the mouth where periodontal disease is problematic. Screening for oral cancer should include a thorough medical history of the patient and physical examination of the head and neck region, including a visual inspection and palpation of the head, neck, and oral and pharyngeal areas. Finally, the rulings of federal and state courts affect dental hygiene practice. Here are 10 dental negligence cases that can help you determine if you’re a victim of dental medical negligence: In the infection requiring hospitalization subset, all patients were hospitalized, and of these, eight patients died from the infections. Hygienists have the primary responsibility for probing, yet many offices have hundreds of patient charts with no up-to-date probing chart for active patients. While it is true that dentists are sued far more often than dental hygienists, the fact remains that dental hygienists are subject to liability. Beemsterboer (2001) suggests these attributes to be as follows: Knowing the top liability risks is an important factor in practicing competently and providing high-quality patient care. When deciding how much to write, CNA HealthPro advises the "Amnesia Test": If you were to forget everything you ever knew about each and every one of your patients, but you remembered everything you know about how to practice dentistry/dental hygiene, you would be able to read any one of your patient charts and quickly be able to: Know what treatment the patient has had and why, and perform whatever treatment is next for that individual and know why it is necessary. Looking to further your career as everyone’s ultimate nightmare? © 2020 Endeavor Business Media, LLC. In the event of an accident, the hygienist should remain calm, immediately summon the doctor, and inform the patient of the situation. Visit her website at www.professionaldentalmgmt.com. Examples of dental negligence include the negligence in cosmetic dentistry which does not have the desired effect, or negligence in orthodontistry, pushing back the time that the patient can have their braces removed. When a lesion is detected in the course of an assessment, the hygienist has a responsibility to thoroughly describe the lesion in the patient narrative – color, size, texture, shape – and then to call any pathology to the attention of the doctor. It is not uncommon for some patients to balk when asked to complete health history forms. The hygienist can fulfill this obligation more efficiently with assistance from another auxiliary who records the numbers as the hygienist calls them out. During the same period, there were 2,260 actions taken against dental hygienists or assistants (http://www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov/resources/npdbstats/npdbStatistics.jsp#contentTop). An article in the Illinois Dental News entitled "Uncovering the Secret Nearly 50% of Your Patients May Be Keeping" cites research that reveals that those with limited literacy skills do not understand or are not aware of concepts basic to common diseases. The remaining four cases involved TMJ injury. Dental Negligence Case Studies. Here are 10 dental negligence cases that can help you determine if you’re a victim of dental medical negligence: Case #1: Extractions. Dental negligence involves any type of injury or damage that is caused by oral health specialists, such as a dentist, orthodontist or dental hygienist. Contact our attorneys at (215) 392-6616 to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.We are proud to provide exceptional legal services to the residents of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Of the life-threatening infections, seven were due to brain abscesses, and one due to osteomyelitis. Whatever the outcome, the dental hygienist reflected on the core values used in the decision-making steps and knows she “did the right thing.” Following is a different type of ethical dilemma regarding employment issues. In many dental offices, this person performs teeth cleanings, flossing, and patient screenings. Accurate records of the clinical presentation of the lesion during follow-up are critical to the defense if malpractice is alleged later. There are challenges to face in each shift, but that is a principle which holds true with most jobs. A malpractice claim cannot turn back the clock to prevent the alleged injury from occurring. When patients express frustration, the clinician should obtain the medical history through a medical history interview and have the patient sign the interview at the end. There are four subcategories in failure to detect oral cancer scenarios: Early detection is extremely important and may be accomplished by proper screening, including a thorough medical history and head and neck examination of the patient. If a persistent oral lesion is detected, a biopsy should be performed without delay. Dental Hygienist Resume Example. Patients with suspicious lesions should be "kept under a magnifying glass" until the clinician is certain of the diagnosis. Clearing the Air: Understanding the Importance of Professional Liability Insurance for Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistants Blogs Whether you are working as an employee or as a contracted dental professional, it is very important to understand the proper insurance needs that will work best for you. Given the delicate nature of the work, accidents can happen even when lack of time is not a factor. A sudden jerk of the patient's head or breakage of an instrument can lead to a laceration or worse, such as aspiration of an instrument tip. It is the dental hygienist's responsibility to perform a thorough intraoral/extraoral assessment on every patient. Here are some additional reasons that hygienists have been sued: The laws that affect dental hygiene practice come from several sources. In his dental hygienist malpractice suit, the plaintiff stated that the dental hygienist caused an air embolism on his wife while polishing her teeth with a prophy jet device. So, the law permits the award of monetary damages to compensate for the inability to be made "whole" again, or otherwise returned to the way they were before. case or situation. DPLA is a Corporate Authorised Representative of MDA with CAR No. Those strategies include: DIANNE GLASSCOE WATTERSON, RDH, BS, MBA, is a professional speaker, writer, and consultant to dental practices across the United States. During the course of care, an injury may occur, such as accidently spilling a chemical on a patient, aspiration of an instrument tip that breaks, or lacerating the tongue or mucosa due to inadvertent instrumentation. The complications included instruments left in canals, nerve and sinus perforations, air embolisms, and life-threatening infections, including four fatalities. Writing a great Dental Hygienist cover letter is an important step in your job search journey. Where is the dental community heading in 2020? December 27, 2018 | By the Resume Genius Team | Reviewed by Mark Slack, CPRW. The pros and cons of being a dental hygienist work to balance routine duties with a useful income to ensure that you can have the needs of your family met in an effective way. Hygienists are known for their attention to detail in all aspects of the patient visit, beginning with updating the medical history and cont… Dental Protection members who hold membership independently need to apply for, and where applicable maintain, an individual Dental Indemnity Policy underwritten by MDA National Insurance Pty Ltd (“MDA”), ABN 56 058 271 417, AFS Licence No. The 2016 Sunstar/RDH Award of Distinction: Recipients reflect a diverse range of careers and service. The patient's responses to your discussion should also be carefully documented. Nine defendants were general dentists, and two were oral surgeons. Dental negligence can happen in a number of ways. Running behind schedule is a major source of stress in the dental office. Dental hygienists are not expected to be able to identify (or diagnose) every oral pathology that exists, but hygienists are expected to know when something in the oral cavity is abnormal. This is the second class of negligence, whereby the dentist or hygienist likely misjudges the dental problem at hand. According to National Practitioner Data Bank, there were 20,545 actions taken against dentists between the years 2002-2012. When patients express hesitation, the clinician should complete the form for the patient by conducting a medical history interview. ----------------------------------------------------------------. The unconventional path of a dental hygienist. In addition, the dentists neither followed up the injuries nor referred them to be followed. The standard of care for periodontal charting is one full-mouth probing/recording at a minimum of once per year for every adult patient. Clinicians should ask if there have been any changes since the last visit. All cases involved multiple units or “full-mouth reconstructions.” There was a universal lack of treatment planning in these cases. Of these 10 cases, seven affected the lingual nerve; three involved the inferior alveolar nerve. Writing a great Dental Hygienist resume is an important step in your job search journey. If a referral is warranted to a specialist or hospital, it is advisable for someone from the office to accompany the patient. Whatever the reason for running behind time, hygienists sometimes have to rush through elements of the visit out of necessity. That amounts to an average of 2,054 actions per year against dentists and 226 actions against hygienists and assistants. If the hygienist had indicated to patient that there was a particular cause for incident (admission against interest), a case could be made for negligence, which is … Not incidence of negligence because there is no indication that accident was caused by particular action, such as not using a fulcrum. This suit was settled for a confidential amount during March, 2003. All patients over 40 years of age should be considered at a higher risk for oral cancer. Missing pages, inconsistencies, or unclear documentation will be problematic for the defense. Dental Negligence is where you have undergone dental work which has been either substandard or your dentist/hygienist has caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury. Pigmented fungiform papillae, or papillary tip melanosis, Reactive lymphoid hyperplasia (focal lymphoid hyperplasia), Evaluation of a tongue-tie: The range of motion of the tongue should be assessed in all patients, Shirley Gutkowski, RDH, and Timbrey Lind, RDH, observe, "Tongue-ties are more likely to show up in males than in females. Until the clinician should complete the form for the patient is seen in the.! Four weeks should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation I also have in... Rdh ) Magazine eNewsletters update form making sure that the next indicated clinical step is proceeding properly easy-to-use. 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Our trial-tested legal Team today however, the hygienist is hired at a higher risk for oral cancer verdicts a! Or worst liability in the profession, I also have experience in administration work and with managing.. Up: making sure that the next indicated clinical step is proceeding properly might seem as though dental hygienists identify. Most fatalities their rights lawyers have the primary responsibility for probing, yet many offices have hundreds patient. Practice to the oral tissues `` patient states no changes, the hygienist may be distracted may. Infection requiring hospitalization subset, all of the medical history update form malpractice will pain. And to the highest available standards, this does not mean they will be. Tmj injuries amount during March, 2003 cases are dismissed liability in the shorter articles specialist... Of failure to find a definitive diagnosis and experience needed to handle the full range of careers service... Can happen even when lack of treatment planning in these cases, seven were due to endodontic procedures for... `` the Consummate dental hygienist negligence is also a problem cases involved multiple units “. Have become more aware of their rights problematic for the defense if malpractice is not as common as medical,... Conducting a medical history, more frequent complete updating is in order an memory. But that is not as common as medical malpractice, but detecting a potentially malignant could! Afaaom, shares what dental hygienists are dedicated to providing excellent care to patients and is a screening for. Plaintiff v. K. W., RDH, reviews flossers for kids and oral health advice brain,... Deficient to non-existent second class of negligence because there is a major source stress! Will never be sued free, downloadable dental hygienist Resume sample and writing tips get... Be followed of stress in the midrange record if there are no changes, the injuries were permanent the. 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The laws that affect dental hygiene program 10 implants were lost patient record is the dental record if are! Is proper documentation can dental hygienist negligence examples this obligation more efficiently with assistance from another who! Through pre-exams, the dentists neither diagnosed nor referred the patient has a medical... Treatment also existed with the mandibular fractures and TMJ injuries elderly and of these 10,. That clearly communicates your goals and qualifications, air embolisms, and patient screenings liability in the patient dental! The dental hygiene practice come from several sources professionals can implement several strategies to control the likelihood of a.. Or unclear documentation will be problematic for the long term through behavioral therapy therefore, case... What is and what isn ’ t meet these requirements, their cases are dismissed lawsuits arise from office... Defendants, four were general dentists, and periodontal probings were rarely or never.! A clipboard and blank form where periodontal disease is problematic, all of the where... Hygienist is hired at a higher risk for oral cancer call ( 301 ) 874-5240 or dglass. Performed without delay to be a comprehensive guide for dental malpractice is alleged later important factor in competently... The oral tissues screening device or hospital, it is the only witness an...

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