Membership information 1800 509 441
Dentolegal advice 01280 8668

Why choose Dental Protection?

We have more than 64,000 dental members in Ireland and internationally
98% of our attendees would strongly recommend our interactive workshops

Benefits of membership

Dental Protection can provide a wide range of benefits throughout your career.
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Free student membership

Join ​us during your student years and pay nothing for your membership.
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Our publications

Did you receive your copy of Riskwise Ireland?
  • Riskwise Ireland - May 2015

    The current edition of Riskwise Ireland, our risk management magazine for dentists practising in Ireland, includes articles about the new series of Horizon lectures, difficult patient interactions, and prescribing responsibly. 

    Members can read the current edition and browse through a library of our publications on Prism, our E-learning platform, or download a copy below.

Common queries

  • Q
    How should I respond to a negative comment about me that has appeared on a review website?
    16 October 2015

    An adverse comment placed on a website, be it (or similar) or the practice’s own website, can be upsetting, especially as it sits in the public domain for anyone to see.

    With regard to an adverse post left on a review website, most such websites have the advantage of allowing the practice to post a response. Whilst there is no requirement to respond to website posts, indeed it would be inappropriate to respond to a complaint in this way, and it is advisable that a practice responds to such posts with a simple acknowledgement of the comments made and an invitation to the patient to make contact with a named person to discuss their concerns ​directly. This reassures both the patient who made the post and any other patients, potential patients and any others reading it that the practice takes patient feedback seriously and is keen to learn from patient experiences and to improve the service they offer. A suggested response is:

    Dear [name],
    I am sorry to read your comments posted on the website on [date] and to learn that you are unhappy with the service you received from the practice.

    We value patient feedback and welcome the opportunity to investigate and respond to any concerns. I would invite you to contact [named person] so we can fully investigate your concerns.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Yours sincerely

    Many practices have protocols for routinely reviewing website posts and see them as an opportunity to improve services. Some practitioners also wish to thank those who have left positive feedback.

    A similar approach could be taken to comments placed on practice owned websites which have facilities for this, and sites such as Facebook. Practitioners could also consider inviting satisfied patients to leave positive reviews. These may be helpful in themselves and can also have the effect of balancing out and indeed outweighing any negative comments.

  • Q
    I find the advice that you offer over the phone useful and it supports my professional practice. However, I have heard that you may increase my subscription as a result of my calling for advice as you will perceive me as 'high risk'. Is this true?
    07 August 2015

    If you have concerns about, or need help dealing with a complaint, please contact us for advice to provide peace of mind and to help prevent a concern or problem escalating. MPS does not, and never has, used the number of telephone calls from members seeking advice as part of its risk assessment of a member. The number of advice calls does not have any impact on the subscription rate that you are asked to pay.

    Our approach to risk carefully balances the needs of individual members with those of the whole membership. Our aim is to identify risk early and to alert members when their risk profile differs from that of their peers. This ensures that we can provide the right support as early as possible to reduce their future risk profile. We are well aware of the potential impact on our member’s career if they are deemed a significant risk. Whilst we indicate the nature of our concerns to individual members and try and work with them to reduce their risk, this may not always be possible.

    Our focus is on protecting and supporting the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. We believe that the interests of the majority of members should not be compromised by a very small minority. Those who have received a comparatively high volume of claims or other matters by comparison to their peers can adversely affect the mutual fund.

  • Q
    Do I need to take a new medical history every time I examine a patient?
    07 July 2015

    In practical terms it is good policy to take a full medical history every time a patient is examined and the use of a medical history form provides an excellent way of recording this information.

    It is important, however, that the patient is not left to complete the medical history form; whoever is carrying out the examination should go through all the questions with the patient to ensure they fully understand them or indeed can actually read.

    Such questioning should obviously be carried out in a manner that ensures patient confidentiality. If a practice wishes to become paperless, the medical history form can be scanned onto the computer. The hard copies should then be be shredded or incinerated.

    When a patient attends for an appointment as part of a course of treatment, it is always worth checking to ensure they have not started on any medication or have suffered any relevant illnesses since their last visit. Some practices encourage patients to volunteer such information by placing a sign in the waiting room requesting patients to inform their dentist of these types of changes.

    Taking a full medical history at each examination can be onerous, but it is certainly worthwhile both to protect the patient and the dentist’s own position. Having a written record of the patient’s medical history, signed by the patient, often affords protection to the dentist – particularly if an allegation is made that he or she had not taken the patient’s medical history into consideration when carrying out treatment, which subsequently resulted in the patient being avoidably harmed.

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