Membership information 1800 509 441
Dentolegal advice 01280 8668

Ask Dental Protection

We receive hundreds of enquires every week, and we publish some of the frequently asked questions on this page.

These may not always provide the complete answer in your own situation, and members are invited to contact us for specific advice.
  • Q
    Does requesting advice affect my annual membership subscription?
    +
    11 December 2017

    tick smallWe actively encourage members to contact us for advice to provide peace of mind and to help prevent a concern or problem escalating.

    tick smallMPS does not use the number of requests for advice as part of its risk assessment of a member. This includes determining their membership subscription.

    tick smallIn exceptional cases, where a request for advice involves facts or circumstances of a highly unusual or unique nature it might trigger a general review of an individual’s risk profile. However, we stress that this would be very unusual.

    So, if you want to discuss a medico-legal issue or need advice on how to prevent a concern or problem escalating, please do let us know - we are only a phone call away.
  • Q
    I am participating in a mouth cancer awareness campaign. Do you have any advice about the screening patients?
    +
    20 September 2017

    Dental Protection has put together a list of top tips for dental teams planning to participate in a mouth cancer awareness campaign.

    Find out more

  • Q
    If I hold a practice open day providing free oral cancer screening, would I be responsible for the patients' dental needs or can I provide just the soft tissue examination and oral cancer advice?
    +
    06 September 2016
    The importance of good communication with members of the public who attend your open day cannot be overestimated. They should be made fully aware of the nature and limitations of the examination which is to take place both verbally and perhaps more usefully in written form.

    Since there are a number of techniques which serve as an adjunct to visual examination, and which may show up an early abnormality, patients should be advised of the scope and limitations of your examination depending on the technique you are proposing to adopt.

    Members of the public who agree to an examination of their mouth should be taken through the consent process before they are examined. They should be reminded of the scope and nature of your examination and whether you will be carrying out a full examination of their teeth and the gingival tissues.

    They should also be made aware at the outset that they may have to provide a medical history as well as a social history which may provide markers for an increased incidence in oral cancer. All this information should be documented in a clinical record for each person you examine. The record should also include personal details such as their name, address, date of birth, etc, together with the results of your examination, which should note both positive and negative findings. The records should be retained in the usual way. If you are using a special examination form this is part of the records and should be retained in the usual way.

    Your duty of care to each person you examine extends to whatever was agreed to be the nature of your examination – hence the importance of defining any limitations at the outset. It would also be desirable to advise patients of the importance of seeing a dentist on a regular basis, especially if they fall into a high risk category.

    In the event of you discovering a suspicious lesion, you will need to discuss with the patient how this should be followed up, stressing stress the importance of referral to a specialist and the need to involve their doctor and also their current dentist (if they have one). A clinical photograph is often helpful to demonstrate the area of concern. In preparation for the open day you should identify the most appropriate referral pathway for your area.
  • Q
    When I am looking to purchase dental practice software, what risk management functionality do I need to look for?
    +
    18 August 2016

    From a risk management perspective, you should look for ease of printing all relevant patient record information, ideally with a single click. Many current computer systems do not easily print out the whole record. It is also important to be able to print out historical information, such as earlier dental charts and periodontal records.

    Many systems currently only print out the most recent chart. As well as the accurate chronological reproducibility of the complete patient record you might also want to consider the ability to print out individual patient treatment plan summaries and pricing that can be offered to the patient to sign at the time of the initial examination.

    In addition the system needs to back up to a remote site to ensure data can be restored following an unexpected system failure or service interruption.