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Dentolegal advice 0800 561 1010

Why choose Dental Protection?

We have more than 64,000 dental members in the UK 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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Common dentolegal queries

  • Q
    I run an implant referral practice and dentists sometimes ask if I will place implants for them so they can supply a coronal restoration. How should I deal with failures when the responsibility is shared?
    04 August 2015

    UK dentists who place and restore implants are expected to follow the training pathways recommended by the General Dental Council and the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK). When more than one clinician is involved in providing implant treatment, it is important that there is the ‘team leader’ with overall responsibility for the treatment, and that both clinicians can work together, complementing each other’s skills.

    Implants can and do fail, and the criteria for reimbursing or compensating the patient depend on many factors, such as the discussion during the consent process, the standard of care and the length of time the implant was viable. Other factors such as patient co-operation and subsequent treatment by the referring general dental practitioner may also be relevant. Any subsequent failure might involve both the original placement of the implant as well as the restorative element.

    Ideally there should be a good working relationship and close liaison between the two clinicians involved, on the understanding that one will be placing the implant and the other placing the restoration. To obtain patient consent there may need to be separate input from the clinician placing the implant as well as the clinician placing the restoration. Once the patient has given their consent, the treatment can be carried out. It would be prudent to advise the patient that the success of implants, like any other aspect of clinical dentistry, cannot always be guaranteed.

    When it comes to the apportionment of responsibility (including fees), this is something which should be discussed and decided between the clinicians involved, without the patient being involved or indeed compromised.

  • Q
    Can you tell me if the dental nurses assisting with sedation in my practice need any particular training?
    28 July 2015

    It is every General Dental Council registrant’s duty to ensure they are competent and have received adequate training for the tasks they are to perform. Dental nurses certainly do need to be trained in sedation to be involved in its administration and all team members need to be fully up to date with their CPR training to deal with emergencies.

    The GDC refers registrants to the Department of Health’s guidance on conscious sedation and says it is important that all registrants intending to be involved with the provision of sedation are conversant with this. The guidance makes reference to suitable monitoring. Another source of relevant information would be the Resuscitation Council.

    It is worth regularly checking the GDC’s website or asking, via the website, to be sent regular email updates. In this way it is possible to keep abreast of all developments at the Council.

  • Q
    I have just seen a new NHS patient with a badly broken down dentition. He was extremely aggressive and rude to both me and the dental nurse and I would prefer not to see him again. Can I refuse to treat him?
    21 July 2015

    The provider holding the contract with the CCG should write and tell the patient that the practice will not tolerate rudeness or aggression from any patient. You may also feel there has been a breakdown in the relationship between yourself and the patient. If you feel it is not right to continue treating the patient, you should say you are ceasing to do so.

    If you have completed the patient’s treatment, then this is relatively simple to achieve and you should tell your staff not to book the patient in again. However, if you are halfway through a course, you should bear in mind what the patient’s current situation is, and you may wish to offer 30 days’ emergency treatment, perhaps provided by someone else in your practice, but tell the patient they should seek out another dentist as quickly as possible. You should also provide the patient with a list of any outstanding treatment.

    The CCG can provide a list of all the locally contracting dentists and it would be helpful to offer the patient their telephone number.

    Aggression and violence from patients is not tolerated by the NHS.

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