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The positive power of complaints

14 July 2014
While it is easy to see complaints as wholly negative, in reality they have a silver lining...

A dentist quoted a patient for a mesio-occlusal amalgam on a right lower first molar. The tooth was actually in a worse state than anticipated and a mesio-occlusal distal filling was provided. The patient was presented with a larger bill than originally quoted and refused to pay the increase.

The treatment plan had used the word ‘quote’ without any qualification. The dentist contacted Dental Protection for advice. General advice was given on this business issue that he would not succeed in getting the increased fee under such circumstances and that he should probably consider a review of the wording in the treatment plan template used to create that document.

He wisely wrote a short apology to the patient before reviewing the wording of all the forms and letters used in the practice.

Learning point:
The complaints received in practice can often be put to good effect by using them as the basis for a review of the system that generated them.
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These case studies are based on real events and provided here as guidance. They do not constitute legal advice but are published to help members better understand how they might deal with certain situations. This is just one of the many benefits dental members enjoy as part of their subscription. 
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