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24 September 2018

A dentist, Dr V, was working in an NHS dental practice and one of his patients was an eight- year-old girl. 

At the first appointment with the child, Dr V discussed with the mother the benefit of placing preventive fissure sealants on her primary molar teeth. She agreed to the treatment and Dr V proceeded to place a composite resin sealant on the lower left first and second primary molar teeth.

The child subsequently went to another dentist who said that no sealant was present, and that there was no clinical indication for the placement of sealants in the child because she had a low caries risk. The child’s mother made a complaint against Dr V, who contacted Dental Protection for support.

We advised Dr V to review the current guidance available on current preventive approaches to dental caries for child patients, including:

These are all valuable resources when considering the preventive management of dental caries. We also assisted Dr V in his response to the complaint, apologising for any oversight in adhering to current guidelines. There was no further action taken by the patient’s mother.

Learning point

The continued awareness of current guidelines is key to avoiding professional criticism.


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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