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When two tribes go to war

15 July 2014
Clinical judgement will almost always be personal and if another dentist treats your patient, it’s vital to make sure you have the records to prove how and why you make any decision...
A dentist in general practice was given a first-hand experience of overprescribing by a local colleague when one of his regular patients came back to see him after a two-year absence.

When he had last seen the patient two years earlier, routine bitewing radiographs had confirmed only minimal treatment requirements, although the dentist had discussed with the patient the possible need to root-fill the lower left first permanent molar. The patient then decided to seek another opinion elsewhere, whereupon the second dentist carried out an extensive course of restorative treatment.

After experiencing a few problems over the next year or two, the patient decided to return to the original dentist who carried out an examination and took an OPG radiograph. This revealed that 12 posterior crowns had been fitted by the new dentist, who had also root-filled all 12 of these teeth.

Learning Point:
Comprehensive and accurate records would be needed by both dentists to support their clinical judgement if this case ever resulted in a complaint.
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