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Circumstances matter just as much

14 July 2014
When making clinical decisions, all the facts need to be taken into account, even those you might not routinely consider...

A dentist was successfully sued for failing to advise a patient of the loss of taste following a lingual nerve injury during removal of a wisdom tooth.

The patient, who was a chef, argued that his job meant that taste was important to him and a loss of taste was a material risk. The court was likely to find that the dentist should have taken into account the occupation of the patient in deciding the level of warning. The dentist had warned of the risk of lingual numbness but not the loss of taste. The case was settled for a small sum of money.

Learning point:
Make your warning specific both to the patient and to the circumstances in which they present.
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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 Protection members enjoy as part of their subscription. 
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