Select location
Membership information
0800 561 9000
Dentolegal advice
0800 561 1010
Menu
Refine my search

By not extracting, are you under-prescribing?

Post date: 15/07/2014 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/11/2018

An experienced oral surgeon received a referral from a general dental practitioner colleague requesting that he remove a painful and impacted lower right third molar....

Radiographs supplied by the GDP indicated that a surgical approach with bone removal and root division was necessary and the oral surgeon noted that at the time the corresponding lower left third molar was in a similar, if not worse, impacted situation.

As surgery was to be carried out under general anaesthetic at his hospital, the surgeon initially recommended that both be removed at the same time – in accordance with his usual custom in such cases. 

However, mindful of recent guidelines issued by his ‘College of Oral Surgeons’ criticising the extraction of asymptomatic impacted teeth, he wrote to Dental Protection asking if it would be prudent to only remove the one symptomatic tooth and if he did so, could he then be accused of under-prescribing?

The dilemma also brought up consideration of the necessity of a second general anaesthetic with its concomitant risks, as, and inevitably when, the other wisdom tooth became symptomatic and also needed removal.
Practical and ethical

This was a practical as well as ethical dilemma, and one in which Dental Protection was prepared to support the dentist’s clinical opinion, relying on his own expertise and experience.

Learning point:
Every jurisdiction has a standard of duty appropriate to a clinical negligence action. It is important to be aware of the local standards. Interestingly most standards reflect reasonable skill rather than perfection.

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. 
For more detailed advice on any issues, contact us

Share this article

Share
Load more reviews
Rating

You've already submitted a review for this item

|
New site feature tour

Introducing an improved
online experience

You'll notice a few things have changed on our website. After asking our members what they want in an online platform, we've made it easier to access our membership benefits and created a more personalised user experience.

Why not take our quick 60-second tour? We'll show you how it all works and it should only take a minute.

Take the tour Continue to site

Dentolegal advice
0800 561 1010
Membership information
0800 561 9000

Key contact details

Should you need to contact us, our phone numbers are always visible.

Personalise your search

We'll save your profession in the "I am a..." dropdown filter for next time.

Tour completed

Now you've seen all of the updated features, it's time for you to try them out.

Continue to site
Take again