Membership information 0800 561 9000
Dentolegal advice 0800 561 1010

Contact a dentolegal adviser

Our dentolegal advice service is open to members with urgent queries and dentolegal emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you encounter such an emergency please call 0800 561 1010
Alternatively, members can email us at enquiries@dentalprotection.org or use our contact form to submit a query securely online. One of our expert dentolegal advisers will respond as soon as possible.

In the interests of patient confidentiality, please do not include information in an email that would allow a patient to be identified.

Submit a query online
   

How can we help?

  • Support When You Need It
  • Assistance with Complaints
  • Confidential Counselling Service
  • Risk management material, online learning and publications
  • Regular Magazines & E-Bulletins

Latest Advice Booklets

  • Handling the Media (UK) - May 2018

    Media scrutiny of you and your role within dentistry can put your personal and professional reputation at risk. Where a media query relates to issues that fall within the scope of the benefits of membership, the Dental Protection’s Press Office is on hand to provide expert advice throughout the process.

    Staffed by experienced communications professionals, our Press Office can liaise with reporters on your behalf, deal with enquiries, draft appropriate statements – and aim to correct any inaccuracies in the press, if necessary.

    Early advice from the Press Office can help prevent issues escalating. We advise you to contact your case handler if you have received press interest about an ongoing case or contact the Press Office directly about any other issues.
  • Handling Complaints (UK) - April 2017

    In today's world it is easy to develop a fear of complaints or litigation. No professional likes reading a complaint about themselves or receiving criticism from a patient whether it is valid or not.

    We've produced specific booklets for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

  • Referral to the General Dental Council - November 2016

    This leaflet is specifically written for Dental Protection members who have been notified that the GDC is investigating an issue in relation to their fitness to practise. Any registrant can be investigated  by the GDC, so although the text refers to a dentist, exactly the same advice applies to dental care professionals.

Latest FAQs

  • Q
    Since the tooth whitening regulations have changed, can patients come straight to me now, without the need for that initial visit with the dentist?
    +
    29 March 2018

    The introduction of direct access does not alter the legislation that was introduced in 2013 to allow tooth whitening to be undertaken using material that releases up to 6% hydrogen peroxide. The Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013 continue to determine the legality of providing tooth whitening in dental practice. They state that products may only be sold to dental practitioners and that the first cycle of use must be by dental practitioners or under their direct supervision- ie. that a dentist should be on the premises when the first treatment is carried out.

    Dental hygienists and therapists would therefore need to work to a dentist’s written prescription if tooth whitening is undertaken, using products that contain or release more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide.

    Further details on tooth whitening can be found in Our position statement ‘Bleaching and Tooth Whitening by DCPs’

    Click here to read our briefing document on Direct Access.

  • Q
    Does requesting advice affect my annual membership subscription?
    +
    11 December 2017

    tick smallWe actively encourage members to contact us for advice to provide peace of mind and to help prevent a concern or problem escalating.

    tick smallDental Protection does not use the number of requests for advice as part of its risk assessment of a member. This includes determining their membership subscription.

    tick smallIn exceptional cases, where a request for advice involves facts or circumstances of a highly unusual or unique nature it might trigger a general review of an individual’s risk profile. However, we stress that this would be very unusual.

    So, if you want to discuss a dentolegal issue or need advice on how to prevent a concern or problem escalating, please do let us know - we are only a phone call away.
  • Q
    I use a shade-taking device, linked to my phone, to communicate with the laboratory when making dental crowns. How can I comply with my Data Protection obligations?
    +
    14 February 2017

    Digital technology can make life easier for the dental professional provided basic steps are taken to allow for data protection requirements. The image captured in the process of taking the shade of a patient’s tooth is personal data and forms part of their dental record, so before sharing this data with a dental laboratory there must be a registered data controller at the laboratory as well as within the practice.

    The image of the teeth alone will not be easily identifiable; so provided you have sought the patients’ agreement to sharing their data with a dental laboratory in this way, you can go ahead.

    Before sharing the image with the laboratory, it should be uploaded to the patient’s record on the practice computer system prior to deleting the file from your phone. The picture can then be securely emailed from the practice computer with any other details required by the laboratory. The security of the patient data on your practice computer is already subject to the precautions required by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The same legislation applies to the dental technician’s laboratory.

    If you happen to share data with your other devices using the Cloud you will need to turn off this storage system before taking the patient’s picture or eliminate the file from those linked locations.

    Key points

    • Offer the patient this method of shade taking, outlining the process and note the conversation and their consent in the dental records
    • Turn off any online storage system associated with the mobile phone
    • Save the image to the patient’s record on the practice computer
    • Check to see that the laboratory you are using is compliant with the Data Protection Act. ( Advice from Information Commissioner (ICO) below)
    • Email the image to the laboratory in an identifiable anonymised form from the practice computer
    • Delete all original images from your smartphone and any associated shared locations
    • Record your final protocol in a written practice policy.

    The following is taken from the ICO summary following review of dental practice and dated September 2015:

    • Choose a data processor providing sufficient guarantees regarding information security
    • Take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with those measures; and 
    • Have a contract in place, in writing, specifying that:
      • The data processor is to act only on instructions from the data controller; and
      • The data processor must comply with information security measures comparable to those in the DPA.

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