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today AEEDC Dubai 2016

science & practice 19 AEEDC Dubai 2016 PRINT DIGITAL EDUCATION EVENTS The DTI publishing group is composed of the world’s leading dental trade publishers that reach more than 650,000 dentists in more than 90 countries. course,ifanerveisdamaged,there needs to be a settlement of some kind, but if a bridge fails, for exam- ple,insteadoffilingchargesthepa- tient will return for further treat- ment if there is a solid, trust-based relationship. Time, communication, trust— what else is important when it comes to preventing malprac- tice? One more basic rule every den- tist should follow is adhering to evidence-based dentistry. This means not performing a certain treatment just because in the den- tist’s experience it is considered to be right. External scientific evi- dence should be implemented. Also, every single finding should be taken into account in determin- ing how to treat the individual pa- tient: diagnosis, radiographs, peri- odontal analyses, age, health sta- tus,literatureandsoon.Neglecting these related aspects can very likely lead to misconduct. Do you see basic problems in dentistry that need to change? Nowadays, we face the problem of “cheap” dentistry. Owing to the amount of competition with the large number of dentists in the market, there are many cases of overtreatment. Cheap dentistry needs to be fast, yet I have docu- mented cases in which patients have returned for retreatment of a simple problem up to 70 times in two years. If you add up the time thosepatientsinvestonlytohavea poor outcome, it is striking. How- ever,itisnotpossiblefortheretobe elite dental practices solely. For le- gal purposes, dental treatment doesnotneedtobeexquisite,butit has to be reasonable. Maybe it is a problem of today that patients have increasing expectations regarding the service or technologies their dentist should be using. That is certainly part of the same problem. Advertising that promises people a new Hollywood smile in 2 hours forms the basis of patients’beliefsorexpectationsre- gardingtreatment.Dentistsshould not be tempted to involve them- selves in this kind of misguided pressure. Honest communication is key when aiming to avoid disap- pointing patients. Measures to prevent malprac- ticeshouldbeginasearlyaspos- sible, but where should preven- tion start? Personally, I think legal regula- tion should be extended, such as specific laws or by-laws concern- ing the amount of experience and training, for example, required in order to perform certain proce- dures.Basically,itisjustwhatcom- mon sense calls for and everybody will agree with if they think about it: should one be allowed to place an implant after attending a speak- ers’ corner talk or looking over a colleague’sshoulder?No,yetthisis often what happens. A second measure could focus on undergraduate education. Den- tal schools should devote more timetopreventionoflawsuits.This aspect is neglected in the curricu- lum,althoughitisanessentialpart of dentistry. General awareness of the subject needs to be raised and this alone would help prevent mis- takes.AsIsaidearlier,mistakesare not always avoidable, but they should at least not arise out of neg- ligence, hubris or greed. Apart from that, there will always be cases of medical malpractice. Den- tists are humans too; only he who doesnothingmakesnomistakesat all. Thankyouverymuchforthein- terview. Bilateral mental and labial paraesthesia in a 62-year-old female patient due to bilateral mandibular canal perforation. (© Dr Andy Wolff)

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