Dental records are of vast importance to every dental professional. It is not always the number of records that is of importance; sometimes it is the little details that support a course of action.
A dental patient experienced the palatal root of a molar tooth shift into the sinus. This caused sinusitis and subsequent discomfort. They had been sent to the dental practice by an emergency dental service, therefore this was not their usual practice.
“The dentist had an unrecorded conversation with the patient, explaining that the roots were near the antrum, this caused sinusitis and subsequent discomfort“
The dentist had an unrecorded conversation with the patient, explaining that the roots were near the antrum. However, the likelihood would be that asking to transfer over to oral surgery nearby would be denied, with the recommendation that treatment be done in the current practice.
Following the event, the dentist behaved correctly and made an ‘urgent’ referral. Although an appointment was arranged, the individual did not go to it, resulting in further pain and later need for root retrieval.
The dental professional was chastised for failing to follow up on the cancelled appointment. On the other hand, they had no obligation to re-refer the patient because he or she was not their responsibility anymore.
It was concluded that the majority of discomfort was down to the patient failing to attend their scheduled appointment.
The absence of a written entry did not justify the original claim for £5,000 and was reduced to half that amount. Due to the legal expenses, this case ended up costing more than £21,000.
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