Pearls of Wisdom 6
Your Protection Society will be able to confirm that:
- In the UK there are more claims against dentists per head of the population than in the USA.
- The largest number relate to the failure to diagnose and treat periodontal disease.
This raises the thorny question about prevention in your practice and more importantly how you might be able to prove that you have adopted a preventive approach to the care that you provide. I suggest that there is an answer to this question by recording as follows:
- You have checked the size and state of your patient’s toothbrush and given corrective advice if necessary.
- You have checked your patient’s toothbrushing methods and given corrective advice, and followed this up at each subsequent visit to ensure that old habits have not returned.
- You have used the last two BPE scores as a teaching aid to show any trends in changing status and given your patient a printout of their records with an explanation of what the numbers mean.
- If there is a score of 3 or more in any sextant you have a full periodontal charting with follow up and this is also given to your patient.
- Advising patients to use just two sizes of interspace brush is neither effective nor efficient. Prepare a Spacemark Dental chart which will be unique for each one. Update the chart if your patient says they can now use a larger size brush in any space.
- Be prepared to sell interdental brushes to your patients at a less price than online or chemists, and record who buys which size and when as a means of checking on usage.
This may sound time consuming, but it should save you hours of time if ever there is a complaint.