Chairman’s Choice: Ever been sued?

Editor’s Note: Dr. Elizabeth Mueller, a pediatric dentist in Cincinnati, is the ODA Annual Session 2018 general chairman. Throughout the year, she will be sharing details on some of her favorite CE programs being offered during the ODA’s 152nd Annual Session, Sept. 13-16, 2018 in Columbus. Here is her third installment.

So far, the answer is NO!  Thirty-seven years of practice and knock on wood. But I have many friends who tell horror stories about crazy patients, crazy parents, crazy employees.  And these are good practitioners!  How can we protect ourselves from frightening and costly litigation?

This year at the ODA Annual Session in Columbus, on Saturday, Sept. 15 we are having a speaker who can help you defend yourself!  Dr. Mitchell Gardiner, an expert dental witness, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine faculty member and practicing dentist from New Jersey, will be giving two presentations. In the morning, you will learn about standard of care.  What is it? Who decides it? Are you doing it? Are you documenting it all? Is it the specialist’s standard or general dentist’s standard? You will also get a refresher on informed consent. What does getting informed consent really entail and are you documenting it correctly?

In the afternoon, Dr. Gardiner will be speaking on malpractice prevention for the dental team.  You will learn in this course how a dental team can save your fanny in a difficult situation.  What the dental team does or doesn’t do, says or doesn’t say and documents in the patient record is a matter of utmost importance in avoidance and defense of litigation.  To get the most out of this class, bring your staff.  Unshared information in your head does not protect you.  Dentistry is a team sport!

Drawing from his firsthand knowledge of real cases in which he has participated, Dr. Gardiner will both frighten and enlighten you.

Don’t just guess about what you need to do; KNOW what you need to do.