New clarity over orthodontic legal and ethical issues

orthodonticsOrthodontic dentists asked to carry out limited aspects of orthodontic treatment have received new clarity over their legal and ethical position.

The article outlines how dentists who carry out interproximal reduction to fit aligners could be compromised if any problems arise further down the line.

‘Internationally this has been a growing concern with dentists being asked by companies to undertake limited aspects of the treatment plan provided to the patient, including IPR and initial fitting of aligners,’ Yvonne Shaw, dentolegal adviser at Dental Protection, said.

‘It would not be surprising if the patient held the dentist responsible if problems arise because they would believe that the dentist endorsed the treatment.’


The article goes on to outline the steps dentists who are sub-contracted would need to take to protect themselves.

It says that:

  • A treatment plan should be been drawn up by a registered dental professional with appropriate experience
  • You have valid consent for the treatment – do not assume someone else has obtained the patient’s consent
  • The patient understands all the treatment options, risk and benefits of treatment.

‘This article brings great clarity,’ Richard George, director of external relations for the BOS, said.

‘The dentist who is tempted to sub-contract for a third party, especially an online provider who has never met the patient, is taking a risk.’

The article can be found in the January 2017 edition of Riskwise found here.



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