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We often hear about dentist being sued by their patients for a variety of reasons. Whilst patients can cite a few reasons why they sue a dental professional, the two bottom lines why they do this is either they want money from malpractice claims or they are sincerely harmed or hurt because the dentist failed to do his job properly.
As a dental hygienist, you have lighter responsibility and liability as compared to the dentists. However, this does not mean that you can't be sued. Here are a few reasons why a dental hygienist gets sued.
* Failure to keep the medical history of the patient up to date
* Patient injury during the dental procedure
* Essential patient information leak or unable to keep patient privacy and information secure
* Unable to keep a thorough and precise documentation record
* Not observing safety precautions with medically compromised patients
* Neglecting the set standards for infection control
* Practicing dentistry beyond the scope of a dental hygienist's legal duties
* Substandard dental practice
* Failure to provide proper patient care
* Failure to carry out correct coding procedures
* Unable to detect oral pathology or periodontal disease
Of the many reasons why a dental hygienist gets sued by his/her patient, the last one is considered the heaviest. The core part of a dental hygienist's job is to provide excellent patient care. But there are times when you fail to identify and report the oral pathology or periodontal disease of your patient. There are many reasons behind this but the most prevalent is the inability to have a better access to the oral cavity.
As we always say, precision is critical to dentistry. Without the help of precision instruments like Schultz dental loupes plus the challenging environment inside the clinical room, it would be hard for you to detect early signs of oral pathology or periodontal disease. If left unaddressed, these dental problems can post greater risks to the patient's oral health.
As a dental dental hygienist, you are expected to be always attentive to every detail. However, no matter how competent you are as a dental hygienist, there will be instances that you miss some important aspects of your practice most especially if you run into some schedule issues and when the dental office gets toxic.
The never-ending battle with the clock can cause so much stress and can lead to mistakes. It helps to observe due diligence and to make yourself aware of the primary reasons why a dental hygienist gets sued.