Who Can Be Held Legally Responsible for a Dental Assistant Actions


The applicant was a 45-year-old network technician for a telephone company who had been continuously cared for by his general dentist from 1975 to 1995. The plaintiff was docile and conscientious about his oral hygiene and followed all the dental advice of the dentist-defendant: that is, if the plaintiff was informed that he needed restorations, he had them performed; When he was told he needed root canal treatment, he let him do it; When he was told he needed a bridge, he let him do it. As I mentioned earlier, only about 12% of dental assistants in the country currently have an EDA. Assistants who maintain their CDA are dedicated, educated, and passionate about their careers. In most cases, it is not necessary to be an EDA, but all employers know that the CDA is a national standard of excellence in dental assisting. Having a CDA behind your name is what sets you apart. And don`t think just because you`ve taken and passed the CDA exam doesn`t mean you have to keep that certification up to date. Each year, you must maintain this excellence by obtaining the 12 continuing education credits required to renew your CDA. If you don`t, you`re not an ADC. In addition, we must record a patient`s refusal to follow the recommendations.

Periodontal problems are a recurring area of patient neglect. Good dental procedures are often hindered by: Teamwork is extremely important in a dental practice. The letters of the word team mean, “Together, everyone accomplishes more.” Dental assistants should offer to do the work of an absent colleague and should be willing to assist their colleagues when other tasks are performed. If there are several assistants in an office, each should be able and willing to replace the others in case of emergency. Transfers through negligence are not limited to transfers in absentia. Multi-specialty practices, husband-wife partnership practices, and even mobile specialists working out of a general dental practice have all been prosecuted. If your practice falls into one of these categories, you should be aware of the risks and responsibility of each. Vicarious or superior defendant liability is the legal liability that arises when one party is responsible for the actions of another party.

As a dentist, your position of authority is conditional. These chains include the actions of dentists, staff, and auxiliary partners under your direction (even if they have their own licenses). In short, it applies to anyone who negotiates with the unspoken authority of your business entity. QUESTION: While I was caring for a long-term patient, I gave her another patient I had treated earlier today. I mentioned the patient`s name and the fact that she had just been diagnosed with cancer and was going through a terrible divorce. To my horror, the long-time patient announced that this patient was her sister-in-law! I do not quite understand our responsibility as dental hygienists. Do I have to take out my own professional liability insurance outside of my employer`s coverage? Please advise you! Everything that is said or done in the dental office must remain confidential. Dental assistants have access to a variety of personal and financial information about their patients. This information must be kept strictly confidential and must not be discussed with others (Figure 2-3). Breaches of confidentiality can result in prosecution of all parties involved.

Ethics deals with moral behavior (right and wrong, “good” and “evil” behavior). Ethics include values, high standards of conduct and personal commitments in dealing with other professionals and patients. There are very few absolutes and many grey areas in terms of ethics. Ethical issues are subject to the individual interpretation of the right or wrong of certain situations. Behavior can be unethical and always legal, but it cannot be illegal and always ethical. The responsibility of the dentist is influenced in some way by the classification of the job. The actions of an employed dentist are more likely to result in vicarious liability. However, independent contractor status does not create an impenetrable shield.

The typical test for determining the liability relationship of the parties is whether the employer retains the right to control the schedule, the manner in which the work is performed by the employee. In the dental community, the courts will consider whether the owner provided fully equipped office and support staff, made appointments and assigned patients to dentists, set fees, and performed billing and collection.3 As described in the majority of independent contractor relationships, owners should be aware of the likelihood of vicarious liability in relations between employees and independent contractors. be. 4. Spend an extra five minutes recording bad or unexpected results. Don`t rush into your charts. If time is an issue, check the chart at the end of the day if you don`t have any distractions. This gives you time to gather your thoughts and record certain appointments thoroughly and accurately, especially with these “unusual” patients. Appropriate clothing involves wearing clothing appropriate to the type of position in which you work. Regardless of the type of professional clothing, it should be clean, wrinkle-free and worn over appropriate underwear (Figure 2-2).

In any position in a dental office, excessive makeup and jewelry are not considered appropriate for a professional appearance. Infection control requirements should also be considered when selecting clinical clothing and jewellery (see Chapters 7 and 8). Laws affecting the practice of dental hygiene come from several sources. Legislators create laws, called dental practice laws. These laws define our field of activity and determine the qualification of hygienists. In addition, state licensing authorities issue regulations under these regulations. Finally, federal and state court decisions affect the practice of dental hygiene. All dental hygienists must be familiar with their state`s law of practice and explicitly follow the rules and regulations.

RELATED | The 11 Commandments of Risk Management for Dentists Patients, employees and employers appreciate the dental assistant who has a good attitude. It`s important to show a willingness to get along by avoiding criticism of others, showing appreciation for what others have done, and being willing to get involved and help. The dental office can be a stressful place for patients and staff, so it`s important to maintain a positive attitude. I believe that one day dental assistants will be held to minimum standards, and I believe that DANB CDA certification will be the standard of excellence that states will pay attention to. Many states that currently require infection control or radiology permits already use DANB as a point of contact, and I believe other states will do the same. The dental card is a legal document and the first line of defense in a malpractice lawsuit. When a patient decides to sue a dentist, the dental card becomes the only and most important piece of information regarding the lawsuit. The applicant was a 55-year-old teacher who had been treated almost continuously by a general dentist in Florida from 1963 to 1995. During her 32 years of treatment by the defendant, the plaintiff diligently and almost religiously returned to practice for periodic prophylaxis. These cleanings were carried out by the defendant and not by a dental hygienist.


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