New TDIC seminar addresses nerve injury risks

Seminar debuts at CDA Presents, online course available

The Dentists Insurance Company uses claims experience to identify trends and to determine areas in which policyholders could benefit from risk management advice. In a recent five-year claims analysis from 2012 through 2017, TDIC’s experience revealed that nerve injury claims resulting from extraction, endodontic treatment, implant placement and other invasive procedures rated among the highest in severity and frequency.

Poor documentation, lack of informed consent, failure to immediately disclose to a patient that an unexpected treatment outcome occurred and failure to immediately refer the patient to a specialist were some of the common trends noted in the analysis, the results of which formed the basis for a new TDIC seminar “Pain and Perception: Reducing Nerve Injury Risks.” The seminar will launch at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco in September, and the course is available online at tdicinsurance.com/eLearning. Other live seminars will also be offered starting in September.

How a dentist handles interactions with patients who experience prolonged numbness following dental procedures can affect the outcome of a claim. When patients know the dentist cares, they are more likely to keep a favorable attitude toward an otherwise unfavorable situation. Additionally, the patient chart can be the best tool a dentist has to protect against malpractice claims and licensing agency investigations, said Taiba Solaiman, TDIC senior risk management analyst.

“Poor record-keeping can hinder the defense of dentists,” she said.

Solaiman offers the following tips for handling an unexpected treatment outcome that occurs during the course of dental treatment:

  • Promptly explain to the patient what has happened and your recommendation for treatment.
  • Express genuine sympathy to the patient. This will help diffuse an emotional situation.
  • Take immediate steps to resolve the situation. The time it takes a dentist to engage in a proactive response is priceless in comparison to the cost a lawsuit can have on the dentist and the practice and will help sustain the doctor-patient relationship.

The TDIC seminar “Pain and Perception: Reducing Nerve Injury Risks” provides these tips and other information to help dentists learn more about decreasing their practice’s risks. The entire dental team can attend the seminar at CDA Presents in San Francisco from 9 a.m. to noon or 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, and Friday, Sept. 7. Or they can register to take the online seminar.

TDIC policyholders who complete a seminar or eLearning option will receive a two-year, 5 percent Professional Liability premium discount effective on their next policy renewal. The course also qualifies for 3 C.E. units.

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More than 150 lectures and workshops for dentists and their teams are lined up for CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry Sept. 6-8 in San Francisco. Nearly all courses are eligible for C.E. credit and span topics in clinical care, practice management and beyond. Highlighted here are just a few expert speakers and their courses.