Failure to Diagnose & Delay in Treatment of Tooth Decay

Evaluate breaches in the standard of care to determine Failure to Diagnose & Delay in Treatment of Tooth Decay

Answer the following questions to find out if the standard of care was followed for your case.

  • With which of the following complaints did the patient present? (Choose all that apply)
    Tooth discoloration
    Sensitivity
    Tooth pain or jaw pain
    Routine dental examination
    Answer unknown
    \Why is this important?
    The usual presenting symptoms of tooth decay include sensitivity, tooth pain, discoloration and in advanced cases, swelling and discharge.
    (2011) 55 EDECNA 1 29-46 (Doc II)

  • Was a medical and dental history obtained from the patient? Why is this important?
    Answer this question
    
A medical and dental history of the patient needs to be obtained in order to assess the patient’s risk of development of dental caries.

    (2011) 55 EDECNA 3 441-452 (Doc I) 



  • Was a complete oral examination performed? Why is this important?
    Answer this question
    
A comprehensive dental examination includes a complete oral examination.

    (2011) 55 EDECNA 3 441-452 (Doc I) 



  • Were any abnormalities noted in the oral examination? Why is this important?
    Answer this question
    
Any abnormality noted on any of the tooth surfaces warrants further tests and appropriate investigation.

    (2011) 55 EDECNA 3 441-452 (Doc I) 



  • Was patient education provided and documented? Why is this important?
    Answer this question
    
Patient education with regard for post-treatment regime is essential and needs to be documented.

    (2007) 100 EALPOM 3 127-134 



  • Did the clinician advise follow-up evaluation? Why is this important?
    Answer this question
    
Follow-up evaluation on a periodic basis is necessary for all patients to diagnose early diseases and prevent further decay.

    (2007) 100 EALPOM 3 127-134 



  • Were oral x-rays performed? Why is this important?
    Answer this question

  • Were there any abnormalities detected in the radiograph? Why is this important?
    Answer this question
    
Any abnormality noted on the radiograph requires appropriate intervention.

    (2011) 55 EDECNA 1 29-46 (Doc II) 



  • Did the radiograph of the affected tooth indicate involvement of dental pulp? Why is this important?
    Answer this question
    
A caries lesion extending into the pulp is considered more troublesome and it requires a more extensive root canal treatment.

    (2011) 55 EDECNA 1 29-46 (Doc II) 



  • How was the tooth treated? Why is this important?
    Answer this question
    
Treatment modalities vary according to the severity of the caries. If the tooth is mobile and unstable then it may need to be removed. In cases where the extent of the decay is less, remineralization may suffice. Documentation of the decay is essential.

    (2000) 28 EJDENT 5 313-318 



  • Was informed consent obtained? Why is this important?
    Answer this question
    
The laws of most states require that the dentist obtain informed consent before providing treatment.

    (2011) 23 EOMSCA 3 475-484 



  • Were the neighbouring teeth assessed for involvement? Why is this important?
    Answer this question
    
Once the tooth with significant damage is treated, the status of the other teeth needs to be assessed to prevent other decays and also to plan the follow-up examination.

    (2007) 100 EALPOM 3 127-134 



  • Were pulp vitality tests performed on the affected tooth? Why is this important?
    Answer this question
    
Once radiographic evidence of pulpal involvement is suspected, it is necessary to understand the vitality of the tooth to plan for further management. 

    (2011) 55 EDECNA 1 29-46 (Doc II)