Dental checklist of bad practice has patient care at its heart

May 11, 2018, University of Edinburgh
Credit:

Dental experts have drawn up a definitive list of scenarios that patients should never face in a bid to ensure excellent patient care worldwide.

The checklist—which includes failing to note patients' allergies and not screening for mouth cancers during check-ups—is the first international agreement of its type in dentistry. The experts say it could be a major step forward in improving patient wellbeing across the globe.

Monitoring these events will allow clinicians to quickly identify serious errors in procedure and could enable health authorities to monitor dentists' performance, researchers say.

The consensus refers to so-called never events—failures so severe that they should not happen under any circumstances when correct procedures are followed.

Never events for doctors—such as performing surgery on the wrong part of the body or leaving surgical instruments in a patient after an operation—are well-established in medicine.

Until now, the same practice has not been widely used in dentistry, with safety guidelines varying throughout the world.Using electronic questionnaires, researchers led by the University of Edinburgh engaged an international panel of experts to develop a detailed list of never events for dentists.

The agreed list covers routine assessments as well as surgery and includes equipment not being sterilised and dentists prescribing the wrong medication to children.

The consensus is published in the British Dental Journal and was funded by the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT). It was carried out in collaboration with researchers at Cardiff University and King's College London.

Project lead, Professor Aziz Sheikh, Director of the University of Edinburgh's Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, said: "Never events are a vital way to flag failures in procedure that put at risk.

"By listing a consensus position on never events in dentistry, we hope that regulators and professional bodies will be able to assess the frequency of such events and reduce their occurrence."

Professor Raman Bedi, Emeritus Professor at King's College London and former Chief Dental Officer of England, who was involved in the study, said: "Our definitive list of never reflects a collaborative international effort to improve patient safety. We hope the list will improve care for all by creating an environment of openness where all members of the dental team can easily report adverse incidents."

Explore further: Family doctors could better detect child neglect with increased dental health training

More information: E. Ensaldo-Carrasco et al, Developing agreement on never events in primary care dentistry: an international eDelphi study, BDJ (2018). DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2018.351

Related Stories

Family doctors could better detect child neglect with increased dental health training

May 10, 2018
Higher levels of tooth decay are seen in abused or neglected children. Although dental care is free to all children in the UK, many children are not registered with a dentist. This means in the absence of a dentist the family ...

New Zealand dentists pick up the pieces when 'dental tourism' goes bad

April 12, 2018
New Zealand dentists are increasingly having to provide remedial treatment where things have gone wrong for "dental tourists" who travel abroad for dental work.

Patient exposure to X-rays depends on how dentists are paid

January 30, 2018
Dentists' calculation of the benefits vs the risks of X-rays is being distorted by financial incentives.

Mass. panel reviews cataract surgery adverse events, makes recommendations for prevention

November 10, 2017
A team of specialists in anesthesiology, ophthalmology and patient safety convened in response to a series of injuries to patients receiving cataract surgery has reported its findings regarding factors contributing to those ...

Patients more likely to accept robotic dentistry for non-invasive procedures

March 27, 2018
You're waiting to get your teeth cleaned, half-dozing in a chair with your mouth propped open when a robot appears to do the job. Would you be willing to undergo a dental cleaning performed by a robot? How about a root canal? ...

More dentists to discuss risks of HPV-related cancers with their patients

January 10, 2018
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease. While vaccines are helping stop its spread, HPV is still the cause of 72 percent of oropharyngeal cancers, which impact the base of the tongue, ...

Recommended for you

Much-needed new antibiotic shows great promise for treating gum disease

October 23, 2018
A new antibiotic being developed at the University of Virginia School of Medicine appears ideal for battling periodontal disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, according to dental researchers at Virginia Commonwealth ...

Researchers identify immune culprits linked to inflammation and bone loss in gum disease

October 17, 2018
An unhealthy population of microbes in the mouth triggers specialized immune cells that inflame and destroy tissues, leading to the type of bone loss associated with a severe form of gum disease, according to a new study ...

Periodontal disease bacteria may kick-start Alzheimer's

October 4, 2018
Long-term exposure to periodontal disease bacteria causes inflammation and degeneration of brain neurons in mice that is similar to the effects of Alzheimer's disease in humans, according to a new study from researchers at ...

Dental research shows that smoking weakens immune systems

September 26, 2018
As if lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease weren't enough, there's more bad news for cigarette smokers.

Regrowing dental tissue with stem cells from baby teeth

September 11, 2018
Sometimes kids trip and fall, and their teeth take the hit. Nearly half of children suffer some injury to a tooth during childhood. When that trauma affects an immature permanent tooth, it can hinder blood supply and root ...

The starch risk to teeth

August 7, 2018
An examination of research on oral health, commissioned by the World Health Organisation, has indicated that for oral health we should stick to whole grain carbohydrates and avoid processed ones, especially if sweet.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.