The Dallas Morning News conducted a comprehensive test of all states and found that each state has an agency set up for the express purpose of monitoring and recording negligent dentist’s negligent behavior. All agencies get failing grades, however, in terms of uncovering, tracking or making public the records of dentists who have caused patient deaths. A summary of the findings leads the reader to conclude that dentists that injure, maim, and kill their patients are being shielded from full transparency to the public.
The result is that it is very difficult if not impossible to tell if your dentist has been involved in litigation with a patient or if complaints have been registered against them. In addition, there is a complete lack of cooperation between states and that leads to rogue dentists losing a license in one state and just setting up shop in another. Here are just a few of the areas where government agencies that monitor dentists need to do more.
- Arizona, Connecticut, and Rhode Island don’t require dentists to report patient deaths. In addition to those three states, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire do not require a reporting of even nonfatal incidents.
- When reporting an incident states seldom require the disclosure that the incident was treatment-related.
- More than 80% of all states will not release reports of death and or non-fatal incidents.
- Nearly all states fail to maintain a public record of their disciplinary actions against dentists and those that did fail to provide a direct link to the database of disciplinary documents.
State agencies are failing miserably to record, track and report incidents of dental malpractice across the country. Not only is the tracking information difficult to get from one state to another, getting this information by the public is next to impossible. This is leading to incompetent and deadly dentist being able to hop from state to state to practice dentistry after they have severely injured or killed a patient.
Article and Image Credit: Original Dallas Morning News Deadly Denistry Series