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Law and Risk Management in Dental Practice

This book presents all the information practicing dentists need to know to protect themselves, their employees, and their practice in the US judicial system. The reader will learn the proper way to take medical and dental histories, keep patient records, and employ risk management techniques. The text also provides helpful pointers regarding what to do (and what not to do) when sued and how to behave during depositions and while giving testimony in court. Also covered are topics such as contract law; informed consent and informed refusal; the difference between negligence, malpractice, and breach of contract; standards of care; and transfer of liability. Recommended reading for all dental practitioners.

1 Introduction to the Judicial System of the United States
2 The Regulation of Dental Practice
3 The Dentist-Patient Relationship: Contract Law
4 Is It Negligence, Malpractice, or Breach of Contract?
5 Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose: How Long the Patient Has to Sue
6 Experts and the Standards of Care
7 Vicarious Liability and Respondeat Superior
8 Does the Dentist Have to Treat?
9 Consent, Informed Consent, and Informed Refusal
10 Abandonment and Dismissing a Patient
11 Taking the Medical-Dental History
12 Patient Records
13 Trial of a Suit in Malpractice: Res Ipsa Loquitur, Hearsay Evidence, and Contributory Negligence
14 What to Do and What Not to Do If You Are Sued
15 Dentist As Witness
16 Reports on Jury Trials and Disciplinary Proceedings
17 Risk Management in Dental Practice
18 Office Audit Risk Assessment for the General Dentist
19 Insurance
Appendix: Legal Terms with Dental Applications

Customer Reviews

The Gold Standard for Dentists, February 11, 2004
Reviewer: John Winter from Stony Brook, NY United States

In my opinion, Dr. Burton R. Pollack has put together a first rate book to help dentists navigate the often difficult matters of everyday practice risk management. The topics are well presented in a clear understandable fashion. A must read for serious practitioners who wish to educate and guard themselves against potential litigation and other consequences.
John O. Winter, DDS, President
High Volume Dental Consulting, Inc.