If someone believes that they have suffered as a result of their dentist’s negligence, they are entitled to make a dental negligence compensation claim.
Though it is often viewed as a completely separate profession, dentists are highly skilled medical professionals. In the vast majority of cases they deliver their services with the highest level of competence and professionalism. However, on the rare occasions that something goes wrong, they are subject to the same negligence laws as all other medical professionals.
Dental practice insurance policies
In almost all cases these compensation claims are covered by a dentist’s professional indemnity insurance policy. However, as it stands, it isn’t mandatory for all dentists to have this insurance cover. According to the General Dental Council (GDC) this is something that will change in the very near future. By 2013 it will be an offence for a dental professional to practice without a comprehensive insurance policy.
Following the GDC’s announcement, some legal professionals have been quick to point out other, more important, changes that should be made. One of the areas of concern is the cooperation of insurance companies when it comes to dental compensation claims. Currently, the procedures that the insurance companies follow are seemingly designed to dismiss rather than facilitate claims. This often means that those with genuine dental negligence claims are denied what they’re entitled to.
As well as making it mandatory for all dental practitioners to have adequate professional indemnity insurance, it is also necessary to review the regulation that insurance companies are subject to. If someone has a genuine claim, they should have the full support of the insurance company. Until this happens it’s likely that making insurance mandatory will have very little impact.