AAWD and PPP are teaming up to commemorate Women’s History Month!  While some risks are worth taking, others are not.  During the month, we will highlight women known for taking distinct risks to lead the way in the field of dentistry, while also pointing out some risks that dentists shouldn’t take in their dental office.

A Risk Worth Taking!

On July 1, 2019, Dr. Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch will become the first female dean in the 140-year history of the Indiana University School of Dentistry at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She previously served as associate dean for academic affairs and professor of integrated special care dentistry at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Murdoch-Kinch also served as a clinical professor in the school’s Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Hospital Dentistry.

Murdoch-Kinch received a clinical certificate in dental diagnostic sciences in 1991 and a PhD in 1996 from IUPUI, where her dissertation involved clinical research on gene expression of Crouzon syndrome in families. Murdoch-Kinch also attended the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, and received a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

While some risks are worth taking, others are not…

Cosmetic dentistry is becoming increasingly popular and various treatments are being highly publicized by celebrities in the media.  This encourages many patients to seek the same treatments and achieve a similar result.  While dentists always want to improve their patient’s smiles from an aesthetic perspective, it is important to recognize patients who have unrealistic expectations.  A common red flag of unrealistic expectations is a patient requesting to have teeth that look similar to a specific celebrity.  When a patient has such an exact vision of what they are looking for, it is likely he or she will feel dissatisfied if the end result does not match the vision to a tee.  It is important for dentists to be very clear with what can be accomplished.  If you, as the dentist, feel wary of the patient’s perception of the end result, consider declining to treat or recommending the patient consult with another dentist.  Otherwise, if the patient expresses dissatisfaction with the outcome, you may be in a position to issue a refund for your services to keep the matter from escalating further.

Dentists frequently contact the PPP Risk Management Hotline asking how to handle this same scenario.  The PPP offers this hotline to insured dentists who can have clinical questions such as this addressed with an experienced and licensed dentist.  Having another dentist to consult with and receive advice from offers comfort to a dentist and can help keep a situation from escalating.

For more information on PPP, please visit https://www.protectorplan.com/.