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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


MOSCOSO MATUS, Karla  and  SMOK VASQUEZ, Pía. Professional liability claims against dentists. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2015, vol.143, n.3, pp.345-351. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: The frequency and features of malpractice lawsuits against dentists in Chile are not well known. Aim: To determine the magnitude and frequency of professional liability claims against dentists. Material and Methods: A retrospective analysis of the Medical Liability Unit of the Legal Medical Service of Chile database. This public organization deals with most professional liability claims in Chile. Results: Between 2007 and 2012, 3,990 expert opinions about liability of health care professionals were requested. Odontology was the fifth specialty most commonly sued and dentists, the second most frequently sued professionals. Sixty nine percent of cases originated in private clinics, which is coincident with a higher frequency of dentists working in private practice. Most petitioners were adult women and most claims originated from surgical interventions and infections. In 35% of claims against dentists, a violation of Lex Artis was confirmed, compared with 9% of all expert opinions that generated in the unit. Conclusions: Claims against dentists are more common than previously thought and these professionals should adopt preventive measures to avoid them.

Keywords : Dentistry; Legislation, medical; Malpractice.

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