Dental patients advised to query indemnity

DENTAL patients are being encouraged to ask their dentist if they have indemnity or insurance cover in a new factsheet produced by the General Dental Council.

The regulator is urging patients to “know their rights” when it comes to pursuing a complaint and getting their money back “if something goes wrong”. It explains how indemnity or insurance cover is a way for dental professionals to ensure patients have a way to claim compensation in such cases.

The factsheet states: “Our advice to patients is that you ask your dentist or dental care professional if they are properly insured, or indemnified for the treatment they are carrying out. Our research shows that the vast majority will have measures in place.”

It goes on to advise patients how to make a complaint and to contact the GDC “if you think the dental professional treating you is a risk to other patients”.

MDDUS head of dental division Aubrey Craig has welcomed patients being given more information about what to expect from their dentist and believes it is further evidence that dentists should be suitably protected and prepared.

He said: “Dentists should ensure they are fully compliant so they can meet their patients’ expectations and needs as well as looking after themselves.

“All dentists should have access to indemnity through their dental defence organisation so they are protected in the event of a claim of clinical negligence.”

He also reminded practices to ensure they have an easy to follow complaints procedure that is clearly visible in the waiting room and on the practice website.