Dental practitioners must be on the lookout for more than just tooth decay and gum disease. Abusive treatment can and does happen at dentist offices all over the world and practice owners must make a conscious effort to watch over more than just their bottom line.
The best way to ensure patients are not mistreated is to take proactive measures to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Stopping Mistreatment Before it Begins
Here are some ways dentists can create an office atmosphere free of abusive treatment.
Abusive treatment rarely happens right in front of the watchful eye of parents. By creating a viewing area, parents and guardians can watch their child’s procedure in real time. And by letting parents accommodate their children into the treatment room, they’re able to monitor things even more closely.
Abusive treatment can happen when a dental professional is not adequately trained to deal with a child who might be difficult and uncooperative. Offices that treat a good many children should employ dentists and dental assistants that are trained and experienced in working with young children.
Not all abusive treatment comes with malicious intent. Young children have small and delicate mouths and regular size dental instruments can be more difficult to use, leading to accidental injuries or damage to teeth or gums. Every office should have a set of smaller instruments designed specifically for kids in order to minimize these risks.
Abusive treatment isn’t limited to the physical health of patients. Medicaid abuse is very real and happens when dentists perform unnecessary procedures for the sole purpose of inflating their billables. All proposed procedures should first be discussed in detail with parents or guardians. This site lists some things that can be done to prevent abusive billing practices by administrative employees.
The Kool Smiles Way
Patient satisfaction is serious business for Kool Smiles, a dental service provider with more than 120 office locations. The company performs hundreds of follow-up surveys every month to gather feedback about their patients’ experiences and every person who files a complaint is personally contacted by the Patient Satisfaction Team. The result of these efforts is that only one out of every 10,000 appointments results in a clinical complaint.