Dental abuse also known as dental neglect is the intentional abuse of position and failure by the necessary parents, guardians and dental professionals to carry out the needed dental check-up or treatment to the required standards without causing the patient unneeded pain, infection or procedures. All medical professionals including dentists and dental assistants are required to take the ‘Hippocratic Oath’ where they need to swear that they will do everything that is in their patient best interest, however, if they fail to do so either by negligence or bad will they will be faced by legal scrutiny.
What to do in such situations
Dental Abuse can be in many forms, it can be unnecessary procedures that cause unneeded pain and trauma for the patient or are used to exploit the patients for monetary gain. It can also include lack of or inadequate use of anesthesia and other physical abuse on other parts of the body apart as well as inside and outside the mouth. Dental abuse affects all age groups of people from the elderly in what is known as geriatric abuse to children to vulnerable disabled people.
- If you feel like anything is wrong you should speak to the family member affected for an account of what has happened to them.
- Next, you should visit another dental professional not involved in the alleged dental abuse to get a professional opinion if anything has occurred.
- If the dental professional tells you that they have reason to believe that dental abuse has occurred you should report it to the police and also to the governing body or society of dentists in your country who will also investigate the matter and potentially revoke their license if they are found guilty.
- You can also consult experienced lawyers about the possibility of suing for financial compensation for the injuries of the victim.
Dental Abuse can occur to anyone, so it is important to act on it if you see any potential signs to prevent any further abuse being committed towards the victim or any other individuals.