European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 188–194 | Cite as

Common mistakes, negligence and legal offences in paediatric dentistry: a self-report

  • M. AshkenaziEmail author
  • E. Bijaoui
  • S. Blumer
  • M. Gordon


AIM: To identify the type and relative prevalence of mistakes, negligence and legal offences (MNLOs) performed or nearly performed by paediatric dentists during their entire career. METHODS: The population consisted of 25 (29.4%) certified and 48 (56.5%) non-certified paediatric dentists, and 12 (14.1%) residents in paediatric dentistry. A structured anonymous questionnaire accessed occupational characteristics and frequencies of MNLOs (0, 1–4, 5–10, >10). RESULTS: The most prevalent MNLOs related to the performance of radiographs: bite-wings with overlapping teeth (90%), overturned film (30%), film over-exposure (48%), faulty film development (84%) and exposure of the same side of film twice (32%). Other MNLOs were drilling an intact tooth (37%), misdiagnosing existing radiographic caries (63%), anaesthetising the wrong tooth (49%), accidental incision of the cheek/lips during treatment (73%), administering an incorrect dose of antibiotic (49%) or analgesics (24%), extracting the wrong tooth (15%), documenting the wrong tooth in the patient’s file (63%), and a child swallowing an instrument (33%) or clasp (15%). Prevalent MNLOs included administering sedation to a child who had not fasted (32%), sedating without monitoring (9%), treating children without receiving signed parental consent (15%) and losing a radiograph (64%). CONCLUSIONS: MNLOs occur commonly during various operative dental treatments. Means to raise awareness and to implement regulations should be addressed to limit these mistakes.


Errors prevention care operative treatment anamnesis documentation 


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Copyright information

© European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ashkenazi
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Bijaoui
    • 2
  • S. Blumer
    • 3
  • M. Gordon
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Paediatric DentistryTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Tel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Paediatric Dentistry, The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  4. 4.Department of Oral Rehabilitation, The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  5. 5.Ministry of HealthHaifaIsrael

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