<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 27, Issue 1, March 2019

Rom J Leg Med27(1)57-64(2019)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

Ethical and legal aspects in periodontal disease diagnosis and therapy

I. Voinescu, D. Ferechide, C. M. Cristache, L. Burlibasa, M. Burlibasa

Abstract: Despite of its large widespread, there are few studies addressing the ethical and legal aspects of diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. The aim of the present literature review was to give an up-to date on the ethical aspects and legal concerns regarding the diagnosis and the treatment of periodontal conditions. Methods. Pubmed/MEDLINE and Embase/SCOPUS databases have been assessed for articles in English language focusing on the following features: ethical and legal aspects regarding early diagnosis, referral, shaking patient collaboration, noninvasive vs invasive treatments, teeth extraction and implants insertion. Results. Fourteen papers were critically assessed and corroborated with the conceptual changes occurred in the last years concerning periodontal disease prevention and management. Conclusions. Attentive intra-oral examination and assessment of general conditions, good record keeping, including a complete periodontal chart and intraoral radiograph, are essential requirements from a medico-legal perspective and part of the standard of care for the patients with diagnosis of periodontitis. For a successful treatment and maintenance, patient need to be correctly informed and should act as co-therapist in preventing and managing periodontal disease and shall be aware that periodontal treatment lasts forever. Minimally invasive nonsurgical approach is preferred for probing depth of less than 6 mm and the patient needs to be adequately informed and sign the consent form before any treatment. Teeth extraction cannot be avoided in certain cases. To avert any litigation, dental implants insertion is recommended after pre-operative periodontal stabilization and acknowledge of the potential risks of failure caused by peri-implantitis.
Keywords: periodontal diseases, malpractice, litigation, standard of care.

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