The incidence and nature of complaints against dentists for the treatment of children in Israel from 1992–2011

N. Givol, T. Frenkel, N. Tickotsky, Moti Moskovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: Medical literature lacks information about complaints against dentists who treat children. The present study aimed to evaluate the reports filed to Medical Consultant International (MCI) regarding paediatric dentistry in 1992–2011. Basic research design: Most dentists in Israel (85%) are obliged by their professional liability insurance policy to report adverse events to MCI. Reports were analysed using a structured form that included demographic details of the treating dentist, patients and parents, type of treatment, the result and the dentist’s attitude. MCI dental consultants’ decisions were evaluated by two specialists in paediatric dentistry. Results: The number of complaints per year is increasing. Complaints involved maltreatment (33%), case mismanagement (25%) and complications that required additional treatment (26%). Communication was problematic in 60% of cases. Only 16.7% of complaints developed into an actual lawsuit. Most complaints were against female general practitioners and against dentists who worked in community dental clinics located in peripheral areas. Treating permanent teeth increased to 3.6 times the probability of developing into a lawsuit. 59% of event records had missing data. Seventy-five percent of the cases rose from elective treatments while 25% concerned emergency treatments. One third of the cases required additional treatment in a hospital i.e. abscess drainage, foreign body swallowing or other physical damages. Conclusions: Better case selection and documentation, better training of dentists who treat children and more appropriate attitude toward patients and parents, are likely to reduce the number of complaints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-59
Number of pages4
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© BASCD 2015.


  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • Liability
  • Malpractice
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Risk management


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