Patient Safety Practices in Dentistry: A Review

Dental literature reports have indicated the maximum number of deaths occurring due to negligence in clinical practice. Patient safety in today’s practice is one of the most important roles for dentists. There must be the development of multi-professional curriculum guide for patient safety monitoring. For patient safety, adequate communication must be among treating dentists,clinical staff, patients, and their families. Everyone plays an important role in creating a patient safety culture in a clinical environment. Safety culture can be developed by implementing qualities of leadership, commitment, routine audits and risk assessment of hazards, safe practices, continuing educational activities for staff and patients, proper accounting.
Key words: Curriculum, Death, Dentists, Implementing, Risk


Dentists handle dangerous drugs and use advanced technical appliances (e.g. lasers, electrocautery, ionizing radiation) cause serious harm. Dentists and dental assistants come into contact with blood and body fluids that can transmit infectious diseases. Promotion of patient safety is an
ethical obligation in any health care profession. Hippocratic principle promotes the principle “Primum Non Nocere”(first, do no harm). Minimize danger inherent in treatment and avoid the occurrence of any possible complications.
Any dental care in which all possible risk factors can be controlled represents highest-quality dental care, and there is a clear relationship between the quality of treatment and the success of outcomes.1 Quality assurance/improvement provide better legal security for dental practitioners.
Safety of patient and henceforth practitioner are correlated.Continuous investigations are prevailing regarding particular knowledge pertaining to accidents and complications which are associated with the use of materials, general procedures and clinical facilities.2 It is multifactorial and very complex.The focus must be on the latent risks, way in which clinical information is transmitted between professionals, requirements that staff work excessively long hours and installation of floor warning sensors that becomes slippery when it is wet.3 It is a part of the non-punitive character that patient safety doesn’t seek to punish the guilty.
Methodological Peculiarities
It is of prime importance regarding classification and analysis of adverse events and taking proposed corrective measures.4 Prospective analysis would be identify the potential risks associated with treatment, work organization, appliances or new materials failure mode and effects analysis. Retrospective analysis would be regarding events important with frequency, characteristics, severity(sentinel events), health care error, an accident in office,poorly treated clinical complications.5-10
Root cause analysis considering the organization of labor; the materials and appliances available; patient characteristics; the continuing education of professionals;the transmission and storage of information.11 Preparing a risk map with procedures that practitioners wish to start applying and allows for the implementation of measures to reduce the likelihood of these risks materializing, or, atleast, limit their consequences if they do emerge. Analysis of problems acquired during daily practice, acquired habits, time pressure, haste, inertia, and fatigue