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Complaints about dental practitioners: an analysis of 6 years of complaints about dentists, dental prosthetists, oral health therapists, dental therapists and dental hygienists in Australia

Thomas, L. A., Tibble, H., Too, L. S., Hopcraft, M. S. and Bismark, M. M. 2018, Complaints about dental practitioners: an analysis of 6 years of complaints about dentists, dental prosthetists, oral health therapists, dental therapists and dental hygienists in Australia, Australian dental journal, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 285-293, doi: 10.1111/adj.12625.

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Title Complaints about dental practitioners: an analysis of 6 years of complaints about dentists, dental prosthetists, oral health therapists, dental therapists and dental hygienists in Australia
Author(s) Thomas, L. A.
Tibble, H.
Too, L. S.
Hopcraft, M. S.
Bismark, M. M.
Journal name Australian dental journal
Volume number 63
Issue number 3
Start page 285
End page 293
Total pages 9
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2018-09
ISSN 0045-0421
1834-7819
Keyword(s) Complaints
dental practitioners
dentists
disciplinary action
regulation
risk regulation
Summary BACKGROUND: Previous research has found dental practitioners at elevated risk of complaint compared with other health professions. This study aimed to describe the frequency, nature and risk factors for complaints involving dental practitioners.

METHODS: We assembled a national dataset of complaints about registered health practitioners in Australia between January 2011 and December 2016. We classified complaints into 23 issues across three domains: health, performance and conduct. We compared rates of complaints about dental practitioners and other health practitioners. We used negative binomial regression analysis to identify factors associated with complaints.

RESULTS: Dental practitioners made up 3.5% of health practitioners, yet accounted for approximately 10% of complaints. Dental practitioners had the highest rate of complaints among fourteen health professions (42.7 per 1000 practitioners per year) with higher rates among dentists and dental prosthetists than allied dental practitioners. Male practitioners were at a higher risk of complaints. Most complaints about dentists related to treatments and procedures (59%). Around 4% of dentists received more than one complaint, accounting for 49% of complaints about dentists. In 60% of closed cases no regulatory action was required. Around 13% of complaints resulted in restrictive actions, such as conditions on practice.

CONCLUSION: Improved understanding of patterns may assist regulatory boards and professional associations to ensure competent practice and protect patient safety.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/adj.12625
Field of Research 1105 Dentistry
1103 Clinical Sciences
1117 Public Health And Health Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution non-commercial licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30111898

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.