Friday, 20 October 2017

The First Inaugural Dentinal Tubules Congress 2017

Things have been very busy this month, starting with the FIRST EVER Inaugural Dentinal Tubules Congress!

Tubules Family!

Dentinal Tubules has come a long way since I first started getting involved in 2014; from a video library to live stream videos - 2017 has been a great year for Tubules and this October there was some more exciting news announced; for those who were there to see it at the congress, the news of the new Tubules Foundation was very emotional and Dhru is certainly one of the most inspirational people I know!

The 2 days of the Congress were held at the Grove Hotel in Watford which was a great venue (the England football team were staying there while we were there!) and the theme of the Congress was Top Tips in Dentistry. 

The first day of the congress was a hands-on day where delegates could choose which course they wanted to learn from. Some fantastic names like Dr Mahul Patel, Dr Jason Smithson and Prof Giulio Rasperini (just a few) were there to share their knowledge and expertise in their fields of dentistry. I chose to refresh some of my rusty surgical skills with hands on sinus lifts and ridge-split technique with Dr Sam Lee and Dr Arthur Lyford from the USA. 

I really enjoyed the hands-on element: we must have put the local butchers out of business with the supply of pig jaws we had access to!

With a little help, me avoiding that pesky sinus!

After the usual catch-ups with the Tubules gang in the evening, we were up again bright and early for a packed day of lectures from another amazing line-up: Prof Guilio Rasperini, Dr Carlo Poggio, Dr James Baker, Dr Jason Smithson, Dr Finlay Sutton, Dr Sam Lee, Dr Alessandro Conti, Dr Roberto Rossi and Davide Bertazzo

There was a huge range of topics discussed with some excellent cases and presentations discussed. The atmosphere was different from any other conference  I have been to: a much more interactive audience that truly represented the Tubules family ethos. 

As I mentioned above, Dhru announced some amazing news with the Dentinal Tubules Foundation helping raise funds for education for the poorest across the world! Of course there was a little fun as well (which is becoming a bit of a Tubules tradition), with the Mannequin Challenge which you see can the video for below! Can you spot yourself?

The conclusion of the conference of course was a rowdy Tubules party! It was great to catch up with the Tubules family and share the vision that Dhru has created with his Tubules team. Well and truly #Tubulised! I can't wait for next year!

Did you go to the Congress? What was your favourite talk? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

DFT and Beyond - KCL Talk

Last week, KCL's Dentsoc invited me to speak to their final year dentists about Dental Foundation Training (DFT) and beyond!

What to expect from DFT.

Many of my readers will have recently started DFT and the first month I'm sure will have flown by! The first few months will be a huge learning curve from transitioning from university to being independent in practice and learning how the NHS dental system works. 

If you have followed my blog, you probably have read previous posts about my experience of my DFT year. At this talk I focused on my main tips to keep in mind during the year - this post summarises my tips. 

Lots of opportunities will arise in this year including meeting some inspirational and knowledgeable clinicians through study days and networking. Make the most of these opportunities and start building the foundations of your support network.  

Membership Exams

Another thing to consider during your DFT if whether you should take one of the membership exams i.e. MFDS or MJDF

These exams are becoming part of the culture of young dentists but think hard before you consider taking them. Do you want to keep your options open regarding postgraduate training or specialisation? Weigh up the costs of the exams, especially pertinent in your early career, with what benefit they may give you in the future. Don't just do them because everyone is else!

See my previous post about the differences between MJDF and MFDS

Dental Core Training

One of the options after completion of DFT is Dental Core Training (DCT). I thoroughly enjoyed my DCT year and I learnt so many skills during my post. 

Applying for DCT is becoming more and more popular and posts are becoming much more competitive, especially in places like London. There are a variety of posts available and it's a great option if you are unsure of what route your career may take you or you want to learn more about dentistry in secondary care. 

DCT doesn't just have to be the one year. There are also years 2 and 3 as well as run-through DCT 2/3 posts. To read more about DCT and why it could be a good option for you read my previous post

Other Career Options

I also discussed the other career options that you could consider after DFT or DCT. I remember when I first graduated from dental school, my perception of my career was I would just be in practice. It's funny how your thoughts and ambitions change over time! 

I have plenty of posts about careers on my blog. 

It was a pleasure to speak to a dedicated group of students who were motivated enough to still be in a lecture theatre beyond 6pm!! I hope the message from my talk, to be ambitious and make the most out of every opportunity that comes your way, hit home even when the pressure of DFT interviews and finals are looming!

To see a copy of my presentation from the day, see here.

What tips would you give final years about DFT and beyond? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

How To Avoid Being Sued - Guest Post with Smith Jones Solicitors*

How can you avoid being sued as a dentist? In this latest post, Smith Jones Solicitors give their advice...

You will have heard how important it is to protect yourself from being sued. Dental malpractice is a rising phenomenon which should be taken seriously unless you wish to put your license to practise at risk. The fact is, if a dentist's treatment for a patient can be proven to be substandard it increases the chances of a lawsuit. Dentists must recognise the duty of care that is owed to a patient. Since any form of breach of duty of care could result in legal action against the dentist. The basis of any civil lawsuit against a dentist would mean the treatment given to the patient contributed to the unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to the patient. 
The question that needs addressing is why do most dentists think they will never face a malpractice lawsuit? Surely by exploring such a question, it would help a dentist avoid being sued. So is it a case of being complacent and feeling satisfied with your own abilities because unless you're one of those people who actually think about all possibilities the idea of your practice facing a legal action might not be something taken into consideration.

Duty of Care

As mentioned above, the duty of care owed to a patient is important. You may wonder what is the duty of care and how it is owed to a patient? In simple terms, the concept of duty of care owed to another person would be mean an obligation is placed on a dentist to avoid taking actions or making omission which are foreseen to injure or harm the patient. The issue of a patient suffering a civil wrong due to the actions of a dentist would be examined under tort laws. 
It is often seen in many cases of medical negligence there has been a breach of duty of care. It is assumed dentists would be aware of their duty to comply with the standard of care which they need to provide for a patient according to medical and dental guidelines and regulations. The fact of the matter is in many claims of negligence the dentist did not provide the adequate standard of care. 
In the event of a breach of the duty of care, it would mean the dentist has been negligent in the standard of care of a patient. The requirement for the standard of care can cover various issues to do with the medical care of a patient. For instance, it is not sufficient to just diagnose and provide treatment for the patient. It would be a good idea to provide enough information to the patient before the start of the treatment an what the patient can expect as the result of the treatment. In any negligence claim, there must be evidence of injury or damage due to the treatment given by the dentist. They type of lawsuits which stem from medical negligence are complex and cover issues to do with not being given the right treatment. For instance, claims of negligence can involve the patient being misdiagnosed, given inadequate treatment or the work carried out on a patient is of a careless nature. However, as often is the case in dental treatment any form of natural pain or suffering would be automatically amount to a claim for negligence. 

 Complaints and Risk Management.

The quality of care given to the patients is very important and a feedback service should be provided to help address any concerns. The dental practice should be fully equipped with handling complaints. The quality of care should be focused on the treatment and providing the patients with a high level of safety at the dental practice. The focus of the duty of care should not only be concerned with the care of the patients but also their safety too. It would be good to check the risk management system of the dental practice and make sure it it adequate to handle complaints. 

Furthermore, it is a good idea to keep up to date with the new developments in the field of dentistry which could help to provide the right level of care to a patient. The aim of any dental practice must be to make sure their dentists have full knowledge as to what they are doing. In essence, the objective of a good dental practice would be to have in place a check and balance system to check the competence of their staff and maintain a high level of care.  

It is also a good idea to get written consent from the patients before any complicated or risky procedures are carried out. They use of obtaining informed consent from the patient can help to reduce the chances of a dispute and provide evidence as to what has been agreed with the patient. The issue which needs to be taken into account is a contractual relationship can exist between a dentist and a patient by express or implied terms of agreement. However, in recent years the scope of negligence clams have been widened to include claims made to the courts in which no contract existed between the claimant and the defendant. The continual evolution of the law would mean a dental practice needs to keep up to date with the changes and to make sure a system is in place to limit the chances of claims made against them. However, indemnity providers do no offer cover and support to protect against being sued, but that does not mean proper measures should not be put in place to reduce the chances of being sued. 

What are your thoughts on SJ solicitors tips? Let me know in the comments below.

*Sponsored post

Rachael Mulheron,  Medical Negligence: Non-Patient and Third Party Claims, Routledge, 2016
Kiyana Mills, Medical Negligence, AuthorHouse, 2012
Mark Lunney, Ken Oliphant, Tort Law: Text and Materials, OUP Oxford, 2013
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