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Dental malpractice: baseline data from insurance claims closed in 1970, with analysis.

  • Published Date:

    1984 Jan-Feb

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 99(1):87-93
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.91 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    A study of dental malpractice claims closed during the 1970s was conducted using closed claim data available as a byproduct of a survey conducted by the Secretary's Commission on Medical Malpractice, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The intent of the authors of this study is to establish a baseline that can be used for future comparisons of dental malpractice. Far fewer cases of dental malpractice were found than expected, and specialists such as oral surgeons were at higher risk than general practitioners. One-half of the claims resulted in no payment to the plaintiff. Trial verdicts were reached in just over 7 percent of the cases, and 93 percent of the verdicts were in favor of the defendant. The amount of damages paid to claimants for dental cases was approximately one-third that paid on claims involving physicians or medical specialists. The median award to the plaintiff for dental malpractice was $750. Ninety-five percent of the awards made were under $5,000.
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