There’s a lot of demand for dental work in New York. No matter how well many dentists prepare and operate, a small percentage of patients may threaten or file malpractice claims. When claims of professional mistakes arise, dentists can take some relatively simple steps to strengthen their defenses.

Thorough documentation builds a solid defense

A dental malpractice claim is best defended by fully documenting the patient’s oral condition before and after the procedure. Full documentation of the care provided and the results can go a long way toward affirming your side of the legal argument. Documents such as digital images can show the extent of the problem faced and whether or not reasonable steps were taken to correct the problem using medically accepted dental practices.

Patient statements can disprove negligence

Documenting every patient interaction and noting how the patient feels at the time could prove you acted in a fully reasonable manner. Notes and even an audio recording can affirm statements made as well as the patient’s general condition at the time the dental service was provided. If a patient tells you everything seems fine and a month later is filing a malpractice lawsuit, the statements made could disprove any claims of malpractice.

Note the post-treatment instructions

If you advised your patient to act in a particular manner for a period of time to ensure the dental procedure has the best chance for success, documentation can prove you made a reasonable effort. It could also potentially show how the patient made mistakes that caused or otherwise greatly contributed to the problem. An attorney who is experienced in dental malpractice law can help you build a defense against baseless claims.