We all have bad days. I have looked back at some of my treatment and wondered what the heck I was thinking. To err is human; we learn from our mistakes and strive to do better next time. But in dentistry we can also learn form the mistakes of others.
I recently wrote an article for The Surgical-Restorative Resource on this subject. It’s a story about an implant crown that “never felt right.” I’ll walk your through my thought process as we discover the interesting history of this implant restoration. Click the following link to check out “The Wrong Way to Restore an Implant.”
What I don’t discuss in the article is how I handled the patient. I did not have a relationship with her original dentist who made the goof. But I chose to not “throw him under the bus” as they say. To me this was a small mistake. Fortunately there was no major harm done and no need to replace the restoration, so I didn’t feel it necessary to speak negatively about his work to the patient. But what if the dentist’s error was significant? What if there was harm done?
My feeling is that we should always contact the dentist first and get their side of the story, even if we have to leave the patient sitting in the chair while we take the call in another room. I believe that most of the time that dentist will appreciate the call and will want to help make things right. We can get the patient a better outcome together.
We are proud members of a profession. We have all had bad days and we deserve the opportunity to correct our mistakes.