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South African Dental Journal

versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versão impressa ISSN 0011-8516


MAKWAKWA, NL  e  MOTLOBA, PD. Dental malpractice cases in South Africa (2007-2016). S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2019, vol.74, n.6, pp.310-315. ISSN 0375-1562.

INTRODUCTION: Malpractice complaints against oral health professionals (OHPs) are increasing globally, and include breach of confidentiality, failure to obtain valid informed consent, issuing fraudulent medical certificates, claiming for services not rendered and violating regulations governing the dental profession South African dentists were most commonly charged with clinical complaints (59%) whilst 29% of dental cases and 46% of dental therapist cases were for fraud. AIMS: To analyse the nature and outcome of malpractice by OHPs as reported by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). METHODS: A cross sectional descriptive survey of the data between 2007-2016. RESULTS: 118 cases and 198 counts of dental malpractice were identified, predominantly by dentists (74.6%), then specialists (17%) and dental therapists (11%). Males recorded 77.1% of complaints, Gauteng practitioners, 53.4%, and 53.8% were OHPs who had worked for 10 years or more. Approximately a third (37%) of the OHPs had more than one count of malpractice. Mean ages for independent practice were calculated. Fraud, clinical misconduct and unprofessionalism constituted 66.7%, 23.2% and 10.1% of all counts of malpractice respectively, while there were significant differences between the involved dentists and dental therapists. CONCLUSION: Fraud remains the most serious and ever increasing form of malpractice among Oral Health professionals.

Palavras-chave : Dental malpractice; HPCSA; misconduct; oral health professional.

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