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Risk Management Q&As

Have a question about a challenging situation or potential liability? Experienced Risk Management analysts who are solely focused on your profession share answers specific to dental procedures and practices.


Can I require employees to bring a doctor’s note if they miss work due to an injury or illness?

Patient Care

A patient posted a negative review on Yelp about my practice. Can I respond to the review? What if the poster isn’t a patient of record and it is just a bogus review?

How do I discharge a patient from care?

I am closing down my practice, not selling it to another dentist. How do I let my patients know in a way that it is not considered abandonment? Do I need to keep their records?

I am considering requiring my patients to sign an arbitration agreement. I have heard that arbitration is inexpensive and is a quick method to resolving disputes. What should I do?

I have many patients who come to my office for emergencies, but go to other offices or less-expensive clinics for routine work and hygiene maintenance. Is there any liability in me treating these patients?


Following TDIC’s recommendation, I’m getting ready to dispose of the records of adult patients who have not been seen in my practice for more than 10 years. What is the proper way to dispose of those records?

When patients ask for their records, do I need to give them everything in their chart since they started coming to my office?

Treating Minors

If a minor patient’s parents are divorced but both have dental insurance, whose insurance covers the child first?

Many children walk to my office after school or their parents drop them off for their appointments. Should I be concerned about treating minors when their parents are not present?

The boyfriend of my minor patient’s mother brought the child in for a scheduled appointment. Can he bring her in for treatment?

The parents of a child in my practice are divorced, and custody is being contested. How do I avoid getting involved in their domestic problems?

When parents regularly disagree about their child’s treatment, is it appropriate for me to withdraw from care?

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