Thursday, November 19, 2009

Duty Of Care

If you're sick, I have to look after you.

Does this exist for dentists?

A friend of mine, a redoubtable Lemon, probably had the flu recently. It thus might have been H1N1. She managed this very sensibly, with self isolation and OTC remedies, and without the need to traipse down to the ED.

However, as she was on the mend, she began to develop worsening pain around an impacted wisdom tooth. Now, generally, this will settle, and can be treated symptomatically.


Sometimes, there may be infection, and in the presence of some constitutional symptoms, it would seem reasonable to have a dentist take a look and opine as to the need for antibiotics. I'd have done it myself, but distance presents a problem.


Once she raised the possibility of infuenza, the local dentists shut up shop, and refused her appointments.

So... if she were to go on and develop sepsis from a dental abscess, or Vincent's angina, or worse, Ludwig's Angina (which another Lemon so developed after some dental work, and he ended up on ITU) who is responsible?


After all, dentists all wear fucking facemasks anyway, and if the patient isn't coughing on you, the risk is fairly small.

I can't refuse to see patiens on the basis of their illness, or even their behaviour, why should dentists be different?

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