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Ethical Scenario 24
A patient presents requiring an extraction of a lower wisdom tooth. On examination, the dentist finds that the roots are very close to the inferior dental (ID) canal and are curved. The tooth is also heavily broken down. The patient puts pressure on the dentist to take the tooth out today at the general dental practice. Discuss the case.
Excellent Candidate response
- It is essential that dentists work within their professional remit and ability. (GDC standard 7)
- They should not succumb to pressure if a procedure is beyond their capacity as this in turn would not be in the patient’s best interest.
- In this case, if the dentist feels it is beyond their professional remit, they should refer the patient to hospital/an oral surgery clinic that deals with complex wisdom tooth extractions.
- The dentist should however ensure the patient is not in undue pain prior to them leaving, e.g. via antibiotics if indicated or extirpation if needed/analgesics.