The following article originally appeared in the Fall issue of Dental Dateline.

The defendant, who was a general dentist, attended several courses in laser dentistry conducted by a manufacturer of laser equipment. These courses ranged from one to several days in length, but consisted only of observation of technique. There was no clinical “hands on” training. At the end of these courses, the manufacturer administered an examination and presented a certificate of completion to each attendee.

Subsequently, the defendant saw the plaintiff, a 12-year-old male, for an examination, prophylaxis, and x-rays in March 2010. His examination was normal. However, the plaintiff’s mother advised the defendant that the patient did not talk very much and was shy. The mother believed this was due to a “tight tongue.” The defendant examined the plaintiff’s tongue carefully. He documented that although the plaintiff’s tongue was somewhat tight, it was not severely so. Further, the plaintiff could extend his tongue out of his mouth.

To continue reading this case study, which includes a legal and risk management perspective, please click here (article begins on page 3).