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Extraction of incorrect tooth during dental procedure (15HDC01402)

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(15HDC01402, 23 May 2016)

Dentist ~ Dental Care ~ Treatment plan ~ Incorrect extraction of tooth ~ Standard of care ~ Right 4(1)

A dentist was engaged to extract three teeth for a patient for orthodontic reasons. During the appointment, the dentist extracted deciduous teeth (baby teeth) 53 and 63 correctly, but erroneously removed adult tooth 26 instead of the third deciduous tooth, 65. Immediately after removing tooth 26, the dentist realised he had extracted the incorrect tooth and reinserted tooth 26.

It was held that by failing to identify the correct tooth for extraction and therefore removing the wrong tooth, the dentist failed to provide services with reasonable care and skill and breached Right 4(1). The dentist's error was held to be an individual clinical error, and the dental service was accordingly not found to be in breach of the Code.

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