The incidence and nature of claims against dentists related to periodontal treatment in israel during the years 2005–2019

Dima Nassar, Nirit Tagger-Green, Haim Tal, Carlos Nemcovsky, Eitan Mijiritsky, Ilan Beitlitum, Eitan Barnea, Roni Kolerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In recent years, worldwide dental malpractice claims have dramatically increased. The purpose of the present study is to analyze periodontal therapy related claims in Israel that led to legal decisions. Methods: This retrospective cohort study includes malpractice claims against dental practitioners related to periodontology between 2005 and 2019. Only closed cases where a final decision was made were included. The chi-square test or Fisher exact test for categorical variables were performed and a p value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: During the study period there were 508 legal claims related to periodontal disease. Most plaintiffs were women (63.4%), and 71.3% of the patients were >35 years old. Most claims (82.8%) were settled out of court and ended in compromise. Claims concerning the treatment of periodontal disease by periodontists accounted only for 4.5% (23/508) of the cases while 95.5% (485/508) of the claims were for complications secondary to another treatment. Prosthodontic treatment was involved with the highest number 54.5%, followed by dental implants 17.7%, and endodontics 11.6%. The allegations were related to pain and distress (84.8%), aggravation of existent periodontal disease (83.3%), tooth loss (78.1%), and violation of autonomy (47%). Conclusions: The main cause for lawsuits was related to aggravation of periodontal disease during prosthetic or implant therapy and related to suspected faulty or inexistent preoperative diagnosis and planning. Practical implications: Periodontal consultation before dental treatment may reduce malpractice risks, adverse events, and un-necessary changes of treatment plans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4153
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2021


  • Adverse events
  • Claims
  • Periodontal malpractice

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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