Medical and Dental Consultantsí Association of Nigeria
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 1706-1714

The prevalence and causes of wrong tooth extraction

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Private Practice, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3 Oral Diagnostic Department, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. F M Jadu
Department of Oral Diagnostic, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80200, Jeddah - 21589
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_206_19

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Background: Dental extraction is a common procedure that is subject to complications and errors including extraction of the wrong tooth. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and identify the causes of wrong tooth extractions and explore the attitude of dentists after extraction of a wrong tooth. Methods: A questionnaire was adapted to fit the needs of this project and was distributed among all the dentists in four teaching dental clinics. The questionnaire was available in both the English and Arabic languages. Results: Of the 486 questionnaires, 186 questionnaires were returned (response rate of 37%) and used for the analysis. The prevalence of wrong tooth extraction was 21.1%. The three most common reasons for extracting a wrong tooth were miscommunication (31.6%), inadequate referral (28.9%), and exhaustion of an overworked dentist (28.9%). Surprisingly, only 50% informed the patient and documented the incident in the patient's chart. Few dentists apologized to their patients or offered any kind of solution or compensation. Conclusion: Wrong tooth extraction is a prevalent yet preventable problem. Most of the common causes of this problem appear to be more system rather than individual related. There is a pressing need to implement the universal protocol for the prevention of wrong site, wrong procedure, and wrong person surgery.

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