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J Forensic Leg Med. 2009 Feb;16(2):76-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2008.08.016. Epub 2008 Oct 21.

A five-year survey for dental malpractice claims in Tehran, Iran.

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Department of Medical Law, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences/University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran.



Dentists, like other doctors, can face punitive and legal consequences if patients are not satisfied with the dental treatment. The purpose of this study is to provide a database for dental malpractice claims in Tehran.


We conducted a retrospective study of dental malpractice claims In Tehran, between 2002 and 2006, based on the decisions of expert committees in medical malpractice cases by Tehran's Legal Medicine Organization and Islamic Republic of Iran's Medical Council.


During these 5 years, 412 decisions related to dental malpractice were made. The majority of complaints were in fixed prosthodontics and oral surgery and also most of them concerned the private sector. Most of the cases were against general dentists. In the 56.7% of clinical cases and 40% of non-clinical cases of malpractice claims, dentists were found faulty.


Like all other medical staff, dentists are under the obligation to comply with the legal rules in the country they practice. They also have to consider ethical principles as well as the acceptable standards and protocols of diagnosis and treatment. These data can alert them to the need for greater care and ethical professionalism when treating their patients.

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