Prevention of Medical Errors for Dentists – CE Risk Management Course for Dental Practices


Few dental errors are attributed to faulty judgment. More commonly, they are attributed to system failures inherent in healthcare delivery. By drawing on our professional liability closed claims data, we have identified common performance and diagnostic errors: wrong-site surgery, improper performance of dental procedure, wrong or unnecessary treatment or procedure, retention of foreign body during treatment, and diagnosis related. We analyzed loss prevention measures in tandem with the elements necessary to conduct a credible and thorough root cause analysis (RCA) to reduce system failures, respond to sentinel events, prevent dental errors, and improve patient safety.

The purpose of this continuing dental education activity is to provide dentists with the most current information regarding the prevention of common performance and diagnostic errors. The course covers:

  • Identification of the most common quality-of-care violations.
  • Illustrative case studies detailing prevalent diagnostic and performance errors.
  • The necessary elements of an RCA.
  • Safety systems in healthcare organizations.
  • Risk management measures designed to prevent dental errors and increase patient safety.
Course ID #: TDE 190159.0 Issue Date: 01/07/2019 Expiration Date: 01/07/2021


After completing this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Assess the policies and protocols in my practice that are high risk for errors
  • Educate my staff and colleagues about areas of highest risk for error and changes in our practice to reduce risk
  • Implement at least one improvement to create a safer environment for patients
  • Make changes to prevent a never event from occurring in my practice


No individual in a position to control or influence the content of this activity has reported relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. No commercial support was provided for this activity.


The information and guidelines contained in this activity are generalized and may not apply to all practice situations. We recommend that legal advice be obtained from a qualified attorney for specific application to your practice. The information is intended for educational purposes and should be used as a reference guide only.

Course Developers

Susan Shepard, MSN, MA, RN, CPHRM, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

David Hester, BS, FASHRM, CPHRM, LHRM, Director, SE Region, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Daniel Wright, RN, JD, CPHRM, Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Julie Hopkins, MA, MBA, Director, Continuing Medical Education, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The    Doctors Company


The Doctors Company is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at

The Doctors Company designates this activity for 2.0 continuing education credits.

Complies with State Requirements

Please SEE the Federation of State Medical Boards overview of Continuing Medical Education requirements by State. 

Technical Requirements

The activity is best experienced using the most current browser: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported by this platform. All activities featuring audio must have a speaker. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, JavaScript and session cookies must be enabled on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact or call 800.421.2368, extension 1243.


Visit our Resource document for this program.