Isaac Knapp Peer Review

Dentistry has always been regarded by the public as one of the most trustworthy of professions.  When there is a breakdown of that trust, conflicts between patients and their dentists may develop.  Questions of acceptability of treatment, appropriateness of diagnosis, the skill level at which treatment was provided, are all questions that patients find difficulty answering.

Peer review is a process by which the dental profession reviews and resolves problems or misunderstandings regarding dental treatment.  The peer review process exists for the benefit of the patient and the dentist.

The Isaac Knapp District Dental Society participates in the peer review process by maintaining a local Peer Review Committee whose work is administered by the Indiana Dental Association.  A Peer Review Committee consists of dentists (and sometimes laypersons) who volunteer their time and expertise to consider questions about the appropriateness or quality of care.  The members of the committee are impartial, and their services are available to those who participate in the process.

A dispute may be resolved through mediation alone, or through review of patient records and clinical examination.  The dentist and the patient are informed of the committee’s decision and recommendation for resolving the problem.  Most importantly, the committee makes its recommendation in the hope that it will provide a reasonable and mutually agreeable solution.

Peer review is not a court of law. It is a voluntary process that relies on the good faith between a dentist and a patient and their mutual interest in good dental health.

In summation the Indiana Dental Association’s Peer Review Mission Statement is as follows:
(Peer Review) “provide(s) impartial expert (non-binding) resolution of disputes involving quality or appropriateness of care, professional judgment, and utilization between patients and dentists that are not already in litigation or other review process through each committee member’s sense of fairness, objectivity, and clinical skills by mediation and hearings after the initiating party has attempted in good faith to resolve the issue.”

Please contact the Indiana Dental Association (800-562-5646 or 317-634-2610) if you feel that you have a dispute that could be resolved by the Peer Review Process.

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