We analyzed operator-related differences in endodontic malpractice claims in Finland.
Data comprised the endodontic malpractice claims handled at the Patient Insurance Centre (PIC) in 2002-2006 and 2011-2013. Two dental advisors at the PIC scrutinized the original documents of the cases (n?=?1271). The case-related information included patient's age and gender, type of tooth, presence of radiographs, and methods of instrumentation and apex location. As injuries, we recorded broken instrument, perforation, injuries due to root canal irrigants/medicaments, and miscellaneous injuries. We categorized the injuries according to the PIC decisions as avoidable, unavoidable, or no injury. Operator-related information included dentist's age, gender, specialization, and service sector. We assessed level of patient documentation as adequate, moderate, or poor. Chi-squared tests, t-tests, and logistic regression modelling served in statistical analyses.
Patients' mean age was 44.7 (range 8-85) years, and 71% were women. The private sector constituted 54% of claim cases. Younger patients, female dentists, and general practitioners predominated in the public sector. We found no sector differences in patients' gender, dentists' age, or type of injured tooth. PIC advisors confirmed no injury in 24% of claim cases; the advisors considered 65% of injury cases (n?=?970) as avoidable and 35% as unavoidable. We found no operator-related differences in these figures. Working methods differed by operator's age and gender. Adequate patient documentation predominated in the public sector and among female, younger, or specialized dentists.
Operator-related factors had no impact on endodontic malpractice claims.