Calling the Police on a Dentist?

This doesn’t happen very often…I hope. A colleague informed me that a patient had been acting extremely nervous and actually would not let him look at the teeth without keeping the lead apron on. The person finally mentioned to the dental assistant that there was previous sexual abuse within a dental office when the person was a child. The person stated it had occurred on multiple occasions.

Without much thought I reached for the phone and called the police. The authorities came to the office and took a statement from the staff member and stated there would be follow-up with the victim. I then called the dental association and asked for their official policy. They didn’t have one.

If I would have hesitated and asked who it was, I could have found a reason not to report it. It’s easier not to get involved and leave it to the patient to decide if they want to call the police. It was only a week prior that I had been reading about the prolific celebrity child-pervert in the UK that had gone to his grave without prosecution. Last week, I lectured in the actual hotel where the dead celebrity had his funeral service. He got away with it.

I soon discovered that another dentist had known of a similar event and did not know what to do. It went unreported. Are you covering up for a fellow dentist who you suspect could be abusing patients -sexually, ethically, dentally or emotionally? We all do.

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