Pre-empting and preventing iatrogenic oral trauma: A case report


  • Leanne Sykes Head of Department of Prosthodontics, University of Pretoria.
  • Bruce Gray Final year dental student, Department of Prosthodontics,University of Pretoria
  • Vanessa Mostert Dentist, Department of Prosthodontics, University of Pretoria
  • Francois Du Plessis Senior dental technician, Department of Prosthodontics, University of Pretoria



maxillary, autonomy


In keeping with the principles of autonomy, beneficence, and non-maleficence, no dental treatment shouldbbe commenced prior to carrying out all the requisite preparatory stages. This includes a thorough initial assessment, establishing an accurate diagnosis,
drawing up a list of possible treatment options, presenting these to the patient, and allowing them to make an autonomous and educated decision. This should be followed with the formulation of a structured and carefully considered treatment plan.This case illustrates a case of iatrogenically induced damage suffered by a patient where unplanned treatment was carried out
with no consideration of the possible immediate, short term or long terms outcomes. It stresses the need for dentists to consider and pre-empt the consequences of their treatment (or lack there-of) and formulate the best possible plan for each patient. It also needs to be stressed that the proposed management plan must be informed by the principle of ‘shared decision making’ wherein the patient assumes part of the responsibility and accountability in the decisions taken. The ultimate aim of any plan must be to promote the best possible outcome for the patient (beneficence), and as far as possible prevent iatrogenically induced harm (non maleficence).


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Author Biography

Francois Du Plessis, Senior dental technician, Department of Prosthodontics, University of Pretoria


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How to Cite

Sykes, L., Gray, B., Mostert, V., & Du Plessis, F. (2022). Pre-empting and preventing iatrogenic oral trauma: A case report. South African Dental Journal, 77(07), 423–427.

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