CBCT Liability

It has come to my attention, from several colleagues and general dentists, that CBCT sales reps are telling dentists that if they have the patient sign a form stating that the dentist is only looking at dental structures then they are not responsible for the whole scan.  This information is absolutely WRONG.

The truth of the matter is that no form on earth can wave the referring doctor’s liability.  If you ordered the scan, you are liable for it.  The whole thing.  Every single bit of it.  Anyone who is telling you otherwise is absolutely wrong on the matter.  If you miss a diagnosis then yes you can get sued for it.  There have been several lawsuits and most have been successful.  Insurance companies are smart enough to settle out of court, so that no precedent is placed and they can justify not having to cover CBCT scans or readings by an OMR.  This is also the reason you probably haven’t heard about them.

So where do we go from here?  That’s up to the doc of course.  Most practitioners are responsible enough to send their CBCT scans for a pathology reading.  This is the standard of care in medicine and should be, if not already so, the standard of care in dentistry.  CBCT machines are a responsibility as well as a benefit.  They have changed the way we look at dentistry.  Use them wisely.