Many victims of dental malpractice properly request their records and encounter a host of dental terms and abbreviations that make it hard to decipher what the records mean. Some common dental abbreviations used in conjunction with dental procedures which may lead to nerve and other dental injuries are: ALV = alveolar; AMO = Anterior Maxillary Osteotomy; APEO = apicoectomy; B = buccal; BL = bone loss; dg or dx = diagnosis; E or EX or EXT = extraction; ENDO = endodontics; FDS = flap debridement surgery; fom = floor of mouth; FX = fracture; H&P = history and physical; L = lingual; MFP = myofacial pain; P-XR or pano = panoramic x-ray; pax = periapical x-ray; peri = periapical; POT = post-operative treatment; SL = sublingual; and WL = working length.
These are just some of the dental abbreviations that an injured patient may encounter when reviewing the records that they received from their dentist. There are many more, and no two dentists will use all of the same abbreviations. Since most dental injuries are caused in a closed environment such as the dentist’s office in the dental chair, a thorough and complete review of all of the patient chart is an absolute must in order to evaluate whether the injury was caused by dental malpractice. The confusing abbreviations make it more difficult for experts to review these case, let alone for the patient to try to decipher from the often cryptic records what took place while she was in the chair. Some of the abbreviations make sense, but others unfortunately don’t. Even armed with this knowledge of abbreviations, an expert review and evaluation must be cognizant of the fact that some of the important aspects of the treatment have been left out, while still others may have been entered after the fact.
While a lot of abbreviations slow down the process of evaluation (especially when the abbreviations used are atypical, sometimes in almost undecipherable handwriting, and often purposefully cryptic in nature), it is always in the client’s best interest to properly define all of the possible meanings of the abbreviations, and make sure that we fully understand the records. In the past, we have insisted that some records be transcribed because they were not in a format that could be understood by anyone but the defendant dentists (which is another violation of the standard of care for dentistry because patient records should be clear and understandable, at a minimum).
If you have been seriously injured after a dental procedure, and suspect that it may be due to malpractice, please contact Robert J. Fleming on (404) 923-7497 for a no cost case evaluation. Attorney Fleming has been handling personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.