Fighting For Justice For Abuse Victims Statewide

Protecting yourself from sexually predatory dentists

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2023 | Sexual Abuse, Sexual Harassment

People dread going to the dentist for many reasons, from the loud noises of the equipment to the discomfort and pain of treatment. Having to lie back on the dentist chair without being able to do anything can also be unsettling. In addition to these fears, there are bad dentists in the industry exploiting their position of trust to sexually abuse patients.

Dentist sexual harassment

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a pervasive problem that can occur in any industry, including dentistry. Despite the high level of professionalism expected in the field, there are still many reports of sexual harassment and abuse by dentists.

Sexual harassment in the dentist’s office seems to occur most when patients are under anesthesia since it can cause unconsciousness. Since dental clinics have fewer staff members, dentists often work alone with sedated patients. Situations like these can leave patients in a vulnerable situation.

Watching out for signs of dentist sexual abuse

Unwanted sexual advances by a dentist can take on many forms. It could happen by touching the patient without consent, demanding sexual favors, exposing the genitals or making inappropriate comments.

Patients must remember that there is no reason for dentists to check other parts of the body because their scope of practice is limited to the mouth and head area.

A dentist should also refrain from pressuring patients to undergo unnecessary procedures or spend an excessive amount of time alone with the patient.

Patients who experience discomfort during treatment should be free to voice their concerns. However, in cases of sexual abuse, many victims may find it very difficult to speak out. When no one else will or is able to help, a victim could seek counsel from an attorney.

Dentists have an obligation to their patients to provide a certain standard of care. Patients may file a complaint with the Dental Board of California or pursue a sexual harassment lawsuit against a professional who violates their boundaries.