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Stephen Henderson

Stuff Happens

Stephen Henderson

We all go out to work in the morning with the intention of doing a good job. Sometimes things do not go to plan. This presentation looks at the factors that make mistakes of various kinds more likely, and leave you exposed to a complaint or litigation as a result, and it will cover trends in implant litigation, the costs involved and common allegations.

These factors have much to do with the fact that we are human and also that we work in imperfect systems. The presentation will borrow proven strategies and techniques from other industries and explain how and why they have contributed to safety and reduced risk in those fields. Some of them have such obvious practical application to clinical dentistry that you will wonder why you have never thought of using them before.

Stuff happens - but it doesn’t always need to.

Learning Objectives

  • To understand why certain things in your professional life do not always go to plan
  • To be able to identify the potential weaknesses in your practice systems and processes, and what you can do to fix them
  • To know three practical steps you can take in practice to reduce your risk
  • To understand strategies to contain the risk of finding yourself unable to satisfactorily defend an allegation
  • To be aware of trends in implant litigation, the costs involved and common allegations


Stephen is a full-time Senior Dento-Legal Adviser and a Specialist in Oral Surgery. He qualified in London in 1984 and went on to have five years full-time experience in hospital dentistry, followed by eleven years part-time (mainly in the oral and maxillofacial surgery department in Oxford) and he still works part-time in practice in Oxford. Stephen has more than 25 years’ experience in general dental and oral surgery referral practice.

Stephen joined the DPL team in 2000 as a part-time adviser, becoming a full time adviser in 2007.

In 2005 he completed a Masters in Medical Law which included a thesis about Regulatory Law.

Stephen regularly writes and lectures on oral surgery and dento-legal issues both internationally and within the UK. Within the DPL team he is the lead for Regulatory cases internationally and in the UK.

Stephen is also DPL's Lead for members in Hong Kong.

Qualifications: BDS LLM FFGDP