Harry Singh explores the brave new world of facial aesthetics and professional indemnity.

We live in a consumer-driven world, and along with that comes the dreaded increase in litigation. Even the very best of clinicians (and we all like to think of ourselves as being in that bracket) may well face a claim at some time in their career, susceptible as we are to the vagaries of patients.

Alongside our stringent practices, comprehensive note-taking and clinical expertise, we have insurance for exactly this reason. Whether we’re practising dentistry or performing facial aesthetic treatments, getting the right type of professional insurance is a must!

Offering extras

You may wonder what kinds of facial aesthetic treatments appropriately trained dentists might be looking to offer in practice and therefore require professional insurance coverage. They may include but are by no means limited to:

  1. Plumping of lips subtly (injecting the hyaluronic acid dermal filler just in the borders of the lips) or by increasing the volume (injecting in the body of the lips) to enhance a smile with white, straight teeth
  2. Volumisation in the mid face area, especially in patients who have lost some teeth in the cheek area, as well as replacing lost volume or filling deep lines in the nose to mouth (naso labial folds) and mouth to chin (marionette) lines with dermal fillers
  3. Botulinum toxin to target dynamic muscles. One example of its use is to reduce a gummy smile; weakening the muscles responsible for raising the lip with a small amount of toxin results in a gentler and softer upward pull when a patient smiles, allowing all of the teeth to be seen but decreasing the amount of gum on show
  4. Temporomandibular joint disorders can be treated with botulinum toxin as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, and it can be added to treat bruxism in addition to normal dental procedures.

Finding cover

As dentists, we have professional insurance cover already set up to meet the GDC’s requirements. If you are going to branch out and offer facial aesthetics, then I would recommend that, in the first instance, you get in contact up your existing dental indemnifier.

Which company indemnifies you will make a difference to your coverage and fees. Sometimes, they add it on free of charge, but I’ve also heard of quotes being given of up to £14,000 per year. If it’s free, that’s great but if it’s huge amounts of money then shop around.

I am in no way endorsing any company but just to pick perhaps the best known, the last time I looked, the DDU was willing to indemnify dentists for facial aesthetics as part of its current policy (certain restrictions apply) once it has been told you are expanding your treatment offering. You are limited on how much you can earn through this treatment offering. This may change, so you will need to check with the DDU when you are ready to get started.

On the other hand, you might want to go with a company that specialises in cosmetic procedures such as Hamilton Fraser or Cosmetic Insure. Again, with no endorsement on my part, they each cover a variety of treatments and procedures that makes them a good possibility to meet dental professionals’ needs in this area of clinical treatment.

And remember, if things change – for example, if you add to your facial aesthetics services – do let your insurance company know, in case your coverage needs to be updated to reflect that and continue to cover you and your practice fully.

The bottom line is that legal issues still exist when what you are offering is not dentistry per se and you need professional indemnity; your usual policy may not cover you automatically for facial aesthetic treatment. Always ensure you protect the practice and cover the legal obligations of you and your team. Whilst the insurance you choose might be negotiable, having some is not!


The Botulinum Toxin Club

Established in 2014, The Botulinum Toxin Club is one of the UK’s leading facial aesthetics training workshop for dentists, doctors, medics, specialists and nurses. BTC not only gives delegates the confidence and competence to deliver a wide range of facial aesthetics treatments but also offers ongoing business support to fully establish your new revenue stream. To find out more about how you can build more profit for your practice through facial aesthetics, please visit www.botulinumtoxinclub.co.uk, email [email protected] or call 0800 047 2038.