We have all seen the consent form on a dentist’s form. It usually asks if the patient has given permission for the dental work to be performed and what documents the dentist needs to perform the treatment. However, in today’s world, not everyone reads these forms. Many people may have filled out the papers, but never read them carefully. This can lead to costly mistakes.
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A dental practitioner is well within their rights to ask patients to read the dental forms provided, however, we do not think that they should force anyone to sign it. It is not like they are conducting a sting operation. They should use words such as “informed consent”, not force anyone to fill out a consent form.
For example, if a patient comes into the office for a routine cleaning and the dentist wants to start a laser treatment, rather than asking the patient to read the consent form, the dentist can simply tell the patient to read the document. The only thing the patient would be required to do is to agree that the treatment will take place. If they refuse, there is no need to continue with the laser treatment. This is a classic case of giving someone something they don’t want to have – but not allowing them to have it. By using the terms “informed consent”, the dentist makes it clear to the patient that they have given valid consent for the procedure to take place.
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The terms of the consent form should also be in a place where a patient can easily find it. Many patients have a hard time remembering the consent form, especially if they have just received a new dental implant. Wouldn’t you like to have it right there in front of you so you don’t have to ask for it? Of course, you would. You would also like the dentist to explain the reason for the treatment before starting the laser treatment.
If the procedure is performed more than twelve hours ago, the patient should still provide valid information. This goes back to the idea of dental informed consent. If it was done more than twelve hours ago, it is considered invalid because the patient did not provide valid information when completing the consent form. This means that the dentist is required to take additional steps to get more information before proceeding with the recommended treatment.
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A typical template for the dental treatment consent form template has five general sections. The first section requires the information needed to determine whether this is a cosmetic dentistry procedure or a dental procedure requiring surgery. For example, the first section may ask if the patient is a smoker, whether they plan on exercising, if they drink alcohol or not, if they are under any medications, and any other questions related to the patient’s health. The second section requires the information needed to determine if the patient is at all physically able to proceed with the scheduled dental treatment.
The third section requires the information needed to determine if the patient will need anesthesia and/or pain medication during the treatment. The fourth section requires the information needed to determine if the patient is pregnant or might become pregnant in the next six months. The fifth section requires the name of the pharmacist if the medication is being taken. Finally, in the sixth and final section of the dental treatment consent form, the patient is expected to state whether they understand the terms of the treatment plan. If the patient doesn’t understand the terms of the treatment plan, they are required to sign the form again.
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It is important to realize that this is not a complete sample patient consent form. It only provides the legal basis for the dentist to start treatment. In order to be legally binding, it must be signed by the patient following all of the instructions provided within the sample patient consent document. The exact requirements will vary based on each state’s laws.
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