Treatment of a minor

Parent or guardian authorizes treatment through "Informed Consent" process

Family schedules can be challenging. Often parents and guardians inquire about whether their children can be “dropped off” for appointments.

Clinical, administrative and emotional reasons call for the presence of parents or guardians at the dental appointments of their minor children. At the very least, the minor’s parent or guardian must accompany the patient to the initial appointment and go through the informed consent discussion about the diagnosis and treatment plan including regular hygiene visits. At that time, written authorization can be obtained from the parent or guardian for future ongoing treatment, as discussed.

If the treatment changes from what was covered in the informed consent discussion, or if complications arise, another informed consent discussion and authorization must take place with the parent or guardian before treatment of the minor can continue.

Recommendations

  • Dentists should always have have a signed authorization before any treatment occurs.
  • Dentists should always document in the patient’s record all conversations with the responsible adult, including verbal and written consents.
  • Dentists must understand that in treating a minor patient without the parent or guardian present, the treating dentist assumes responsibility for the minor to the treating dentist from the time of treatment to the minor’s final destination (school, babysitter, etc).
  • Dentists may opt to review the form utilized by Endodontic Associates for “Authorization for Agent to Consent to Dental Treatment of a Minor.” Please contact our office.

Source: The Dentist Insurance Company (TDIC)