A common issue in dental malpractice is when a patient does not consent to a procedure. Keeping patients informed about their care is just as important in dentistry as it is in any other medical field.
Getting patient consent means that the dentist has explained what will happen and the patient agreed that he or she can move forward with the procedure. Malpractice issues occur when a dentist makes unilateral decisions and leaves the patient in the dark about what will be happening. There are some ways to ensure that you have the chance to give consent and avoid any type of dental malpractice issue.
Get a treatment plan
Regardless of whether you will just have minor work or you need more extensive long-term care, you should always get a written treatment plan from your dentist. This plan should outline all the procedures the dentist wants to do with clear costs. You should have the dentist explain anything that you do not understand and make it clear if there is anything in the plan that you do not wish to have done.
Alterations to the plan
If you want changes, then you should get a new plan. You should have the chance to review anything new. Also, make sure that you understand why the plan is changing.
Double-checking each procedure
Every time you arrive at the dentist’s office, you should review what will happen that day. Make sure it is part of the outlined plan.
Following through with a multi-part consent check throughout your treatment can greatly reduce the chances that your dentist will do something to which you did not agree. It also makes it much easier to hold dentists accountable if they do fail to get consent.