With all patients under the age of 18 (except for emancipated minors), our office requests that a parent or legal guardian accompany the minor patient for the full duration of the appointment. Should you desire to have a grandparent, childcare provider, or another family member over the age of 18 accompany your child to their dental appointment, we will ask you to fill out a Designation of Another Person to Consent for Care form. This form will also give us permission to discuss your child’s care with the adult accompanying them and for the adult to authorize treatment.
Our office has this strict policy for several reasons:
- Federal laws concerning privacy issues require that our office not disclose any medical/dental information of a patient — including those patients under 18 years of age — unless it is the parent or legal guardian of the minor patient.
- A minor patient cannot consent to any required additional procedures or to any changes in a treatment plan that could arise.
- Our office will not assume responsibility for the safety, care, or whereabouts of a minor patient once work is completed or before the patient is seated. A responsible adult caregiver must be present to look after children during these times.
For these reasons and others, we enforce our minor patient policy and make this policy known on our website and our new patient paperwork. Minor patients who present for an appointment without a proper guardian will not be seen and may incur broken appointment charges for a missed appointment due to this factor.
Our office can provide parents and guardians with a Designation of Another Person to Consent for Care form to fill out so that another person other than a parent or legal guardian may accompany the child to their appointment. Once this form is completed, it will be kept in the patient’s chart and is valid for 12 months.
Your cooperation with this policy is essential to limit our liability and is much appreciated.