What if another person, other than the parent/legal guardian, accompanies the minor patient to the appointment?

The office should consider implementing an office policy that requires the minor's parent/legal guardian to accompany him or her to the office on each and every visit to provide consent for treatment. Recognizing that, at times, this is difficult to accomplish, other alternatives may prove acceptable. One would be to require that if a parent/legal guardian cannot accompany the patient, another adult individual would do so who has been granted permission in writing by the parent to consent to the treatment. Dentists should retain this written permission slip in the patient’s file. This approach, wherein the parent essentially appoints a proxy to provide consent, should be viewed on an equal plane as the method of having the parent provide consent. It is recommended that dentists require the presence of a parent or their appointed proxy when providing treatment to a minor patient. Dentists may also obtain written permission from the parent/legal guardian for a specific treatment plan, and may render that treatment to the child without any adult present. It is advised that dentists restrict treatment to only what was specified in writing in advance.



Answer is informational only and not intended as legal advice. Answer may contain excerpts from
 The ADA Practical Guide to Frequently Asked Legal Questions.