Legality of doing less than what was diagnosed


Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
2
I was in my dentist office and heard the dentist and a patient in a loud discussion. The dentist was saying he had the beginnings of periodontal disease and would need a $300 deep cleaning and they could fit him that day but his rance did not cover it. He told them that he could not afford that right now and asked for just a basic cleaning and was told that they legally could not do that.

I've also been reading forums and have heard this complaint several times about it being illegal.

I'm in Florida is this the same in other states. What is the law they are talking about? or how would i find it if it is a law?
 
Ad

Advertisements

honestdoc

Verified Dentist
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
1,218
Solutions
164
From my state, the dental board will drop the hammer on the provider stating "unacceptable treatment based on diagnosis" and the provider will have the board disciplinary action for all to see. That is why dentists & hygienist refuse to just do a simple cleaning.
 

MattKW

Verified Dentist
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
1,498
Solutions
143
I think that would be unreasonable. We all have patients who can't afford or want certain treatment that we deem necessary. As long as it's explained and recorded, and I am at least doing no harm, then there is no compulsion on me to refuse treatment in such a case. But i must not do that treatment to an unsatisfactory degree. So, if you want a simple scaling, but I tell you you need a root planing etc, then I'll do a scaling for you. Better than doing nothing. If the dentist feels uncomfortable however, he can refuse to do treatment too. It's a two-way street of consent and understanding.
 
Ad

Advertisements

honestdoc

Verified Dentist
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
1,218
Solutions
164
I agree with Dr. MattKW that when patients cannot afford full treatment, we can reasonably accommodate them. Here in the US, where if you spill hot coffee on yourself and the cup didn't warn you "contents are hot," you can sue McDonalds or Starbucks, etc. The legal system is flooded with hungry lawyers. A particular case involved a non-compliant periodontal (severe gum disease) patient who refused advice, treatment, referrals, and appointments later sued the dentist and won for teeth loss. The jury found for the patient because the "dentist did not adequately prove to the patient his deteriorating gum disease."

The licensing board in my state is very strict on appropriate "acceptable treatment" which can be vague. We will have a large group conference with a board investigator in a few months and it will be interesting what his views on that would be. I anticipate it to be reasonable like Dr. MattKW mentioned.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top