Legality of doing less than what was diagnosed

Discussion in 'General Dentistry Discussion' started by 20GT, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. 20GT

    20GT

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    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?
     
    20GT, Apr 12, 2019
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  2. 20GT

    honestdoc Verified Dentist

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    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.
     
    honestdoc, Apr 12, 2019
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  3. 20GT

    MattKW Verified Dentist

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    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.
     
    MattKW, Apr 13, 2019 at 8:45 AM
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  4. 20GT

    honestdoc Verified Dentist

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    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.
     
    honestdoc, Apr 13, 2019 at 8:45 PM
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