Having surgery on your mouth can be quite daunting, especially when there are tons of forms to sign. However, paperwork is an integral part of the process. As a dentist, it’s your job to provide the documents and ensure that patients understand them so they can make an informed decision. The Oral Surgery Consent Form is a legal document that outlines the risks, benefits, and consequences of oral surgery. It also outlines the patient’s rights and responsibilities in case of complications or unexpected outcomes. By signing this form, patients acknowledge that they understand these risks and accept the treatment plan outlined by their dentist. The easiest way to compose these crucial documents is by choosing a high-quality Oral Surgery Consent Form template to help save time and provide a recognizable structure that reduces human error and ensures all the essential information is presented.
What Is an Oral Surgery Consent Form?
An oral surgery consent form is a legal document a patient completes before undergoing oral surgery. It outlines the risks and benefits associated with the procedure and allows the patient to indicate their consent to proceed. It also serves as a binding contract to protect the rights of the patient and the medical practitioner. This document usually includes information regarding the type of procedure, anesthesia to be used, potential side effects, post-operative care and follow-up, and any other relevant information. The patient must sign the form to indicate their understanding and consent. Otherwise, the dentist will not proceed.
Interesting Fact: While consent forms are a relatively modern practice, oral surgery has been around longer than you might think. Aristotle and Hippocrates wrote about this vital form of medical care as early as 500-300 BCE. However, dental care and some forms of maxillofacial surgery, such as drilling and extractions, were practiced thousands of years before those writings, possibly as early as 6000 BCE in China and 3000 BCE in Egypt.
Importance of Oral Surgery Consent Forms
Oral surgery consent forms are an important part of any oral surgery procedure. These forms provide a written record of the patient’s consent to the surgery and a way for the patient to understand the risks and benefits associated with the procedure. However, there are many other reasons why these integral documents are a part of every oral surgery.
- Rising concerns about patient rights and medical malpractice mean that these forms are necessary and legally required and have an essential role in creating transparency and trust, thus facilitating the relationship between practitioners and their patients.
- Since oral surgery consent forms are only valid if the patient understands them fully, having these documents means working on effective communication. They help open the discussion and foster an environment where questions are encouraged.
- A consent form also offers a chance for patients to voice any concerns. Listen empathetically and offer them reassurance and comfort, doing your part to contribute to a good patient-doctor relationship.
- A signed consent form protects the practitioner and business from litigation.
- It also shows that the patient was aware of the fees and payment options prior to consent.
Essential Elements of Oral Surgery Consent Form
The essential elements of an oral surgery consent form are primarily concerned with the inherent risks of the procedure. However, these documents typically contain information about the doctor performing the surgery, fees, and other vital details. Below we’ve created an overview of what to expect on the form and template, along with a brief explanation of each element.
- (Optional) Business Name or Logo- This common practice provides brand continuity and makes documents look more professional.
- Form Title- The title of the form should be “Oral Surgery Consent Form,” and it should be in large, bold print at the top. This identifies what the document is and its purpose at a glance.
- Legal Consent- The legal consent says that the law requires patient approval, and the named patient gives that consent to the named doctor and their associates.
- Expectation and Risk Statement- This prefaces the list of common risks and says the patient has discussed the proposed treatment, understands the expected outcome, and is aware of the risks.
- Risk Statements- Risk statements list all the common issues that can arise, such as dry sockets, Trismus, nerve injuries, and Bacterial Endocarditis.
- Informed Consent Statements- Informed consent statements include items such as consent, agreeing that they have asked any questions, received satisfactory answers, and had their concerns addressed. Other statements typically cover fees, medications and their effects, and any additional procedures that may be deemed necessary.
- (Optional) Aftercare Instructions and Obligations Consent- You may want to include specific aftercare instructions, directions on what to do in case of adverse effects, and a consent statement showing the patient agrees to follow these directives.
- Patient Name- Print the patient’s full name here.
- Patient Signature and Date Line- This is where they sign or eSign the form.
- Parent or Guardian Signature and Date Line- If the patient is a minor, their parents or guardians must also sign the form.
Pro Tip: Avoid overly complex language and industry-specific terms as often as possible. Making your document easy to read is vital and reduces the amount of time spent on explanations. However, it would be best if you were also prepared to explain any section of the form differently to foster better understanding. If necessary, use visual aids to ensure the patient or their parents and guardians fully comprehend the proposed procedure and its associated risks.
Below, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions about this topic to help you make the most out of your Oral Surgery Consent Form template. You’ll learn about eSignatures, patients who want to rescind their consent, how long to store these documents after they are signed, and plenty of other helpful facts.
Oral surgery consent forms need to be signed by an adult patient or the legal guardian of a minor. This means that the patient or representative adult must be informed of the procedure’s risks, benefits, alternatives, and prognosis before they can consent. The form may also detail any fees associated with the procedure and follow-up care instructions. It is crucial for whichever party signs the document to read and understand all of the information on the surgical consent form before consenting.
Oral surgery consent forms can be signed electronically. Electronic signatures provide a secure and convenient way to sign documents, and they are legally binding in many countries. Electronic signatures are often used for important documents such as contracts, wills, or medical forms. In the case of oral surgery consent forms, electronic signatures can provide a quick and easy way to securely sign documents without having to visit the dentist’s office in person. Additionally, electronic signatures can help reduce paperwork, save time, and make it easier to keep track of consent forms. However, you should always check your local laws and standards before creating a digital consent document for patients.
It is essential to keep copies of oral surgery consent forms for a minimum of three to seven years. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in most states is two to three years, but the time period can be extended if the patient was a minor at the time of the procedure. Keeping copies of consent forms for seven years ensures that all potential claims are covered. Additionally, it is important to keep copies of consent forms in a secure location, such as a locked filing cabinet or secure digital storage system.
If a patient refuses to sign an oral surgery consent form, oral surgery cannot be performed. Most states and countries require a signed consent form in order to proceed with any invasive medical procedure. It is up to the patient to decide whether they want to undergo surgery. A signed consent form ensures that the patient is fully aware of the risks and complications associated with the procedure. A patient who refuses to sign the consent form will not be able to receive the surgery due to the legal requirement for consent.
Patients who change their minds after signing an oral surgery consent form can revoke their consent. However, it is essential to note that the patient must do so in writing, and the practitioner must receive the revocation before any treatment is initiated. The patient should also be aware that their medical records will still reflect that they initially consented to the procedure. If the treatment has already begun, the patient will most likely not be able to revoke their consent unless for that procedure since it could cause more harm. In some cases, a patient who revokes their consent may still be responsible for payment for any work done up until the revocation. The patient should also be aware that there are certain areas where patients’ rights and the practitioner’s privileges overlap. For example, if a patient is under the age of 18, they cannot legally consent or withdraw consent without parental consent unless in cases of emergency.
The dentist performing the oral surgery procedure is typically responsible for obtaining and documenting informed consent. Moreover, the process includes providing patients with information about the surgery and any potential risks. Then, once the dentist is confident of their comprehension, they are responsible for obtaining their signatures as evidence they understand and accept the procedure’s potential risks. Sometimes, a patient may be asked to sign a specific form provided by the dentist. The dentist should also ensure that all relevant information is recorded in the patient’s medical records.
Dentists need patients to sign an Oral Surgery Consent Form to protect the patient and the dentist. The form serves as a legal document that outlines the risks, benefits, and potential consequences of any oral surgery procedure. It also outlines the patient’s rights and responsibilities in the event of any complications or unexpected outcomes. By signing the form, the patient acknowledges that they understand and accept these risks and agree to the treatment plan outlined by their dentist. Doing this helps to ensure that they have discussed the potential risks and that, to the extent possible, both parties are taking steps to reduce them. It also complies with applicable consent laws and helps protect the dentist from any legal ramifications if something happens during the procedure. Using a professionally created Oral Surgery Consent Form template can save time, reduce errors, and helps practitioners provide their patients with an easy-to-read document to facilitate the surgical process.