Home > Topics > Communication > Obtaining Consent > Obtaining Consent for a Dental Examination and Treatment

Obtaining Consent for a Dental Examination and Treatment

Prior to the examination explain what you plan to do. The patient may consent verbally or consent is implied if, following the explanation, the patient lies in the dental chair and allows the examination to proceed. Written consent is not required. The important aspect is to ensure that consent is based on the Principles for Obtaining Consent.

NB: Consent to an examination might not include permission to take radiographs or additional diagnostic tests. If these are planned, explain to the patient the care you would like to undertake and obtain consent for the procedures before any activity is undertaken.

After the examination, obtain written consent from the patient for the agreed treatment before it is carried out (see Consent Form May 2023 (Word)). For this to be valid, provide sufficient information (see Involving the Patient in Agreeing Their Care), including costs, to the patient to enable the patient to make an informed decision. It is often helpful to provide printed information about the treatment.

Offer the patient the opportunity to ask questions about their care and allow them time to consider and agree treatment.

Allow the patient to reach their decision voluntarily and ensure they know they can change their mind at any time.

Record and retain details of the consent process within the patient record.

Although written consent is not a legal requirement for treatment under local anaesthesia, it is good practice to record the consent process within the patient record.

Where general anaesthesia or sedation is contemplated, written, signed consent is required. Obtain appropriate consent and retain this within the patient record.

NB: NHS Inform produce information for patients in various formats, Consent – it’s your decisionand for young people, Information for young people using NHS services. Consider making the information available at your practice.

Sources of Information