The initial consultation or dental examination, which may include intra-oral X-rays, is the most important part of the patient’s dental journey. This is the time for us to fully understand special circumstances and to develop a plan appropriate to the person’s situation. The plan may not be fully completed during this session, as often we liaise with other people such as family members and medical professionals. Options for treatment will be provided, explaining the consequences and cost of each. Please note that whilst generally no treatment will be carried out at the initial consultation, it determines treatment options, which are carefully explained in real language, not dental-speak.
Gradual acclimatisation to the dental surgery may be required for some patients. Dr Helen Marchant sometimes will take the dental mirror and toothbrush out to the waiting room, or even the car park! This is where our social story about visiting the dentist can be useful and we encourage carers to take photos so they can make their own stories.
Please note- it is important to complete the registration form fully or ensure the referring dentist sends all relevant information. If information is incomplete, Dr Helen Marchant can assist during the consultation, but any outstanding administrative issues takes time away from the dental consultation.
Consent for dental services
Some patients are unable to give their own consent and will need a ‘medical decision maker’ to give consent for a dental examination and treatment. Usually the person responsible to give consent is the patient’s next of kin. Some patients will have a legally appointed person who has medical power of attorney. For patients who have no next of kin and no specific medical decision maker appointed, we will contact the Office of the Public Advocate for advice.
Please note: professional carers are not permitted to provide consent for dental examination and treatment, unless specifically appointed as above.
A person who is unable to give their own consent cannot be examined at Western Special Needs Dentistry without permission in writing from their ‘medical decision maker’. Permission must also be given to allow Western Special Needs Dentistry to obtain relevant medical information from other health professionals, such as the patient’s GP.