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adult prophy instead of SRP

In some offices, most of the patients are scheduled for adult prophy even if it’s obvious that they need SRP and I know it’s mostly because of the insurance coverage purposes, but how can I address this to the patient and the dentist?

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1 Answer

That is a tough situation. Offices should be providing the appropriate treatment regardless of insurance coverage. The best thing to do would be to speak with the dentist about the issue and see how he/she responds. It is a form of negligence if the practice is not providing SRP if it is the proper treatment. If that patient that needs SRP is only getting a routine cleaning for an extended period of time and the calculus and bacteria is not being treated subgingivally, the office would be held accountable for any negative effects that has on the patient’s oral health. In my office, if SRP is needed, we always inform the patient that is the proper treatment. The patient then can make the decision to have it preformed or not. If they choose not to have it done, or refuse to go to a specialist, we do extensive documentation and also have them sign a waver that says they understand the recommended treatment and risks, and that they are refusing it. Even then, it is really a bad position because I have read that signing a refusal of treatment waver is not always enough legally.

The best thing to do first is to talk to the dentist you work for and see what their option about it is. If they don’t seem like they want to change what they are doing, it may be time to look for another place to work if their view of dental care is different than yours.

Good luck and I hope this helps!

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