Mobile Dental Systems Program Operations
e. Are there any differences in obtaining patient consent?

For a thorough discussion of patient consent refer to chapter 4, section VI of the Safety Net Dental Clinic Manual. These are some considerations for specific populations that often are served by mobile van programs.

For school programs, it is advisable for the facility to include any dental consent forms in school enrollment packages so they can be reviewed, signed and returned by parents. Signing a form, however, does not constitute informed consent, and providers need to explain the oral findings and treatment choices (including the risks and benefits) when developing the treatment plan and throughout the cycle of care. This is particularly important when performing surgical procedures such as tooth extractions or when advanced behavior management techniques are needed. There may be situations such as these when you want to use additional consent forms. If the program intends to take photos of patients at any point, you will need to acquire consent for doing so and explain how the information will be used. You may need to include a statement on your informed consent that clearly explains to patients that if the whole treatment plan cannot be completed while the clinic is at the site, the patient assumes responsibility to seek and obtain completion of care elsewhere. State laws vary. Have an attorney review the form so that you do not legally abandon the patient.