Graduating to Adulthood-Art of Cosmetic Dentistry Buckhead


Over the years our practice has been fortunate to be the dentist office for many families from childhood to legal adult for their children. This is often a difficult transition time for the dental office, the parent, and the patient. Once your child turns 18 years of age they are a legal adult in the state of Georgia, and yet they can stay on your insurance until they are 26. This creates a paperwork and legal minefield for your dental office to navigate. The medical history form must now be signed by the patient rather than the parent, and it requires they be aware of their own medical history. They will also be required to consent to or deny treatment like a Vizilite oral cancer screening or a fluoride treatment. Frequently a newly minted adult will be presented with these forms and questions and will quickly call “Mom” from the dental chair to get her input. They will also be required to fill out a HIPPA form allowing us to speak to their parents regarding their treatment or their account. Unfortunately there are occasions where a child will deny the parent access to this information in spite of being dependent on their parents insurance. They will also be required to sign their treatment plan indicating that they understand that treatment was recommended. Often they leave without scheduling their treatment, and neglect to tell a parent that it was recommended. This is where training your child in advance will make this transition easier. In the last few years before a child becomes a legal adult have them read their own medical history and become familiar with discussing it on their on. Have them communicate to the dental staff any concerns regarding their teeth. Finally, teach them to accept responsibility for making appointments and keeping them on their own. Also, if you have an adult child who has any type of impaired decision making ability you must obtain a medical guardianship over them. It is illegal for you to authorize or decline treatment without a form indicating your authority in their chart. Simply affording your child the opportunity to confidently navigate their own dental care will boost their confidence in navigating other more challenging aspects of adulthood.