Purpose

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes that informed consent is essential in the delivery of health care. The informed consent process allows the patient or, in the case of minors, the parent* to participate in and retain autonomy over the health care received. Informed consent also may decrease the practitioner’s liability from claims associated with miscommunication. Informed consent is governed by the statutes and case laws of individual states; oral health care providers should review the applicable laws and regulations of their state.

* In all AAPD oral health care policies and clinical recommendations, the term “parent” has a broad meaning encompassing a natural/biological or adoptive father or mother of a child with full parental legal rights, a person recognized by state statute to have full parental legal rights, a parent who in the case of divorce has been awarded legal custody of a child, a person appointed by a court to be the legal guardian of a minor child, or a foster parent (a noncustodial parent caring for a child without parental support or protection who was placed by local welfare services or a court order). American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Introduction. Pediatr Dent 2018;40(6):5-7.