Are there laws that require periodontal probings and how often they need to be recorded. I ask this question because there is a patient that refuses to have any probings done. He has never had a periodontal charting since he has been a patient at my office. Is it ok for me to refuse to do a prophy on him? I live in Florida. I have researched and it looks like there are codes of standard care but no actual laws on this. Please help!! Thanks! Becky
Becky, you would need to check within your own statues for the state of Florida on this issue and in fact I would recommend to contact their legal department to ask their advice. Even if it is not “illegal” to provide preventive treatment without periodontal data recorded, they could advise on the best way to handle this situation. The AAP published a paper in 2011 titled, “Comprehensive Periodontal Therapy: A Statement by the American Academy of Periodontology” that can be considered a standard of care for periodontal evaluations, and it states: “Patients should receive a comprehensive periodontal evaluation and their risk factors should be identified at least on an annual basis.” You can view this online at www.perio.org. You may also want to check you state laws surrounding how to legally dismiss a patient from the practice. In most states as long as you are not in the midst of treatment that is incomplete; you can dismiss a patient. In some cases it is in the patient’s and the practice’s best interest to do so. It can put you in a bit of an ethical quandary to provide treatment without adequate diagnostic information, so I would consider this issue very carefully.