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Implant Nursing: Your role in consent

The average dental patient who is considering dental implants will have possibly researched advantages and disadvantages of replacing missing teeth with such a prosthesis.Some advertisements for dental implants tend to give a positive outcome without exploring any possible long or short-term complications. This means that Patients often have high expectations of dental implants. Part of the consent process involves making sure that patient expectations are managed and they are aware of advantages, disadvantages and the possible success rate of their personalised treatment plan. Patients must be made aware of consequences of treatment failure and successful treatment and be taught good oral hygiene techniques to maintain their prosthesis.

Making sure that the patient understands the treatment plan, which means explaining it in simple, easy to understand information is of utmost importance. Informed consent may not be valid if the patient does not understand the proposed treatment.

As a trained dental implant nurse, you can help the clinician with the consent process in the following ways:

  • Acting as a third party witness by making sure that the treatment plan was explained to the patientin a clear manner and that the patient was fully informed of any risks or complications
  • As a trained implant nurse you will have an understanding of the treatment plan proposed and you can help answer any questions that the patient may have later. You will have an understanding of surgical aspects and any normal postoperative symptoms that the patient may experience such as swelling or bruising and be able to identify any urgent complications that a patient may report over the phone for example and be able to alert the clinician immediately.
  • You can scan the consent form into the notes or keep a copy in the patient records. You can make sure that the patient has a signed copy of the consent form
  • Trained implant nurses may be involved with creating leaflets and literature about dental implants for the practice to help your patients understand the implant process at your practice

Gaining a qualification with The Certificate in Dental Implant Nursing gives you knowledge of medico-legal aspects of dental implants and an understanding of the process to support the clinician with achieving a predictable and high-quality outcome for the patient.

Suzanne Simpson

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