This month’s Dentistry and the Law column addresses the ethical termination of the dentist-patient relationship, discussing how to terminate a challenging patient-dentist relationship. Dentists have an ethical and legal obligation to end the relationship appropriately, and abrupt termination can lead to claims of "abandonment." To safeguard against such claims, dentists should provide reasonable notice, offer emergency services, facilitate referrals, and ensure the completion of ongoing treatment. While claims of patient abandonment are rare, proactive termination before critical treatment needs arise is advised.
Schulte, Daniel JD
"Dentistry and the Law: Terminating the Dentist-Patient Relationship and Avoiding Abandonment,"
The Journal of the Michigan Dental Association: Vol. 105:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://commons.ada.org/journalmichigandentalassociation/vol105/iss2/5