Patient Autonomy is the right of
the patient to make his or her own decisions with respect to the treatment that
he or she will receive. It is important that the patient has the final decision
in his or her treatment. The dentist is responsible for presenting the patient
with all of the available treatment options, the successes and hardships
associated with those treatments, and giving the patient the ability to make a
decision that is informed and best suits his or her needs. The dentist and
patient are equal partners in the decision making process. Three areas define
this relationship – they deserve each other’s respect; each has a set of
values; and each comes to the decision-making process about the patient’s oral
health with the understanding that information must be shared. Thus, it is
essential that the dentist and patient communicate and cooperate effectively
and efficiently.

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