Can a 16-year old patient refuse consent to dental treatment that would be in their best interests?

Children age 16 and over are deemed capable of consenting to dental treatment for themselves. However, the law is more complicated when a young person refuses treatment you believe is in their best interests.

In these circumstances, a person with parental responsibility can authorise treatment for a patient aged 16-18, but it would still be practically and ethically difficult to justify treating a patient of this age against their will. It is important to seek DDU advice if you're considering taking this step.

More information can be found in our guide to consent and young patients.

This page was correct at publication on 24/11/2021. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.