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 Dental Patients Bill of Rights 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Integrative Dentistry by . View all columns in series
Having been a dentist for over twenty years, I have seen patients who have no recollection of what type of dental treatment they have had in their mouth, or for that matter, why they had it. When asked why they don’t know what was done to their mouth, the patient will reply that they were scared, intimidated or just didn’t know what to ask. The Dental Patient’s Bill of Rights will hopefully shed some light on how important it is to take responsibility towards your health and how improved communications is the key to receiving the best treatment from your health care practitioner.

Dental Patients’ Bill of Rights:

  1. To choose the dentist of their choice and to expect the highest standard of care from that dentist in the dental community.
  2. To know the education and training of their dentist and dental team members.
  3. To expect the dental team members to use the highest and most appropriate infection control and sterilization protocols.
  4. To be informed about treatment options in an easy to understand manner along with advantages and disadvantages of those options.
  5. To have been explained fully the estimated cost of treatment and approximate time necessary to complete treatment.
  6. To receive considerate, caring and respectful treatment.
  7. To receive and have access to reasonable emergency dental treatment.

Insured Dental Patients’ Bill of rights:

  1. To have been explained fully, the program benefits and coverage by the insurance company.
  2. To be able to choose the dentist of their choice.
  3. To review insurance coverage decisions with their dentists.
  4. To have easy access to resolving grievances and to appeal them if not satisfactorily resolved.
  5. To have the security that the insurance company is financially secure and that coverage and payment is based on patients’ best interest and their health concerns and not the "business" of insurance administration.

Patient responsibilities:

  1. To provide an accurate and complete patient information and health history record.
  2. To ask questions until there is clear understanding on planned treatment and what is expected of you financially.
  3. To complete treatment as agreed upon and comply with all recommendations towards prevention.
  4. Maintaining appointments on a regular and timely manner.
  5. Treating dental team with respect and consideration.
      
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 About The Author
Flora Stay, DDS holds a doctor of dental surgery degree from University of California, San Francisco. She is the founder of ...moreFlora Stay DDS
 
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