Dental Patient Rights and Responsibilities
We are pleased that you have selected UT HEALTH SAN ANTONIO DENTISTRY for your dental care. The School is a teaching and research institution with a commitment to patient-centered education of health care professionals. Adults and children who receive care in our clinical programs are vitally important participants in this process. For that reason, we expect to make your experience a healthy and satisfying one.
We are committed to the highest quality of care. To do this, the patient or parents of patients and dental professionals must work together to develop the best relationships. A better understanding of your oral condition and your rights and responsibilities in the treatment of that condition will contribute to better care and greater satisfaction for all concerned. We realize that no set of guidelines can ever fully describe the special relationship that exists between you and your doctor. The purpose of this document is to enhance the mutual trust, cooperation, and respect which surround that relationship.
Your Rights as A Patient
YOU AS A PERSON – We are not only interested in providing you with the best patient-centered dental care, but also in recognizing and respecting your dignity as a human being. You may expect to be treated with consideration and respect regardless of your race, creed, national origin, age, handicap, sex, or source of payment.
SERVICES YOU NEED – Within its capacity, the School will provide diagnostic and treatment services consistent with the urgency of your needs. We will inform you about what we can and cannot provide and help in making referrals for treatment elsewhere. You will also be informed of the need for and availability of appointments. When your relationship with the School ends, for whatever reason, we will tell you about your further treatment needs.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR PLAN OF CARE - You are entitled to a clear explanation of your dental problems, what treatment is recommended, what the alternatives are as well as any risks involved, the estimated costs for care prior to treatment, who will provide your care and approximately how long it may take. Complications, if they are encountered during the therapy that may alter your plan of care or affect the outcome of your treatment will also be explained to you. If you are receiving comprehensive dental care from our school you can expect at least one recall appointment a few months after treatment is completed. This is our way of assuring treatment rendered at the dental school has been done in a satisfactory manner, and to see if further care is needed and to provide continuity and completion of your care. You are entitled to complete and current information about your dental conditions.
CONSENT AND REFUSAL OF TREATMENT – You have the right to participate in decisions about your dental treatment and to have any questions answered before making a decision. Any treatment you receive will meet appropriate standards of care. You may also refuse treatment and expect to be informed of the possible consequences of your decision. The risk of no treatment will also be explained. If your refusal is not congruent with good standards of care, it may be to your or our discretion to seek treatment outside the School of Dentistry Clinic and you could be considered for dismissal as a patient.
UT Dentistry highly values its patients and desires to have amicable, healthy and productive relationships with them throughout the course of their utilization of UT Dentistry’s services. Occasionally, a perceived incompatibility between UT dentistry providers and a patient or an unusual event may arise which necessitates the termination of the dentist-patient relationship. The decision to terminate the dentist-patient relationship must be made by responsible UT Dentistry dentist(s) and Dental Director(s), not by UT Dentistry non-dental staff members.
CONFIDENTIALITY – Discussions about your care will be done with as much consideration for your privacy as possible. A copy of your treatment record will not be released without your written permission except as required through an insurance contract or by law. We will follow policies as described in the Patient Privacy Acknowledgement.
Your Responsibilities as A Patient
- To share honestly and completely information about your medical and dental history, previous illnesses, hospitalizations, exposure to communicable diseases, information about medications you are taking, allergies and your current medical care.
- To let us know when there are changes in your general health condition, or if you experience complications or unusual discomfort following a treatment procedure.
- To ask questions so that you can better understand the nature of your dental condition and the treatment provided.
- To follow the instruction you are given, be available for services you need, and to keep your scheduled appointments.
- To be available at least one half-day a week, starting at 9:00 A.M. for a morning appointment or 1:00 P.M. for an afternoon appointment, and, if you are the parent of a patient under the age of 13, to be available during the entire treatment appointment.
- To give at least 24 hours notice for any cancellations of appointments. Failure to show for your scheduled appointments can result in being dismissed from the program.
- To be prompt in attendance for you or your child’s dental visit.
- To provide complete information about your dental insurance, and to pay in full by cash, check, or credit card on or before services are received.
- To seek routine care from another source (such as a dentist in private practice), once the course of prescribed treatment and recall are complete. You may, of course, seek dental rescreening and treatment here later if needed.
- To be considerate and respectful of other patients, students, faculty, and staff of the School of Dentistry.
Patient Representative on Our Staff
Our Patient Services Representatives are available from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), to assist with any questions, concerns or problems you may have about your treatment. They may be contacted at the number designated in the information you received from the Group Practice you are assigned to.
Dental Emergency After Hours
If you are an active patient assigned to a dental student and have a dental emergency after 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, weekends or holidays, call our answering service at 1-888-857-6245 for assistance.
To view the School of Dentistry History and Missions visit: https://www.uthscsa.edu/academics/dental/school-dentistry-history-and-mission