Rights as a Patient
have a right to see the dentist every time you receive
have a right to ask about treatment alternatives and be
told, in language you can understand, the advantages and
disadvantages of each.
have a right to know the education and training of your
dentist and the dental team.
have a right to know in advance the type and expected cost
have a right to expect dental team members to use
appropriate infection and sterilization controls.
have a right to ask your dentist to explain all the
treatment options regardless of coverage or cost.
have a right to be treated in a professional and ethical
manner by your dentist and dental team.
by the Pennsylvania Dental Association in 1998)
American Dental Association Leads Fight for Patient Rights
The American Dental Association has supported legislation that
will set a few basic rules to promote high-quality care and
protect patients in an increasingly bottom line-driven health
ADA member dentists have been instrumental in moving the
patients' rights issue into the national spotlight. The nation
appears closer than ever to finally seeing a comprehensive
patients' bill of rights passed into law.
While Congress debates various versions of patient rights
legislation, the insurance and managed care industries have long
supported legislation that would fail to protect all privately
insured Americans against unfair delays and denials of coverage
by their health plans, according to the ADA. Some ill-fated
bills left out critical protections, such as guaranteeing people
the option of choosing their own doctors or creating mechanisms
to address patients' grievances against health plans. One
proposal even omitted freestanding dental plans, which could
have left more than 120 million dental patients without these
The American Dental Association continues to lobby for the
enactment of bipartisan legislation to help ensure that health
plans treat patients fairly and do not discriminate against
dentists. Here are some of the key issues identified by the ADA:
for freestanding dental plans, which account for the vast
majority of Americans who have dental coverage.
choice, by guaranteeing access to at least one plan with a
point-of-service option that allows patients the opportunity to
choose their own doctors.
accountability, through the availability of impartial, external
review and by holding plans accountable when their decisions to
delay or deny care harm patients.