- You have a right to see the dentist every time you receive
- You have a right to ask about treatment alternatives and be
told, in language you can understand, the advantages and
disadvantages of each.
- You have a right to know the education and training of your
dentist and the dental team.
- You have a right to know in advance the type and expected cost
- You have a right to expect dental team members to use
appropriate infection and sterilization controls.
- You have a right to ask your dentist to explain all the
treatment options regardless of coverage or cost.
- You have a right to be treated in a professional and ethical
manner by your dentist and dental team.
- You should have a right to schedule an appointment with the
dentist of your choice.
(Adopted 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 care system.
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 vital protections.
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:
- Coverage for freestanding dental plans, which account for the
vast majority of Americans who have dental coverage.
- Patient 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.
Health plan accountability, through the availability of
impartial, external review and by holding plans accountable when
their decisions to delay or deny care harm patients