Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Patient

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Teeth Whitening - Dear Doctor Magazine Teeth Whitening - Brighter, lighter, whiter...
The subconscious impact of a white smile is radiant health, happiness, warmth and invitation. Today brighter, lighter, whiter teeth have become a norm. Tooth whitening by bleaching is a successful, conservative, relatively inexpensive and safe alternative... Read Article

 

Porcelain Veneers - Dear Doctor Magazine Smile Design Enhanced with Porcelain Veneers
In part two of the series on Smile Design, Dear Doctor takes an in-depth look at Porcelain Veneers, a superior yet minimally invasive technique for smile enhancement. We'll explain not only when they're appropriate, but also when they're not... Read Article

 

No-prep Procelain Veneers - Dear Doctor Porcelain Veneers – Without A Drill
No drilling — reality or ridiculous? A no-drill technique requires a second look, as new materials and concepts have created new esthetic possibilities. Reactions and opinions among dentists have ranged from absolute disbelief to moderate acceptance. This article gives hope and reasons for patients to get excited about this conservative drill-free cosmetic technique... Read Article

 

Cosmetic Dentistry - Dear Doctor Magazine Cosmetic Dentistry - A Time For Change
Join us as we review the myriad of possibilities available to you for cosmetic dental change. But the biggest part is not just how your smile looks, it's how you feel when you show it... Read Article

 

Dental Implants - Dear Doctor Magazine Dental Implants - Your Third Set of Teeth
A discovery fifty years ago paved the way for one of dentistry's most exciting, natural looking and successful tooth replacement systems. Learn how dental implants might just possibly change your life... Read Article

 

Tooth Decay - Dear Doctor Magazine What is Tooth Decay? - And How to Prevent It
Tooth Decay is an infection, and many people don't realize that it is preventable. This article is the first in a series about tooth decay, perhaps the number one reason children and adults lose teeth during their lifetime. Explore the causes of tooth decay, its prevention and the relationship to bacteria, sugars and acids... Read Article

 

Tooth Decay – Dear Doctor Magazine Tooth Decay – How To Assess Your Risk
Don't wait for cavities to occur and then have them fixed — stop them before they start. Modern dentistry is moving towards an approach to managing tooth decay that is evidence-based — on years of accumulated, systematic, and valid scientific research. This article discusses what you need to know to assess your risk and change the conditions that lead to decay... Read Article

 

Tooth Colored Fillings - Dear Doctor Magazine The Natural Beauty of Tooth Colored Fillings
The public's demand for aesthetic tooth colored (metal free) restorations (fillings) together with the dental profession's desire to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible, has led to the development of special "adhesive" tooth colored restorations... Read Article

 

Wisdom Teeth – Dear Doctor Magazine Wisdom Teeth – To Be Or Not To Be
Facts you need to know about these curiously named teeth. They are so-called because a moderate amount of wisdom is supposedly achieved at about the same time these teeth typically make their appearance. This article will review the problems associated with wisdom teeth and whether or not they should be removed... Read Article

 

Oral Hygiene - Dear Doctor Magazine Oral Hygiene - Dental Health for Life
The best tools for maintaining your oral health and minimizing dental problems are a quality toothbrush, toothpaste, a roll of dental floss, approved mouthwash and good diet. This article cuts through the confusion with a winning game plan for oral health... Read Article

 

Periodontal (Gum) Disease - Dear Doctor Magazine Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease
Have your gums ever bled when you brushed or flossed? This most commonly overlooked simple sign may be the start of silent (periodontal) disease leading to tooth loss. Learn what you can do to prevent this problem and keep your teeth for life... Read Article

 

Smile Makeover - Dear Doctor Magazine The Impact of a Smile Makeover
Americans are catching on to the emotional and social importance of a healthy, beautiful smile, and they're seeking out ways to improve their smiles. Learn why and what a change could mean for you...Read Article

 

Root Canal - Dear Doctor Magazine "I'd Rather Have a Root Canal..."
A common misconception is demystified. Get the real story about this much maligned procedure that eases pain, rather than causes it... Read Article

 

Oral Cancer - Dear Doctor Magazine Oral Cancer
This article may just save your life. Learn how to notice any unusual lesions (sores or ulcers) anywhere in your mouth that do not heal within two-three weeks. Early detection is key... Read Article

 

Implant Overdentures - Dear Doctor Magazine Implant Overdentures for the Lower Jaw
Implant overdentures represent a major change for the dental profession and the public. The lower jaw two-implant overdenture may be considered a more appropriate starting point over regular dentures... Read Article

 

TMD - TMJ - Dear Doctor Magazine TMD – The Great Impostor
This "chameleon" of dental disorders manifests in a variety of ways, including joint pain, sinusitus, ear pain, tooth and headaches. The causes of TMD, its signs and symptoms and what can be done to treat this common disorder... Read Article

 

Snoring and Sleep Apnea - Dear Doctor Magazine Sleep Disorders and Dentistry
If my partner snores loudly, should I be concerned and what can be done to alleviate the problem? Why does my sleeping partner have lapses in breathing while sleeping and is it dangerous? Why do I wake up exhausted even though I get up to 10 hours sleep at night? The answers to these and more questions and how dentistry can help all revealed within... Read Article

 

About Dear Doctor Dentistry Magazine
Dear Doctor - Dentistry & Oral Health is a dental magazine written for the education of the general public. Dear Doctor provides information that is accurate, authoritative, and trustworthy on all aspects of dentistry and oral health including teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, smile makeovers and more.

Copyright © 2013 Dear Doctor, Inc. All rights reserved. Copying or reproducing any text or graphics is strictly prohibited.

Patient Rights

  • You have a right to choose your own dentist and schedule an appointment in a timely manner.
  • You have a right to know the education and training of your dentist and the dental care team.
  • You have a right to arrange to see the dentist every time you receive dental treatment, subject to any state law exceptions.
  • You have a right to adequate time to ask questions and receive answers regarding your dental condition and treatment plan for your care.
  • You have a right to know what the dental team feels is the optimal treatment plan as well as the right to ask for alternative treatment options.
  • You have a right to an explanation of the purpose, probably (short and long term) results, alternatives and risks involved before consenting to a proposed treatment plan.
  • You have a right to be informed of continuing health care needs.
  • You have a right to know in advance the expected cost of treatment.
  • You have a right to accept, defer or decline any part of your treatment recommendations.
  • You have a right to reasonable arrangements for dental care and emergency treatment.
  • You have a right to receive considerate, respectful and confidential treatment by your dentist and dental team.
  • You have a right to expect the dental team members to use appropriate infection and sterilization controls.
  • You have a right to inquire about the availability of processes to mediate disputes about your treatment.

(Adopted by the American Dental Association in 2009)

Your Responsibilities as a Patient

  • You have the responsibility to provide, to the best of your ability, accurate, honest and complete information about your medical history and current health status.
  • You have the responsibility to report changes in your medical status and provide feedback about your needs and expectations.
  • You have the responsibility to participate in your health care decisions and ask questions if you are uncertain about your dental treatment or plan.
  • You have the responsibility to inquire about your treatment options and acknowledge the benefits and limitations of any treatment that you choose.
  • You have the responsibilityfor consequences resulting from declining treatment or from not following the agreed upon treatment plan.
  • You have the responsibilityto keep your scheduled appointments.
  • You have the responsibilityto be available for treatment upon reasonable notice.
  • You have the responsibilityto adhere to regular home oral health care recommendations.
  • You have the responsibilityto assure that your financial obligations for health care received are fulfilled.

(Adopted by the American Dental Association in 2009)

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.