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Dental Patients' Bill of Rights

How Your Rights Are Handled In the Dental Office

By

Updated June 23, 2010

A patients' rights in the dental office are often not fully understood by patients' themselves. Understanding how certain rights apply to dentistry and dental should be a priority for every dental patient.

Your Right To Privacy

Photo: Winston Davidian / Getty Images

Perhaps your most important right as a dental patient, privacy and how your information is used and shared in the dental office is often misunderstood.

How is your personal health information protected under privacy laws? What information can my dentist share? Understanding your right to privacy in the dental office is an invaluable tool that every dental patient needs to clearly understand.

Your Right to Choose Your Provider

As a dental patient, you have the right to choose your provider. With that being said, you should be aware that certain dental insurance plans may restrict this right--because many plans only work with dentists that are approved under the plan's terms and conditions.

It is your right as a patient to feel comfortable with the dentist, and his staff. Finding a dentist that is right for you can be made easier when you follow a fool-proof guideline, designed specifically for you to utilize when seeking a dentist.

Your Right To Prompt Care and Attention

Photo: Medioimages/Photodisc / Getty Images

We have all found ourselves in an emergency medical situations that may require care at an emergency facility, such as a hospital or walk-in medical clinic, but what should you do when you have a dental emergency? Most dental offices are not considered emergency facilities, so what happens when you have a dental emergency? Should you see your dentist or head to the hospital? What should you do when your dentist isn't able to see you when you have a dental emergency?

 

Your Right to a Second Opinion

You've been told that you require several root canals and crowns on teeth that have never given you a speck of pain or discomfort.  You have seen your current dentist for 10 years, but you are not comfortable with his diagnosis.  What should you do?

Your Right to Your Dental Records

It's siting right beside you, and the dentist has left the room. If you are tempted to look in your dental records, will you get into trouble if you're caught? Do you have the right to review and request a copy of your dental records?
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