Long-term dental services are performed by dental students under the direct supervision of experienced dentists who are faculty members of the School of Dentistry.
Frequently asked questions about admissions
- How do I become a patient in the dental student clinics?
- What should I bring to my first appointment?
- What can I expect at the new patient screening examination appointment?
- What happens after I’m accepted for treatment?
- Who will provide my dental care?
- How long will it take to complete my treatment?
- What will my treatment cost?
- What is the Community Dental Plan?
- What if I can’t keep my appointment?
How do I become a patient in the dental student clinics?
New patient appointments for initial comprehensive examinations are made by calling Patient Registration/Information at 206.616.6996. Appointments are made throughout the year based on the need for new patients.
Please note: This initial exam is necessary to determine whether our students can manage the patient’s care successfully. Patients who do not qualify may still have the option of obtaining care at one of our graduate specialty clinics or our UW Dentists faculty practice.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
Your first stop will be room B-307 (Click here for directions), to the School of Dentistry Patient Registration/Information Office. You will need the following information in order to register:
- Photo ID
- Any dental insurance information
- Washington state DSHS Provider One card, if you have one
- X-rays taken within the past 12 months
- Name of guardian and/or power of attorney (for children), if applicable
- If you do not speak English and need the services of an interpreter to communicate with our staff, we encourage you to bring someone to assist you. We offer free translation services in more than 50 languages.
Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled dental treatment appointment.
What can I expect at the new patient screening examination appointment?
At this initial appointment, you will be required to complete a patient registration packet. If you are unable to fill out these forms, you must bring someone with you who can.
Your first appointment will consist of a comprehensive assessment of your teeth and mouth. A complete and appropriate set of dental x-rays will be taken. You should allow three to four hours for this visit. No dental treatment is provided during this exam. The fee for the exam varies, depending on your clinical assessment. Insurance can be used to pay for this visit.
In the dental student clinics, we try to match our new patients with our students’ ability to provide timely and quality care. If we cannot accept you for dental student care, we may refer you to our UW Dentists faculty practice clinics or a graduate specialty clinic, or an outside provider.
What happens after I’m accepted for treatment?
Your next appointment will be in the Restorative Dentistry student clinic (or, in some cases, our Periodontics clinic), where your comprehensive treatment plan is determined and fees are discussed. Your assignment to a student dentist may take extra time, depending on the School’s academic schedule. For updates on your student assignment status, contact the Patient Care Coordinators office at 206.685.1022.
Who will provide my dental care?
Dental services are performed by students under the direct supervision of experienced licensed dentists who are faculty members of the School of Dentistry. Because a faculty member will supervise and evaluate each step of the care provided by your student dentist, services will take longer than at a private dental office. This attention to detail requires more of your time, but it assures you of quality dental care.
How long will it take to complete my treatment?
Due to the instruction time during your appointment, patient visits are two to three hours long. Long-term treatments make the best progress if patients are available at least twice a month. It is also important that serious conditions be addressed as soon as possible.
It may take more than a year to complete an extensive course of treatment. If it will be difficult for you to meet this appointment schedule, you might consider seeking care from one of our other clinics, such as the UW Dentists faculty practice or our graduate specialty clinics.
What will my treatment cost?
Our fees are generally lower than those of a private dentist, and fees in our dental student clinics are, on average, about 40 percent lower than the fees charged for the same procedures by Seattle-area dentists. We offer these lower fees in recognition of the extra time needed to be treated by a dental student. In addition, we offer a UW Community Dental Plan with even greater discounts for Medicaid-eligible adult patients.
Payment for treatment is due at the time of your appointment. We do not offer payment programs or a “sliding fee scale.” However, we do offer the Citi Health Card as a payment option. The Citi Health Card offers no-interest payment plans, low monthly payments and an easy application process that allows for treatment to begin immediately upon credit approval.
Your student dentist will explain the proposed treatment and estimated fees. Although we do adjust our fees annually as costs increase, the fees quoted to you in your treatment plan will be honored for 12 months. If the cost of your initial treatment plan appears to be a problem, we can usually propose alternative treatment options.
What is the Community Dental Plan?
The UW Community Dental Plan is a group of our most common dental procedures offered at specially discounted fees to all Medicaid-eligible adult patients. A current Washington state DSHS Provider One card is proof of eligibility, and it must be presented at each visit.
These fees are discounted as much as 70 to 80 percent from the customary fees charged in Seattle-area private dental practices. Some examples:
|Procedure||Community Dental Plan||Seattle average|
|Exam, limited problem||$18.40||$73|
|Intraoral X-rays, complete series||$32.40||$132|
|Amalgam filling, one surface||$33.16||$157|
|Root canal, anterior tooth||$234.63||$703|
|Complete lower denture||$390.23||$1,589|
The special discounts may not apply to all clinical dental services. For information about the Community Dental Plan and how to become a patient, call 206.616.6996.
What if I can’t keep my appointment?
Because students need to deliver patient care to graduate, it is particularly important that you keep your appointments as scheduled. If you need to change your appointment in an emergency, please call your assigned dental provider or clinic patient care coordinator at the number on your appointment card as soon as possible. This will allow us to give another patient your appointment time.
There is a $30 charge for appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice. Please refer to our Inclement Weather Policy for information about clinic closure due to weather.