Patient Services

If you are disabled, it is important that you receive good dental care. Are you one of the 49 million Americans with a disability? If the answer is yes, regular dental care is especially important to avoid the serious dental problems that often are associated with disabilities. A healthy mouth can contribute to your overall physical health and can increase your sense of well-being.

If you have a disability, you are among the 15% of the population who often have difficulty finding a dentist, particularly one skilled in care of persons with complex medical and oral problems. DECOD at the University of Washington is helping to meet the needs of those with disabilities through its clinical programs. It may be possible for you to receive care through DECOD.

What is DECOD?

DECOD (Dental Education in Care Of persons with Disabilities) at the University of Washington School of Dentistry was established in 1974 to train dental professionals in special needs of persons with disability.

Through its clients, DECOD provides more than 4,500 dental visits per year to persons with disabilities. It is a major resource for Washington citizens who are severely disabled due to developmental disorders, medical illness, trauma, degenerative conditions.

DECOD provides care through several clinics:

Rehabilitation – for those in independent living programs

Geriatric – for disabled elderly living in independent living programs

Mobile Dental Service – for residents of long-term care facilities and the homebound

DECOD receives funding support from the Medical Assistance Administration of the Washington Department of Social and Health Services.


Treatment – DECOD’s highly trained dentists provide expert treatment for a wide range of dental problems; the goal is to improve oral health and contribute to the well-being and function of clinic clients.

Prevention – Prevention is key to maintaining oral health. Clinic staff work with clients and caregivers to establish appropriate methods of preventing dental and oral disease.

Rehabilitation – The dental team will work closely with clients to enhance quality of life and employability by improving oral health.

DECOD Faculty and Staff

Your treatment will be provided by clinical faculty members experienced in the treatment of patients with special needs, graduate dental trainees, and senior dental students supervised by faculty at the UW School of Dentistry.

Fees and Payment for Services

The DECOD Clinical Services charge School of Dentistry graduate student fees for care provided to you. These fees generally are lower than those charged in private dental offices.

Medicaid and other third-party payments are accepted for procedures covered by these payers. If you receive public assistance medical coupons, you must bring a valid coupon with you to every appointment.

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