Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences among clinics at the School?

Here are the three main ways in which our clinics provide care:
Type of clinic Student clinic* Graduate specialty clinic UW Dentists Faculty Practice
How care is delivered By students working toward their DDS degree, under close faculty supervision By dentists studying an advanced specialty, under faculty supervision By faculty members, much as it would be in a private dental office
Time needed for care Generally about two to three times longer than in a private dental office Varies by procedure; generally, somewhat longer than in a private dental office, but not as long as in student clinic Same as in a private dental office
Fees About 40 percent less than the Seattle-area  average; Medicaid-eligible patients pay even lower fees in our Community Dental Plan Generally about 20 to 25 percent less than the Seattle-area average Comparable to the Seattle-area average for practicing private dentists
*Patients for our dental student clinics are selected based on an initial exam that determines whether  students can successfully manage their care.

Does the School offer free care or sliding-scale fees?

Unfortunately, the School cannot offer free or sliding-scale care. Payment is due at the time of treatment, and our clinics accept several dental insurance plans, including Washington State Apple Health (also known as Medicaid) for adults and children. (Apple Health patient openings for adults may be limited.) Urgent or emergency care (if you have significant pain and/or infection or swelling) is also covered by Apple Health.

Our dental student clinics offer care at fees about 40 percent lower, on average, than fees at Seattle-area dental offices.  Call our Patient Registration Office at 206.616.6996 if you have any questions.

How do I pay for my dental care?

Patients are required to pay for their treatment at each appointment. We accept cash, check, debit or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, or Discover) and 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. Applications for the Citi Health Card can be done in our offices or at home. To apply by phone, call 1.866.843.2330. To apply online, go to

Our Patient Financial Office in room B-232 will assist in answering questions and preparing claims for those patients with dental insurance or Medicaid options. For information, please call 206.543.5297.

Is child care provided?

The School of Dentistry cannot provide child care services for patients while they are receiving care. Children cannot be left unattended in the reception areas. Also, children are not allowed in any clinic treatment area if they are not the patient receiving care.

*PLEASE NOTE: Pets are not allowed in the building, except for service animals.

Where do I park?

Paid parking is available in the UW’s S-1 parking area on the south side of the Health Sciences Center and in the underground Triangle Parking Garage on Pacific Street. We cannot validate  parking stubs. Patients are encouraged to use King County Metro bus service to the Health Sciences Center, which is served by multiple lines from all parts of the greater Seattle area.

What if I can’t keep an 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 may be a charge for missed appointments and appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Can I be treated by a member of the faculty?

Yes. If you wish to receive care from one of our faculty dentists, dental care is provided in our UW Dentists Faculty Practice clinics. The fees are similar to those of dentists in the Seattle community.

Can I receive specialty care?

Yes; we offer a complete range of specialized dental care. However, each department has individual requirements regarding acceptance for care. In some cases you may need X-rays and a referral from the dentist who initially treated or examined you. For additional information, please contact the department directly:

Specialty Clinic services and phone numbers
Specialty Clinic Typical Services Phone Number
Endodontics Root Canals 206.543.5034
Advanced General Dentistry Comprehensive Care/Medically Complex 206.543.1511
Oral Medicine Facial and joint pain/TMJ 206.685.2937
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Extractions, implants, tumor surgery, bone grafting, TMJ surgery, facial reconstruction 206.543.5860
Orthodontics Braces/ Straightening teeth 206.543.5787
Pediatric Dentistry Children’s dentistry 206.543.3525
Periodontics Gum treatment, implants 206.543.5797
Prosthodontics Full and partial dentures, implant restoration, bridgework 206.543.5991
DPHS/Dental Fears Research Clinic Dental phobias 206.685.2453

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. Read more about the dental student clinics.

What languages does the School provide interpreters for at no cost?

Interpreted languages
  • Albanian
  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • Armenian
  • Bengali
  • Bosnian
  • Burmese
  • Cambodian/Khmer
  • Chinese
  • Croatian
  • Farsi/Persian
  • French
  • Fulani
  • German
  • Greek
  • Gujarati
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hmong
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Karen
  • Kirundi
  • Korean
  • Lao
  • Mien
  • Mongolian
  • Navajo
  • Nepali
  • Oromo
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Portuguese Creole
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
  • Tagalog
  • Thai
  • Tibetan
  • Tigrigna
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese
  • Wolof
  • Yiddish

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