UW School of Dentistry

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Subject: Patient Rights & Responsibilities
Review Dates: November 2008, April 2007, November 2008, September 2016


To educate patients on their rights and responsibilities related to dental care.

General Policy

The University of Washington School of Dentistry is committed to respecting the rights and responsibilities of its patients who are accepted for care. These rights and responsibilities are recognized as important parts of the care process and are supported by all staff, faculty, and students throughout the School. Staff, faculty, and students will be educated about patient rights and their role in supporting these rights. All patients are provided with a copy of Patient Rights & Responsibilities.

Patient Rights

  • Patients have the right to impartial, reasonable access to care and treatment regardless of one’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or status as a disabled veteran.
  • Patients have the right to care that is considerate and respectful of their cultural and personal values and beliefs.
  • Patients have the right to have reasonable access to a certified interpreter or other language assistance if they do not speak or understand the English language.
  • Patients have the right to a reasonably safe and secure environment.
  • Patients have the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
  • Patients have the right to be fully informed of their dental needs and the alternatives for care and to be referred elsewhere when the School cannot provide the care a patient requests.
  • Patients have the right to effective pain management. Pain will be addressed and managed as deemed appropriate by the care provider.
  • Patients have the right to consideration for their personal privacy and confidentiality of information.
  • Patients have the right to have access to a written statement that articulates the rights and responsibilities of patients.
  • Patients have the right to access their own health information, request amendment to it, and receive an accounting of disclosures about it, as permitted under applicable law.
  • Patients have the right to expect that appointments will be offered to them on a regular basis until the completion of their care, once they begin the care process.
  • Patients have the right to request and receive an itemized and detailed explanation of their bill for services rendered.
  • Patients can expect that services rendered in the School meet the standard of care of the dental profession.
  • Patients have the right to make complaints about their care according to the established policy and guidelines available in all patient care areas. Patients can freely voice complaints and recommend changes without being subject to coercion, discrimination, reprisal, or unreasonable interruption of care, treatment and services.
  • Patients have the right to be informed of outcomes of care, treatment, and services, including unanticipated outcomes.
  • Patients and/or their legally authorized surrogate decision maker(s) have the right, in collaboration with their dentist, to be informed and make decisions involving their dental care, including the right to accept or to refuse dental treatment and to be informed of the consequences of such refusal.

Patient Responsibilities

  • Patients have the responsibility to provide, to the best of their knowledge, accurate and complete information and to report any changes in their medical status to their care provider.
  • Patients have the responsibility to participate in discussions about their plan of care, ask questions, and to inform the care provider if they do not understand proposed treatment.
  • Patients have the responsibility to make and keep appointments, arrive on time, stay for the entire time scheduled, and provide a minimum of 24 hours’ notice to change or cancel appointments.
  • Patients have the responsibility to follow the treatment plan to which they agreed, including any recommended follow-up instructions. Patients are responsible for the outcomes if they do not follow the care and treatment plan.
  • Patients have the responsibility to know their insurance coverage, benefits, and other spending accounts.
  • Patients have the responsibility to notify their dental care providers or a staff member if they have complaints or concerns.
  • Patients have the responsibility to provide updated, accurate insurance and billing information (including name, mailing address, phone number, and any other requested information for billing purposes), and for meeting the financial obligation agreed to with the School.
  • Patients have the responsibility to provide accurate personal identification information.
  • Patients have the responsibility to inform the School if they have special needs.
  • Patients have the responsibility inform the School when their treatment is not progressing with their provider by calling Patient Services at 206-221-0778.
  • Patients have the responsibility for making necessary arrangements for childcare as the School does not provide child care. Children are not allowed into the treatment areas except for their own appointments, and may not be left unattended in the waiting areas.
  • Patients have the responsibility for following the School of Dentistry policies and guidelines affecting patient care and conduct:
    • Patients may not disrupt or interfere with their care provider, other patients, or the operations of the patient care and office areas.
    • Patients may not conduct any illegal activities on the premises of the School of Dentistry.
    • Patients may not engage in any discriminatory or sexually harassing behavior toward staff, students, or faculty per University policy.
    • Patients are responsible for being considerate of the rights of others.
    • Patients are responsible for being respectful of the property of other persons and the School of Dentistry.

Information for Patients

The information below will provide general information about our Dental Clinics. We encourage you to ask questions about any part of this information that is not clear to you.

Your Dental Provider

Dental students, graduate students and residents in training are under close supervision by experienced, licensed faculty dentist.

Dental Appointments

STUDENT CLINICS: Appointments begin at 9:00 am or 9:30 am and 1:30 pm, depending on the clinic, and last two and a half hours. Patients must be available for the entire appointment time. Appointment availability may be limited when the school is not in session.

Appointment times vary in our Specialty Clinics and UW Dentists Faculty Practice.

Payment for Services

Payment is due at the time of service. The School accepts cash, check, Citi Health Card, Visa, Discover, and MasterCard. Please provide your dental insurance information upon registering as a new patient. If we are in your insurance plan’s network, our billing office will submit claims to your insurance company. Any co-payments are due on the day of service. If the school is not contracted with your insurance plan, you are responsible for the payment at the time of service. We do not offer payment plans.

Missed Appointments

If you miss an appointment or do not cancel within 24 hours, we may charge you a cancellation fee. Please note that chronic lateness to appointments or more than two cancelled or failed appointments may be cause for discontinuing your care.

Dental Urgent Care Clinic

If you are experiencing pain or swelling, please call the Dental Urgent Care Clinic between 8:30am – 4:30pm at 206-543-5850 to schedule an appointment.

For after-hours emergency care, please call UWMC Emergency Department at 206-598-4000.

Limited Care

Limited treatment is available to patients with referrals from private practices or referrals from School of Dentistry Clinics for patients with minimal needs.

Unattended Children

Children may not be left unattended in waiting areas and are only allowed in clinics for their own appointments.


In accordance with WA state administrative code animal control policy, we enforce a no pet policy. However, service animals will be accommodated.


We do not validate parking.
For maps and directions, visit:

Appendices: Appendix A, Patient Rights & Responsibilities Brochure

Dean of UW SOD:

Joel Berg, Dean of the UW School of Dentistry
October 13, 2016

Appendix A

Patient Rights & Responsibilities Brochure (PDF)