Your dentist is the best source of information about your dental health and wants you to feel comfortable about your dental care. You have the right to ask questions. As an informed dental patient, you also have important rights.
minnesota dental association patient bill of rights
You have a right:
- To know in advance the type of treatment that will be provided and the expected cost of treatment.
- To expect dental team members to use appropriate infection controls.
- To be informed about treatment alternatives and to be told in easily understood language about the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- To accept, defer or decline any part of your treatment recommendations.
- To know the education and training of your dentist and dental team members.
- To know what professional rules, laws and ethics apply to your dentist and dental team.
- To receive considerate and respectful treatment.
- To receive reasonable emergency care from your dentist.
- To mediate disputes about your treatment with an impartial mediator.
- To choose your own dentist.
You, in turn, have a responsibility to ask questions if you are uncertain about your dental treatment, to keep your scheduled appointments, to be available for treatment upon reasonable notice, and to adhere to regular home oral health routines.
if you are dissatisfied
Occasionally, communication breaks down between you and your dentist about your dental care. Usually, the best way to resolve matters is first to let the dentist know how you feel so that you can work together to find a solution that is mutually agreeable. Though you may be frustrated, try to handle the discussion in a frank, business-like way. Your dentist cares about your satisfaction and will want to resolve the problem. However, if talking to your dentist doesn’t resolve the problem to your satisfaction, there are two other options available to you.
- If your dentist is a member of the Minnesota Dental Association (MDA), its Peer Review process is available to you. Peer Review is a formal process that deals with disputes about clinical services provided. Your complaint is reviewed, researched and resolved by a group of your dentist’s peers. For a referral to the Peer Review Committee in your area, call the MDA at (800)950-3368. Most Minnesota dentists (77 percent) are MDA members, and all members agree to abide by the decision of the Peer Review Committee.
- Refer your complaint to the Minnesota Board of Dentistry. The Minnesota Board of Dentistry is the government agency that licenses dentists, dental hygienists, and dental therapists, and registers dental assistants in Minnesota. The Board deals with violations of the Dental Practice Act.
To learn more about how the Minnesota Board of Dentistry deals with patient complaints or to learn whether the Board has already taken public disciplinary or corrective action against a dentist, call 612-617-2250 or visit mn.gov/boards/dentistry.
access to health records
As a patient, you have rights related to your health records and when certain information can be released without your consent.