Patient Rights

West Virginia University School of Dentistry and its faculty have a responsibility to the patient and the patient has a corresponding reciprocal responsibility.  It is in recognition of these factors that these rights and responsibilities are affirmed.

  1. The patient has the right to considerate and respectful emergency, incremental and comprehensive dental care insofar as resources permit. 
     
  2. The patient has the right to obtain from their oral health care provider (dentist, postdoctoral student, dental student, dental hygienist, dental hygiene student, and staff member) complete and current information concerning their diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in terms they can be reasonably expected to understand.   When it is not medically advisable to give such information to the patient, the information should be made available to an appropriate person authorized in his/her behalf.  The patient has the right to know the name of the oral health care provider responsible for coordinating their care.
     
  3. The patient has the right to receive from his/her oral health care provider information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure.  Except in emergencies, such information for informed consent should include but not necessarily be limited to the specific procedure(s) and expected outcomes, the medically significant risks involved, and the probable duration of incapacitation.  Where medically significant alternatives for care or treatment exist, or when the patient requests information concerning alternatives, the patient has the right to such information.  The patient also has the right to know the name of the person responsible for the procedures being performed. 
     
  4. A primary function of the dental school is to educate and train students to become dentists/dental hygienists.  These students are required to attain broad clinical experience and competency in the various disciplines of dentistry.  Treatment plans are developed by the supervising faculty to respect the principles of good dentistry while thoughtfully considering the patient’s wishes.  This will assure high quality care for the patient and provide necessary clinical experiences for the student.  A patient unable or unwilling to accommodate this responsibility may not be managed in the predoctoral teaching program.  Such patients may be referred to other services for care.  The patient also has the right to refuse any treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the oral or systemic health consequences of their action.  The patient has the right to every consideration of privacy concerning his/her own dental care program.  Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment are confidential and must be conducted discreetly.  To be present those not directly involved in providing care must have the permission of the patient.
     
  5. The patient has the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to his/her care be treated asconfidential. 
     
  6. The patient has the right to expect that the dental clinic will provide evaluation, service, and/or referral as indicated by the urgency of the case.  A patient may be referred or transferred to another oral health care provider based on complete information concerning the need for transfer or referral.
     
  7. The patient has the right to be advised if the dental school proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting his/her care or treatment.  The patient has the right to refuse to participate in such research projects. 
     
  8. The patient has the right to expect reasonable continuity and completion of care.  He/she has the right to know in advance what appointment times and dental services are available and where.  The patient has the responsibility to be consistent and prompt in keeping appointments and informing the School as soon as possible if they are unable to do so.  The patient has the right to expect that the dental clinic will provide a mechanism whereby he/she is informed by his/her oral health care provider of continuing oral health care requirements following completion of a cycle of treatment.
     
  9. The patient has the right to a treatment cost estimate while realizing that contingencies can arise requiring modification of treatment plans and costs of services.  The patient is responsible for the payment of services rendered consistent with dental school policy.  The patient has the right to examine and receive an explanation of professional fees regardless of the source of payment. 
     
  10. The patient has the right to have his/her concerns and/or complaints heard, reviewed, and responded to by a patient advocate provided by the Office of Clinic Administration at (304) 293-2062.