Skip to main content

Standards of Care

Pitt Dental Medicine Patient Care Mission

Pitt Dental Medicine provides comprehensive care to a diverse patient population emphasizing health promotion and disease prevention. At the same time, students are educated and prepared to provide treatment that meets the individual needs of the patient using the best scientific evidence available.

We make every effort to provide the best treatment possible to our patients and to meet or exceed the profession’s standards of care.

Pitt Dental Medicine fosters a humanistic environment of mutual respect and trust with its teaching, learning and delivery of patient care. This culture is supported by open communication, emphasizing empowerment, cooperation, collaboration, and strengthening relationships among all members of the School of Dental Medicine community.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine provides patients with dental care appropriate to educating students in the contemporary techniques of dentistry, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnic or national origin.

Your resident/student doctor or dental hygienist relies on your commitment to your treatment plan, not only so you will have the best dental care possible, but so each student can complete necessary educational requirements.

Standards of Care

The Standards of Care listed below are developed and approved by the Clinical Affairs Council. These basic standards serve as guidelines to which the School of Dental Medicine provides dental care to patients within the first professional program and are measured at various levels throughout Pitt Dental Medicine's Quality Measurement and Improvement Plan.
  • A patient’s protected health information (PHI) will be securely maintained and protected in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Each patient will receive the Pitt Dental Medicine packaged consent forms and Patient Bill of Rights at their initial visit.
  • Informed consent will be obtained from the patient or their legal guardian prior to initiating dental treatment, indicated by a signed and documented procedural consent form.
  • All patients will be treated with respect and efforts will be made to ensure that patients are satisfied with treatment received, as well as with their overall experience.
  • Patient care will be provided in a safe environment and providers will comply with standard precautions and the Pitt Dental Safety Plan.
  • Emergency basic life support care will be available to patients at Pitt Dental Medicine.
  • A current medical and dental history will be obtained and approved as part of the evaluation of each patient. 
  • Patients requesting comprehensive care will receive a comprehensive/periodic oral examination, individualized risk assessment, and appropriate preventive therapies whenever applicable and consistent with Pitt Dental Medicine policies and procedures. 
  • A proposed individualized treatment plan and financial plan will be reviewed and approved by the patient or their legal guardian prior to initiating dental treatment.
  • For each patient visit, an accurate treatment note will be completed and approved documenting clinical findings, treatment provided, and any diagnostic tests/records. 
  • Emergency dental services will be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at Pitt Dental Medicine or affiliated University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) treatment facilities.
  • Patients seeking emergency care during clinic hours will receive a limited oral evaluation and will receive care within our capability.
  • Patients receiving comprehensive care will be provided with the opportunity to receive periodic recall evaluations while under care. 
  • The quality, timeliness, appropriateness, and necessity of patient care will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

Protecting Children From Abuse

In an effort to protect children from abuse, the University's Office of the Provost provides guidance to members of the University community. A question and answer page has been created on the University Provost’s Web site.