Rights and Responsibilities

Dental Records

Dental records are the sole property of the El Centro Dental Hygiene Clinic. Dental records include dental/medical records, treatment records, radiographs (X-rays), photographs, models and other materials related to treatment. Upon request, you may inspect these materials and request a copy of dental radiographs. The Dental Hygiene Clinic follows all Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) federal regulations.

You may request that your radiographs be sent to another dental provider. Only diagnostic radiographs will be sent to another provider. This may require retaking some radiographs by your dentist. Following a request, it may take up to two weeks to receive a copy of a patient record.

Student Rights

The El Centro Dental Hygiene student has the right to:

  1. Respect, honesty and courtesy.
  2. A clinical atmosphere that is culturally sensitive and free from discrimination and sexual harassment.
  3. Patients who honor their appointments, arrive on time and, together with the student clinician, participate in the educational learning process.

Please know that your contribution to our students' education is invaluable, and we appreciate your interest and continued support of our program. Note: Students are not allowed to receive gifts.

Patient Bill of Rights

The students, faculty and staff of El Centro strive to provide each patient with a high quality of care in the Dental Hygiene Clinic. As our patient, you are entitled to certain rights:

  1. You will be provided considerate, respectful and confidential care.
  2. Your dental hygiene assessment and treatment procedures will be provided by one or more students who are under the direct supervision of a faculty member employed by El Centro.
  3. Faculty members who supervise Dental Hygiene students are licensed dental health care professionals in good standing.
  4. You will be offered continuity and completion of dental hygiene treatment, provided you are punctual and consistently keep your appointments.
  5. You have the right to ask questions about your dental health or treatment at any time.
  6. You may request access to complete and current information about your dental health, and you may request changes to your information.
  7. You will be given adequate information, and you will be able to ask questions regarding your need to give informed consent to proposed treatment.
  8. You will be provided an explanation of recommended treatment, treatment alternatives, the option to refuse treatment, the risk of no treatment, expected outcomes of treatment options and the cost of treatment.
  9. You can expect confidentiality regarding your medical history, oral health and dental records.
  10. You have the right to review all records pertaining to your dental care and have the information explained or interpreted as necessary — except where restricted by law — and the right to receive a copy of relevant documents or information for a nominal fee.
  11. You have the right to care that meets professional standards of dental hygiene care.
  12. You will be informed if it is determined that you have treatment needs beyond the scope of the Dental Hygiene Clinic, and you will be given a list of community clinics, at your request.

You may also offer comments, complaints and/or suggestions regarding clinic services, the Dental Hygiene program or a specific student or faculty member.

Patient Responsibilities

These responsibilities can be exercised on the patient's behalf by a parent or legal guardian if the patient is a minor, lacks decision-making capacity or is legally incompetent.

  1. The patient is responsible for providing, to the best of their knowledge, accurate and complete information about past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters related to their health status.
  2. The patient must take responsibility for requesting additional information or clarification about their dental health, health status or treatment when they do not fully understand information and instructions.
  3. The patient is responsible for their actions if they refuse treatment or do not follow the instructions of the provider. It is the patient's responsibility to inform dentists, dental hygienists and other caregivers of anticipated problems in following prescribed treatment, including follow-up treatment instructions.
  4. The patient has a responsibility to keep appointments, and when unable to do so, to notify the Dental Hygiene program office within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment.
  5. The patient is responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and Dental Hygiene faculty and staff and for not interfering with the general functioning of the facility.
  6. The patient is responsible for considerate and appropriate behavior toward the dental hygiene clinician, staff and faculty. Harassment in the form of unpleasant comments, suggestions or actions; uninvited or unwelcome verbal or physical conduct; or the suggestion of exchanging gifts or favors for care are expressly prohibited.

Treatment records, X-rays, models and other materials related to treatment in the clinic are the property of the clinic and are part of a student's evaluation. You have the right to inspect these materials and to request a copy of your X-rays. To request a copy of your X-rays, two weeks' notice to the Dental Hygiene Clinic Administrative Assistant is required.

Note: Only X-rays of diagnostic quality will be released from the program. Unreleased X-rays may require retaking by your dental office. In addition, dental/medical records may be used for instructional and research purposes.