About Us

About Penn Dental Medicine

Welcome to Penn Dental Medicine. We are pleased that you have selected us for your dental care. Our School is committed to providing comprehensive, patient-centered oral health care, within the scope of our educational programs, since 1878. This means that our coordinated health care team, consisting of our faculty, students, and staff, will fully inform you of the findings of our examination and the available treatment options.

We will then partner with you to provide appropriate treatment that is also responsive to your preferences, needs, and values.

Being a Clinic Patient

The primary role of the Penn Dental Medicine Clinical Education Program is the training of dental health professionals. Patients are charged a reasonable fee to cover the operating costs and services of the clinic. When you make an appointment to become a patient, your dental care needs will be evaluated and some patient candidates who come to Penn Dental Medicine may not permanently become active patients to be treated by our student doctors if not appropriate for our educational environment.

The care performed by our student doctors is overseen by our faculty to ensure the highest quality. This may result in longer treatment lengths for most of our procedures than would occur in a private dental office. The student doctors will also have periodic educational breaks, similar to other teaching institutions. During these times, the patient clinics are not open for routine dental appointments. Patients should consider the amount of time necessary to complete their care at Penn Dental Medicine to make sure the program will accommodate their needs and goals.

Patient Centered Care Policy

Scope of Policy:

This policy applies to all students, faculty and staff members at Penn Dental Medicine.

Policy Statement:

“Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.” (The Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine) Patients should be listened to, informed, respected, by creating an environment of patient centered care.

Penn Dental Medicine (PDM) shares this vision and recognizes that systemic health includes the overall mental and physical wellbeing of all patients and their ability to function at his personal best as a member of his/her family, community and society.

To that end our academic and patient care curriculum embraces the individual as a “whole”- understanding the daily challenges they face, appreciating their oral health desires while ensuring that their mental/physical condition is enveloped within the plan of care to assure as optimal an outcome for long term maintenance and sustainability as possible.


The policy of PDM is to have patient centered care designed, with patient involvement, to ensure timely, convenient, well-coordinated engagement of a person’s health and health care needs, preferences, and values; it includes explicit and partnered determination of patient goals and care options; and it requires ongoing assessment of the care match with patient goals.

The plan of care, which is driven by the patient’s desires and values, cannot be constructed or executed without the patient/family/parent/caregiver’s direct involvement in collaboration with the dental team (faculty, students, and staff) who must explain the care possibilities developed utilizing the best in evidence-based information. The dental team will provide the patient with the requisite information about the risks, benefits and alternatives to the proposed plan of care to engage the patient in clinical decisions (to the extent possible).

Non-Discrimination & Diversity Policy

Penn Dental Medicine welcome patients of all types and backgrounds, and we pride ourselves on providing access to quality oral health care for everyone. We value diversity and are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion, mutual trust, and respect with our patients as well as our faculty, staff, and students.

The University of Pennsylvania, and in turn Penn Dental Medicine, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national, or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs (including patient care) or in its employment practices.

This Will Be My First Visit. What Should I Expect?

If this will be your first visit to Penn Dental Medicine, click below to learn what you need to bring, what communication you will receive, and what to do if you need to change your appointment.

Learn More