Patient Information

How to Become a Patient

The first step in becoming a potential patient within our educational program and our teaching clinics is to schedule an initial examination. Appointments may be made by phone at 215-898-8965, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

During your initial examination, your medical history will be recorded; a physical examination and a brief dental examination will be performed to determine if you are eligible to participate in our program. In addition, an oral cancer examination will be completed. Radiographs (x-rays) may be taken based on your individual needs.

If you are eligible to participate in our program you will be assigned to a student in our predoctoral or postdoctoral clinics, depending on your treatment needs. During your second appointment, your student doctor, under faculty supervision, will complete your examination using comprehensive diagnostic techniques and will develop a personalized treatment plan. If this treatment plan is in accordance with our educational needs, you will be accepted to participate in our program, and treatment will begin on your next appointment.

If you are not accepted into our program, we will recommend a dental treatment that we feel is in your best interest to pursue. The fee for this process is non-refundable, but copies of any radiographs taken may be sent to another dentist upon request.

If you already have an outside dentist and you are seeking specialty dental care, including, but not limited to endodontic (root canal), periodontic (gums), implants, orthodontics (braces), and oral pathology services, our specialty clinics will accept direct referrals. Appointments in the specialty clinics may be made by phone at 215-898-8965, and a written referral from your provider is required. Upon completion of the work for which you have been referred, you must go back to your outside dentist for the remainder of your care. We are unable to accept you for any treatment other than the one prescribed by your provider.


All treatment in the Penn Dental Medicine predoctoral clinics is provided by students. Your assigned Patient Care Unit Coordinator or student doctor will schedule your appointments.

Clinic hours start promptly at 8:00 a.m. and extends to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; extended evening appointments are available on Monday and Wednesday from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. You should plan to have at least four (4) hours a week available for your dental treatment. This may be two 2-hour appointments, or one 4-hour appointment, depending on the nature of the procedure. Since you are being treated by student doctors overseen by faculty, your appointments will be longer and possibly fewer procedures may be performed than if you were treated by a private dentist.

Appointment Cancellation

Appointments may be cancelled only if it is absolutely necessary and at least 24 hours in advance. All cancellations must be communicated to your Patient Care Unit Coordinator. Compliance with this policy will allow you to receive your treatment in a timely and efficient manner.

If you fail to keep your appointment without notice or cancel with less than 24-hour notice, or are more than 20 minutes late without notice for three (3) scheduled appointments during one (1) calendar year, you will be dismissed as a patient.

Please remember that your student doctor depends on you to keep your scheduled appointments.

Comprehensive Care

If you are accepted to participate in our program, a personalized comprehensive treatment plan will be recommended; you will be advised of the benefits and risks of this course of treatment, as well of the prognosis or outcome. An alternative treatment plan may be presented with its attendant benefits, risks, and prognosis.

Patients will not have the option to select only limited portions of the recommended treatment plan or to split services between Penn Dental Medicine and another provider, except in the following instances: 1) Emergency treatment only: Care would be limited to the relief of pain and suffering and necessary steps to assure that the situation would not recur; 2) Direct referral by an outside dentist for specialty care.

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We look forward to serving you and your family.