Dental Charitable Clinic Listing

Georgia has many clinics that work with patients who may need financial consideration. Please click here for a GDA clinic list. The document will open as a PDF file. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the file. To obtain information about the Georgia Mission of Mercy charitable clinic, please click here to access the GMOM page. The next GMOM clinic will be in 2015.

Dental Careers in Georgia

Careers in dentistry can be personally fulfilling. Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants help people maintain their oral health and therefore their overall health, as well as their appearance. People who enter the dental field should have an aptitude for science, good manual dexterity, and great people skills. Click here to find out about dental educational opportunities in Georgia.

Paying for Dental Care

Dental insurance is misnamed. Dental benefit is more accurate. It’s easy to see why. Dental care is usually predictable, involving cleanings and dental examinations, not catastrophic, like a major medical expense. Obtain some tips on paying for dental care here.

Dental Mediation Process

The GDA Peer Review and Ethics Program can mediate some patient concerns about dental care (not including fee disputes) that a patient may have with GDA dentist. The GDA can often help dentists and patients resolve complaints without involving either party in complex legal negotiations. For information about the mediation process, email Courtney Layfield at layfield@gadental.org.

Information on Obtaining Dental Records

Georgia law grants a patient the right to a copy of their dental record after the patient makes a written request to the dentist. Georgia law defines a complete dental record as a record that may include, but is not limited to, the following: treatment notes, evaluations, diagnoses, prognoses, x-rays, photographs, diagnostic models, laboratory reports, laboratory prescriptions (slips), drug prescriptions, insurance claim forms, billing records, and other technical information used in assessing a patient’s condition.

Georgia law states that the dentist is the legal owner of the original record and must retain that record. In fact, the law requires the dentist to maintain a patient’s complete treatment record for no less than a period of ten (10) years from the date of the patient’s last office visit.

A dentist in Georgia has the legal right to charge the patient for the reasonable cost of copying and providing the records to the patient, although some dentists do decide to waive that right in certain circumstances. Also under Georgia law, a dentist cannot refuse to provide a copy of a patient’s record to a patient because of past due balance, or equate the cost of copying and providing the records to the cost of any past due balance.

Why Dentists Join the GDA

Dentists, more than 3,300 professionals, choose to join their professional association for numerous reasons. American Dental Association and Georgia Dental Association publications keep dentists up to date on the latest regulatory and scientific advancements. Association advocacy efforts keep track of proposed laws that may be harmful to patients, or the doctor-patient relationship, and convince lawmakers to act in a positive way to protect patients. Association staff members help dental offices and patients with difficult questions about insurance and other third party issues. Doctors who join the association make a commitment to uphold and adhere to the American Dental Association’s Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct, and uphold the standards of their profession. Make sure to ask your doctor if they are an ADA and GDA member dentist! Many members proudly display their membership plaque or sticker in their waiting rooms.

Finding Information about a GDA Dentist

Use the GDA find a dentist search function to find a dentist in your area. Often, the search results will include a dental practice web site. Practice web sites often contain biographical information about a dentist, including the dental school he or she graduated from and treatments offered. To find out if a dentist has a current Georgia license, visit the Georgia Board of Dentistry web site.