Frequently Asked Questions
- Commitment to patients - As a health professional school, our major public service is in the area of patient care. We provide a comprehensive approach to the delivery of dental services, allowing us to meet the diverse needs of our patient population. We take great pride in providing excellent care to our patients. In fact, we have been doing this for more than 125 years since the establishment of the School of Dentistry in 1881. Our reputation for excellence brings patients to us from throughout the western United States. Our services range from the routine to the most sophisticated in oral health care today.
- Affordable - If you are accepted into the Student Dental Clinic and have a flexible schedule which allows for multiple appointments to complete the treatment, you will save roughly half the cost of what you would pay in a private practice. Resident/Post Graduate specialty clinics save roughly 25% on what the service would cost in a private specialty office in the area.
- Technology - UCSF School of Dentistry is the leader in research and new technology. We offer digital radiographs which cuts down the radiation to patients.
- Convenience - Public transportation delivers you to our Dental Center. Muni Line 43 Masonic and 6 Parnassus drop you right at our door.
Third and fourth year dental students, under direct supervision of attending faculty, provide general dental care (exams, fillings, crowns, dentures, teeth whitening, implants, root canals, etc.) to patients without serious medical conditions.
Faculty Group Practice - Patients receive state-of-the-art dental care from dental school faculty members, including several general practitioners, dental specialists, and dental hygienists. Our patients may select their own provider to maintain continuity of care with one dentist. The fees charged are similar to those in private practice in the San Francisco area.
We accept cash, checks, cashiers checks, VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express in all our clincs. Many of our clinics are Delta Dental Providers, but check specifically when you make your appointment in the Specialty Clinics or Faculty Group Practice.
The student clinic at UCSF School of Dentistry is offering affordable dental implants to our community.
Please schedule a New Patient Visit if you wish to be evaluated for your eligibility for this program.
Questions & Answers:
1. Who is eligible for the student dental implant program?
At this time, the student implant program provides affordable implants to patients who require one or two implants in the back of the mouth. It is important that the mouth is otherwise healthy and that the ‘bite’ is normal.
2. How will I know if I am eligible for the student dental implant program?
In order to be evaluated for this program, it is necessary that you become a patient of the dental student clinic first, using the New Patient Visit protocol (fee of $11) - click here to go to the New Patient Visit page. You will be briefly assessed at this time. If it is thought that you may be a candidate, further full examination will take place for which a further fee is required. This second visit is called a Comprehensive Oral Examination.
3. Why do I need a comprehensive oral examination in order to verify that I am eligible for the student implant program?
During this second visit, a full history, comprehensive examination and any other tests are completed (for example, x-rays and stone models of your teeth may be required). It is necessary to have all this further information in order to evaluate your dental situation and your suitability for the program. Until this full examination is complete and specialty consultations completed, it is not possible to determine your eligibility. At the end of this comprehensive process you will be informed of your dental implant eligibility in addition to information regarding any other dental issues you may have.
4. What will happen if I am eligible for the dental student implant program?
At the end of the comprehensive exam process, you will be provided with a treatment plan and quotation for your dental implants. The surgical placement of the implants takes place in one of the specialty clinics. The final restoration takes place in the student clinic.
5. What will happen if I am not eligible for the student implant program?
If you are not eligible for the student implant program due to the complexity of your required restorations, you may be referred to a post graduate clinic for further assessment.
6. What do I need to bring with me to my New Patient Visit appointment?
Please bring any radiographs (X Rays) and referral note from your dentist. If you do not have any radiographs, it will be necessary for us to do X-rays, at an additional cost.
7. How much is the total cost for dental implants in the student dental implant program?
If you qualify for entry into the student implant program, the cost of each implant is in the region of $1500 for both the surgical placement and the final crown to be placed. These fees represent a significant savings over the ‘normal’ implant fees. There are additional fees for the New Patient Visit, the Comprehensive Oral Exam, radiographs and mounted diagnostic casts. These additional fees are in the region of $200-250. Additional procedures may be recommended for which additional fees will be quoted.
8. How long will this process take?
From the time of treatment planning, surgical placement of the implants and subsequent healing takes in the region of 3-4 months. After this time the implant restoration takes about 3-4 weeks.
9. If I need to have a tooth removed before having the implant placed, can the implant be placed on the same day as the extraction?
In order to maximize the success rate of your dental implant, the implant will not be placed on the day of extraction. After extraction, a period of healing will take place. It may be necessary to re-evaluate your eligibility for the student implant program after healing takes place. The cost of the extraction is not included in the fees itemized above.
10. How long does the implant last? How do I maintain my implant?
Dental implants have a high success rate. The success also depends on a number of factors including the quality of your bone, your age and whether you smoke. The crown placed on top of the implant may not last as long as the implant, and may require replacement periodically; this will be at a further cost to the patient. Heavy biting on a crown (for example clenching and grinding) will lead to a replacement being required earlier. The implant should be maintained much as your other teeth: Regular dental visits, daily hygiene including flossing and regular dental cleanings are necessary.
11. Do implants fail? What happens if they fail?
Dental implants have a high success rate. There are situations where an implant fails and these situations cannot be anticipated. The failed implant will be removed at no additional cost to the patient, but there is no refund of costs to the patient in the unlikely event of implant failure. A patient may elect to receive an additional implant to the same site, this can be provided at an additional fee to the patient.
12. I have already had an implant placed in private practice. Can I enroll in the student implant program in order to have it restored?
It is not possible to accept patients into the student implant program if they already have had an implant surgically placed and wish to have that implant restored. However, patients who have not yet had the implant surgically placed can be considered for this program. In addition, patients who already have previous successfully restored implants are welcome to come to the Student Dental Implant Program for additional implants
- Dental Student - providers overseen by faculty (DDS) working in a large clinical setting
- Residents/Post Graduate - Dentists pursuing further specialty training in areas such as Endodontics, Orthodontics, Oral Surgery, Pediatrics, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, and Hospital Dentistry
- Faculty Dentists - providing full service dentistry in a private practice setting
Glossary of Dental Terms
Endodontics: treatment of teeth with root canal problems
General dentistry- general dental care including exams, cleanings, fillings, crowns, dentures, teeth whitening, implants, root canals, etc
Hospital Dentistry (GPR) - general dentistry in hospital under general anesthesia
Implant dentistry: replacement of missing teeth with implants
Oral and maxillofacial surgery: extraction of teeth, removal of diseased tissue, treatment of injuries and developmental malformations of the mouth, jaws, and related structures of the face
Oral medicine: diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving oral soft and hard tissues, as well as orofacial pain
Orofacial Pain- management of head and neck pain related to the jaw
Orthodontics (braces): alignment of teeth and treatment of problems related to growth and development of the face and jaws
Pediatric dentistry: prevention and treatment of dental diseases in children (under the age of 15)
Periodontics (gums): prevention and treatment of diseases of the gingiva (gums) and the bone surrounding and supporting the teeth and placement of implants to restore missing teeth
Prosthodontics (dentures): Fixed - restoration of natural teeth with crowns and replacement of missing teeth with fixed bridges or implants; Removable - design and fabrication of complete, immediate and partial dentures to replace missing teeth
Radiology (X-ray) – The projection of an image onto photographic film using radiation
Restorative dentistry: restoration of faulty, missing, or diseased parts of natural teeth
To request a copy of your dental record, you can call (415) 476-1891, option 3. There is a small administrative fee for duplication of records.
All fees will be explained to you in detail before your treatment begins. In most cases you will be treated by a dental student under the supervision of a licensed dentist faculty member. Fees for services provided by student providers are roughly half the cost of what you would pay in a private dental office. Depending on your individual treatment needs, you may be treated by a post-graduate resident in conjunction with specialist faculty in one of UCSF's advanced specialty training programs, or a faculty member in the Faculty Group Practice. Fees for post-graduate resident providers are about two-thirds of what you would pay in a private dental office. Fees in faculty practices are comparable to those of a private dental office in the San Francisco area.
Treatment in the student clinics takes approximately twice as long as it does in the private sector. Most appointments last two to three hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure, as all care performed by student providers must be supervised and evaluated by faculty dentists. In faculty practices, the time required for procedures is the same as what you would find in a private dental office.
As a patient in the UCSF School of Dentistry you may receive a bill from one of several offices.
If you are seen by more than one department call Patient Billing Services at 476-5747 for assistance.
It is faster to call the department where you receive treatment directly:
Department Location Phone Buchanan Dental Clinic 100 Buchanan 476-5608 Endodontic Group 707 Parnassus - 3rd Floor 476-2055 Faculty Group Practice 707 Parnassus - 4th Floor 476-2055 Oral Surgery 707 Parnassus - 1st Floor 476-2394 Oral Surgery Medical Sciences Building 502-6367 Oral Surgery San Francisco General Hospital 206-8465 Hospital Dentistry 707 Parnassus - 1st floor 502-5718 Center for Orofacial Pain 707 Parnassus - 1st floor 502-6367 Orthodontics 707 Parnassus - 3rd floor 476-3183 Pediatrics 707 Parnassus - 1st floor 514-1181 Periodontal Department 707 Parnassus - 3rd floor 476-1634 Predoctoral Student Clinic 707 Parnassus - 2nd floor 476-5747 Dental X-Ray Department 707 Parnassus - Lobby 476-5747 Prosthodontics 707 Parnassus - 4th Floor 476-1784
You may be treated by a UCSF School of Dentistry faculty dentist. We attempt to accommodate both the patient's and the faculty member's schedule, since our faculty dentists also have teaching and research responsibilities. The initial visit in Faculty Group Practice includes a full exam with radiographs and possibly other information gathering, for which normal fees apply.