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   Patients FAQs:

What is the difference between the Arizona Dental Association and the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners?

The Arizona Dental Association (AzDA) is a voluntary professional member organization for dentists and the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners (BODEX) is the state agency that licenses dentists to practice and regulates the practice of dentistry in the state. AzDA is a professional member association representing over 2,450 dentist members and 900 allied members throughout Arizona.

Is a dentist required to be a member of the AzDA?

No, dentists are not required to be a member of the Arizona Dental Association.  However, approximately 70% of Arizona’s licensed dentists choose membership due to the valuable member benefits they receive and to support organized dentistry in our state.

Is my dentist a member of AzDA?

Look for a dentist by name in our Find an Arizona Dentist search.  If the dentist profile is located in our database, that verifies their AzDA and American Dental Association (ADA) membership.

How do I file a complaint against a dentist?

If the complaint is about the quality of care or appropriateness of treatment you received and the dentist is a member of the Arizona Dental Association (AzDA), you can file a complaint through the Peer Review Process.

Peer Review is a process by which the dental profession reviews and resolves problems or misunderstandings regarding dental treatment. Peer Review exists for the benefit of the patient, the dentist, and the third-party.

A peer review committee consists of dentists who volunteer their time and expertise to consider questions about the appropriateness or quality or care, or about the fees charged in a given set of circumstances.  The members of the committee will be impartial, and their services are available to those who participate in the process.

Click here to search if your dentist is a member of the Arizona Dental Association.

Criteria for case acceptance: The dentist must be an AzDA member; the case must concern itself with appropriateness of treatment and/or quality of care; receipt of request for mediation must be within three years of completion of treatment.

Cases not accepted for AzDA’s Peer Review: Complaints against dentists who are not AzDA members; cases in litigation; and alleged fraud and other violations of the state dental practice acts.

If your dentist is not a member of AzDA, contact the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners.

Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners
4205 North 7th Avenue, Ste. 300
Phoenix, AZ  85013
(602) 242-1492

What can I do if my dentist over charged me for dental services?

The Federal Trade Commission prohibits regulating dental fees.  All dentists are allowed to set their own fees for dental services.  However, your dental insurance plan may only cover a certain amount for services, be sure to verify your insurance coverage payment plan prior to your dental treatment.

Can my dentist charge me for a copy of my dental records?

Except as otherwise provided by law, a health care provider or contractor may charge a person who requests copies of medical records or payment records a reasonable fee for the production of the records. Except as necessary for continuity of care, a health care provider or contractor may require the payment of any fees in advance.

A health care provider or contractor shall not charge for the pertinent information contained in medical records provided to:

  1. Another health care provider for the purpose of providing continuing care to the patient to whom the medical record pertains.
  2. The patient to whom the medical record pertains for the demonstrated purpose of obtaining health care.
  3. The health care decision maker of the patient to whom the medical record pertains for the demonstrated purpose of obtaining health care for the patient.
  4. The Arizona medical board, the board of osteopathic examiners in medicine and surgery or an officer of the department of health services or the local health department requesting records pursuant to section 36-662.

How can I get a copy of my records, when my dentist will not honor my request?

The Dental Practice Act specifies that a request for records be made in writing. After the provider receives the written request, a copy of the records must be released within 15 business days. If you are experiencing a problem obtaining records from a dentist, you may contact the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners for assistance at

Which dentists in Arizona accept Medicaid?

To find dental Medicaid providers in your area, visit

What public health clinics offer dental services at reduced fees?

Some public health departments offer dental services. To find the health department nearest you, click here.

What is the difference between a DDS and a DMD?

There is essentially no difference; they are both degrees in general dentistry. Some dental schools give the DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree and others the DMD (Doctor of Medical Dentistry) degree.

What does MS or MSD mean?

The dentist you are referring to is a specialist. MS means Master of Science and MSD refers to a Masters of Science in Dentistry - the degree a dentist earns when specializing in one area of dentistry.

What are the specialties in dentistry?

Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, Prosthodontics.

What does PC after a dentist's name stand for?

This is a legal abbreviation - Professional Corporation. A PC dentist is one who has incorporated his practice for income tax purposes. This abbreviation has nothing to do with his or her ability as a dentist.