Hillsborough County Dental Association
Frequently Asked Questions


  Does the Hillsborough County Dental Association provide dental care?
No, the Hillsborough County Dental Association (HCDA) is not a dental office, but the local professional organization dentists may choose to join, similar to the Hillsborough County Medical Society. Not all dentists are members, and do not have to be a member to practice dentistry in Hillsborough County.
The HCDA office will provide referrals to our member dentists.
  What's the difference between DDS and DMD?  
Dentists may receive a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Dentists who complete required training in recognized specialty fields receive post-graduate certificates. DDS and DMD are equal; it is what the particular dental school awards their graduates.
  I need dentistry, but I don't have insurance, where do I go?
Visit the dental clinics to find additional information
  I have Medicaid, but can't find a dental provider, do you have a list?  
First and foremost, call your local Medicaid office and inquire what dental services are covered for you and ask for a list of providers. If your child has Medicaid, contact the HCDA office for a few suggestions.
    I have a bad toothache, what will the emergency room do?  
Emergency rooms as a rule usually do not have a dentist on staff. You will be seen by a physician who will most likely prescribe antibiotics to get the infection under control until you can be seen be a dentist. You will be responsible for payment.
    I want my dental records, but the dentist will only give me a
copy – is this the   law?
    Who do I call to make a complaint against a dentist?  
We encourage you to contact the West Coast District Dental Association office first, although there are certain criteria which must be met. The dentist must be a member of American Dental Association, the Florida Dental Association and the West Coast District Dental Association. Your complaint must be about dental work/procedure started or completed within the past year. You may also go to: http://www.wcdental.org/wcd_public/complaint.html for more information on peer review procedures. If the dentist is not a member, you may contact the State of Florida, Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850487-1395, the Better Business Bureau at 727-535-5522, the Federal Trade Commission, 877-382-4357, or if it is an insurance issue, the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-3422762.
  I want to know more about my dentist, who can help me?
Visit the West Coast District Dental Association's website, www.wcdental.org, visit the public side and look for your dentist. If your dentist is listed, this means he is a member in good standing with the American Dental Association, the Florida Dental Association and the West Coast District Dental Association. The West Coast, at times will be able to supply the year graduated from dental school and if the dentist is a specialist. To check on a dentist's professional license, visit: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00PRAES/PRASLIST.ASP#theBottom
    I have been treated poorly by an office manager (dental assistant, hygienist, etc),   what can I do about this?  
Many times dentists are unaware of a "situation" has occurred. Compose a letter to the dentist detailing your concerns. Address it to the dentist directly (keep a copy for yourself) and send it certified, return receipt mail. This will assure the letter was indeed delivered and signed for.
    I feel like I've been overcharged by a dentist…what can I do?  
Fees in the state of Florida are not regulated. Fees from one dental office to the next will vary. It is best to have open lines of communication and have a complete understanding of the dental work to be done and the costs involved.
    Do dentists have to meet any requirements to keep their licenses?  
For renewal of dental licenses, a total of 30 hours of continuing education is required which must include 2 hours in the prevention of medical errors. To receive credit, all courses must be taken with board approved providers. Dentists must complete a course in HIV/AIDS prior to their first license renewal. Dentists must complete a 2 hour course on domestic violence as part of every third licensure renewal. In addition to the 30 hours, for each license renewal biennium, a licensed dentist must complete a CPR course at the basic life support level, which includes training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at the basic support level, including one-rescuer and two-rescuer CPR for adults, children, and infants; the relief of foreign body airway obstructions for adults, children and infants; the use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED); and the use of ambubags resulting in certification or recertification by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross or an entity with equivalent requirements.
    Are there any dental schools in Florida?  
University of Florida, College of Dentistry (352) 392-2911
Nova Southeastern, College of Dental Medicine (954) 262-7500 http://dental.nova.edu/
LECOM School of Dental Medicine http://lecom.edu/academics/school-of-dental-medicine/
    I have "XYZ Dental Insurance." Can you refer me to a dentist that accepts this   insurance?  
No, the HCDA does not have a list of all the different insurances dentists accept in their office. Your insurance provider should be able to provide you with a list of accepted dental providers.
    What are the different kinds of dental specialties?  

The following dental specialties are approved by the Council on Dental Education and Licensure, American Dental Association:

Dental public health is the science and art of preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting dental health through organized community efforts. It is that form of dental practice which serves the community as a patient rather than the individual. It is concerned with the dental health education of the public, with applied dental research, and with the administration of group dental care programs as well as the prevention and control of dental diseases on a community basis.

Endodontics is the branch of dentistry which is concerned with the morphology, physiology and pathology of the human dental pulp and periradicular tissues. Its study and practice encompass the basic and clinical sciences including biology of the normal pulp, the etiology, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.

Oral pathology is the specialty of dentistry and discipline of pathology that deals with the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. It is a science that investigates the causes, processes, and effects of these diseases. The practice of oral pathology includes research and diagnosis of diseases using clinical, radiographic, microscopic, biochemical, or other examinations.

Oral and maxillofacial radiology is the specialty of dentistry and discipline of radiology concerned with the production and interpretation of images and data produced by all modalities of radiant energy that are used for the diagnosis and management of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral and maxillofacial region.

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is the specialty of dentistry which includes the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.

Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is the dental specialty that includes the diagnosis, prevention, interception, and correction of malocclusion, as well as neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of the developing or mature orofacial structures.

Pediatric Dentistry is an age-defined specialty that provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.

is that specialty of dentistry which encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes and the maintenance of the health, function and esthetics of these structures and tissues.

Prosthodontics is the dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.

    What career choices are there in dentistry?  
There are four choices: Dentist, Dental Hygienist, Dental Assistant, and Dental Laboratory Technician.

For more information on each career, visit: http://www.ada.org/education.aspx/

P.O. Box 202 • Brandon, FL 33509
Phone: (813) 447-3452 • Fax: (813) 441-8494 • Email: hcda@hcdafla.com