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Oral Health Services

Standards of Practice Manual for Dental Public Health

Revised - February 2012

The Oral Health Services Section of the Tennessee Department of Health is responsible for assuring that the dental care provided in public health clinics meets or exceeds existing standards in regard to quality, quantity, appropriateness, need, and safety. However, no administrative body can guarantee through quality assurance reviews or peer review evaluations that standards of care are being met on a patient-by-patient, procedure-by-procedure, or day-by-day basis. The maintenance of professional standards of care, in terms of individual provider responsibility for the quality and appropriateness of services provided to individual patients, rests with the provider. Our goal is that every provider should strive for excellence through practicing fundamentally sound dentistry at all times.

Essential to the accomplishment of the goals of the Oral Health Services Section is adherence to uniform standards of practice, accepted clinical technique, and accurate recordkeeping. This manual has been compiled to acquaint dental care providers employed in the public sector in Tennessee with the various clinical regulations, recommendations, policies, procedures, and forms used by the Oral Health Services Section. This manual serves as a reference source regarding policies and procedures of the Oral Health Services Section. Every public health dental clinic in Tennessee should have a copy of the Standards of Practice Manual for easy reference, and it should be made available to all personnel involved in the delivery of dental care in a public health setting. Revisions, additions, and deletions will be made to this manual when necessary to keep current with new or revised standards.

Click here to view the 2011 Standards of Practice Manual.