Frequently Asked Questions

Is accreditation mandatory?


No, it is an elective process. But, Dental Accreditation clearly proclaims that you are a provider of choice. Patients are in search of reputable providers that consistently offer the best quality care and demonstrate the ability to maintain compliance with national standards of best practice




What are the main benefits of becoming Accredited?


When accredited you will have earned a credential signifying that your dental practice has been certified against official regulatory standards. This credential tells the world - state and federal regulators, patients, and malpractice carriers alike - that your compliance, competency, and expertise are the best in the profession. This credential risks-proofs your office against a practice-killing fine, grows your business by separating you from your competitors, provides free continuing education credits, and, in some cases, reduces your malpractice costs.




How much time will the accreditation process require?


Most practices can accomplish accreditation in approximately 30 hours. This includes the time spent in preparation and in conducting the actual Accreditation Survey.




Can I charge patients a fee for getting accredited?


While no AMA or ADA code exists for a facility fee for a dental office, a dentist may charge an "accreditation fee," "facility fee," or "compliance fee" - especially if it is a fee-for-service office.

Dentists invest significant financial resources in compliance and/or accreditation and it is acceptable to charge a small per patient fee to recover these costs. Patients generally accept this small incremental cost when they understand the effort your practice has invested on their behalf in accreditation. Typical accreditation fees range from $2 to $3 per patient per visit.




Can I get an office accredited from any other organization?


AAFDO is the only organization that provides official recognition for dentists that their practice maintains all regulatory standards requisite for the highest patient safety and quality. (Until AAFDO, dentistry was the only healthcare profession without an accrediting organization and thus there was no way of knowing which dentist was following all the patient safety and quality regulations.) AAFDO™ is to dentistry what the Joint Commission is to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.




What standards must my office meet to earn an accreditation?


AAFDO uses a comprehensive accreditation survey with over 500 criteria in 13 domains of excellence, including infection control, HIPPA, fire safety, radiation safety compliance, and sedation safety. Our experts have pulled together regulatory mandates, best-practice standards, and patient safety measures into one comprehensive package of criteria for excellence.




How does a dental office maintain accreditation?


An accredited dental office must undergo re-evaluation through another inspection with an AAFDO Inspector every three years and comply with all AAFDO accreditation standards. You will be contacted 90 days before expiration of your current approval status. A new application and fee must be submitted for renewal accreditation.




Who created AAFDO?


AAFDO is created by dentists for dentists. Because we know dentistry, our experts have pulled together regulatory mandates, best-practice standards and patient safety measures into one comprehensive package of over 500+ criteria of excellence in 13 different domains of knowledge.




What are the 13 Domains of Excellence?


The domains of excellence in the accreditation process include:

  1. CONSUMER INFORMATION
  2. CLINICAL DOCUMENTATION
  3. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
  4. CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND PRESCRIPTIONS
  5. INFECTION CONTROL
  6. OSHA & EMPLOYEE SAFETY
  7. FIRE SAFETY
  8. RADIATION COMPLIANCE
  9. HIPAA
  10. BUILDING
  11. CONTINGENCY PLANNING
  12. PATIENT SAFETY
  13. ANESTHESIA/SEDATION (if appropriate)





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