If you're unsatisfied with the treatment, behaviour or service you have received from a registered dental professional, you can raise a concern or make a complaint. There are different ways of doing this, depending on the circumstances.
In most cases, the best way to get a resolution to your complaint is raising it directly with the place where you were treated, for example if you want an explanation or an apology.
Every practice (or other location where you had your dental treatment) must have a procedure for handling patient complaints, and must follow it. If you want to make a complaint to the practice you can ask for a copy of the procedure which will explain what you need to do.
There are patient support organisations that can help you to raise a complaint with a healthcare provider or help you if you are not happy with their response to your complaint.
If you would rather not go directly to the practice, you can contact the NHS instead. The NHS is responsible for commissioning (buying) NHS dental services.
If you are not happy with the way in which your formal complaint was handled (either by the dental practice or the NHS) you can contact the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman makes the final decision on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS.
If you have already made a formal approach to the practice, and the problem has not been resolved, you can contact the Dental Complaints Service (DCS). The DCS provides a free and impartial service to help private dental patients and dental professionals to settle complaints about private dental care fairly and efficiently.
The DCS can deal with your complaint if you would like an apology, a refund or a contribution to the cost of further treatment. They cannot deal with claims for compensation, or with complaints about dental plans.
If your private treatment was through a dental plan, you should contact your plan provider as they will have a complaints process.
If the problem is so serious that you think the dental professional could be a risk to other patients, you should contact us. If the issue is serious enough, we can stop individuals from practising.
Please take a moment to read this section. It will help make sure that you are complaining to the right organisation.
If we identify serious concerns about a dentist we can, where appropriate, take action on their registration.
These are examples of the types of issues we may need to investigate:
You can find out more in our What we can do section.
If the problem is so serious that you think the care provided at the practice could be a risk to other patients, there are four regulators which set standards for dental providers and can consider whether these are being met.
You can find more information about the different organisations that can help in our Who can help section.