Complaining to a dental professional

It is important that dental patients give feedback about their experiences, so that services know what they are doing well and where they can improve.

If you are not happy with the treatment or service you have had, it is usually best to tell the practice directly that you're unhappy, and give them a chance to put things right. They may be able to sort out the problem there and then.

If an informal approach doesn't solve the problem, ask for a copy of the complaints procedure. All NHS and  private dental practice must have one.

If you had NHS treatment

If you would like support to make a complaint, there are organisations that can help.

Citizens Advice Bureau also provides information and advice about making complaints.

If your treatment was provided by the NHS, you can contact the NHS instead if you would rather not go directly to the practice. ​

If you had private treatment

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 help you 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 cause significant harm to patients, colleagues or the general public, or undermine public confidence in the dental profession, you may wish to make a complaint to us​.

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