When you visit your dentist for one dental issue or the other, you expect that you receive quality care and get better after such a visit. In most cases, this is usually the case but, in this time, when the NHS are facing a lot of pressure, patients do not always get the quality of care they deserve. Complaints about dental neglect have been rather more common now than it was before the pandemic.
A couple of months ago, Healthwatch England, the NHS body representing patients, reported that people with dental issues are finding it difficult to get treatment and these people were living in pain, unable to speak or eat properly. It also said that the poor are suffering more because they could not afford the fees of a private dental hospital. Healthwatch England had made a survey of over 2,000 adults in England of which about 1000 had visited an NHS dentist in the last two years.
The poll however showed that;
- 41% of respondents found it difficult to book an appointment
- 20% said they could not access all the dental treatments they required
- 17% said they felt pressured to pay for private practice
Common reasons while people seek dental care include- routine dental checkup, tooth extractions, filling, extractions, getting a prosthesis or replacing one, etc.
Dental treatments carried out each year in the UK are estimated to be about 40 million and figures have shown that dental extractions are the major cause of dental malpractice claims. Additionally, root canal treatment and cavities or filling treatments are other common causes of dental negligence claims.
The effects of dental malpractice can have a catastrophic impact on the patient physically, mentally, psychologically and of course financially. You can make a complaint about dentist care towards you and if it’s worth making a claim, you can be awarded a deserving dentist compensation amount for your suffering.
Our dental negligence solicitors are very versed in these cases and have a wealth of experience having represented clients with different dental negligence NHS claims in time past successfully and winning huge satisfying settlement payouts for them.
Complaining About Dentist Treatment
There are several actions which can be termed as negligent dental treatment and for which you can make complaints. These include-
- Inability of the dentist to make the right diagnosis, late diagnosis or even a completely missed diagnosis
- Unnecessary delayed treatment
- Carrying out a procedure on the wrong tooth
- Carrying out the wrong dental treatment
- Poorly performed treatment
- Unnecessary damage to nerves, blood vessels or other parts of the oral cavity
- Failing to refer to the appropriate specialist when necessary
How To Complain About A Dentist?
To complain about dentist in the NHS, you have to follow the dental complaints procedure as outlined below.
NHS Dental Complaints
If you are unhappy with dental treatment, you can make a complaint to the dentist and try to resolve the problem with them first. Alternatively, you can make the details of your NHS dental complaints to the dental surgery’s practice manager. Complaints about dentists can be made in writing, by email or by speaking to someone.
Ensure that your complaint is made within 12 months of receiving the dental treatment. You cannot make complaints after this time; however, you can still make dental negligence claims if you choose to do so.
Furthermore, if you decide not to complain to the practice directly, you can contact NHS England, which is responsible for NHS dental services and complain about your NHS dentist.
If you are not satisfied with the way your NHS dental complaints were handled – either by the dental practice or NHS England, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) and make your dentist complaint.
The ombudsman will take a final decision on your complaint if they could not be resolved by NHS England. You can contact them on 0345 015 4033 or use the PHSO’s secure online form to make your complaint (if the NHS service was in England).
Further information about your dental complaints can be found at the;
- Hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) if your treatment was carried out in a hospital
- Citizens Advice
- The Care Quality Commission (CQC). While the CQC does not settle individual disputes or look into complaints, your complaint about a practice will help it make a decision about when to make an inspection, where and what to inspect.
Private Dentist Complaints In The UK
On the other hand, if you are unhappy with private dental treatment and you wish to make dentist complaints, contact the practice manager of the private dental surgery. The same rule still applies- your complaints must be made within 12 months of receiving the dental treatment.
You can then take your complaints to the General Dental Council if your complaint is not resolved satisfactorily. The GDC sets the standards and regulations for the conduct of all dental professionals in the UK.
Furthermore, you may also consider contacting the Dental Complaints Service on 020 8253 0800 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or visit its website for more information.
If you are not satisfied after making your complaints or you feel you have sufficient evidence to make dental negligence claims, you can always reach out to our solicitors to discuss suing a dentist for medical negligence.
Our dental clinical negligence claims are undertaken under our no win no fee policy which gives you the chance of claiming dental compensation with no financial risk whatsoever.
Contact our helplines or fill out our online forms for more enquiries.