If you want to complain about poor treatment, the first step is to raise the matter either in person, or by letter with your dentist or practice manager. They may be able to sort it out there and then.
If an informal approach doesn't work, ask for a copy of the NHS complaints procedure. Every NHS dental practice must have one.
If you would prefer not to complain directly to the dental practice, you can complain to the NHS in your region.
The easiest way to resolve the issue would be to contact the practice, who may be able to resolve this with you straight away.
A private dentist should have their own complaints procedure, so if you're not satisfied after an informal approach you can ask for the complaints procedure.
The DCS offers an impartial, free service to help private dental patients and dental professionals to resolve dental care complaints efficiently and fairly.
If you are looking for an apology, a refund or contribution to the cost of further treatment, the DCS will be able to deal with your complaint. However, the DCS cannot deal with claims for compensation, or with complaints about dental plans.
If the private treatment you received was though a dental plan, you will need to contact your plan provider who will have its own complaints process.
If you have made a formal complaint to your NHS dental practice or the NHS in your region about dental treatment you received on the NHS and feel that it has not been resolved, you can refer the issue to the ombudsman for your region:
The ombudsman can act as an independent referee in complaints where administrative or service failures have occurred.
Once the ombudsman has determined whether it can deal with your complaint, it will investigate the issue and provide you with a resolution within 12 months.
The ombudsman makes the final decision on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in your region.
If the problem is so serious that you believe the dental professional could be a risk to other patients, you should contact the General Dental Council (GDC). All NHS and private dentists practicing in the UK should be registered with the GDC, as it regulates dental professionals across the UK.
The GDC does not get involved in complaints that are being managed locally, does not resolve complaints and does not award compensation.
The GDC will take action if a dental professional's ability, behaviour or health means it's not suitable for them to continue working.
The CQC doesn't settle individual disputes, but your feedback will help it decide whether to investigate the dental practice in question.
If you've had poor treatment from a private, or NHS dentist a final option may be to file a personal injury claim. This may be necessary if you require remedial work but have lost confidence in your dentist.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the small claims court cannot be used to claim personal injury compensation at all.
If you're filing a personal injury claim in Scotland or Northern Ireland, contact a solicitor for advice on how to begin proceedings.
The organisation is made up of local branches across each of the 152 local authority areas in England. They have a useful online tool to help you find your local branch, which can provide information and signpost you to local advice services.