How to complain about your dentist


Every qualified dentist operating in the UK should be registered with the GDC. They are the organisation which regulates all dentists and other dental professionals such as hygienists, dental technicians and nurses. The organisation sets standards to which dentists must adhere to primarily to protect patient safety. Your dentist must be qualified and registered with the GDC to practice and must also continue their professional training by attending a range of courses for dental professionals which is known as CPD.

If you have had an issue with your dentist or with any treatment you have received from your dental practice you do not need to suffer in silence. Below we have some advice to help you raise your complaint with your dental practice.

Raise your complaint with your dentist within 12 months

This may sound obvious, but we’re actually as a nation not very good at complaining! If you feel like the matter is to up-setting to deal with in person you can set out your complaint in a letter or email and send it to the clinic. They should contact you to get more details and talk about the issues you have raised. If you are with the NHS and they have not responded to your complaint, ask for a copy of the NHS complaints procedure. If you need help completing the form you can contact your local Healthwatch advocate. To find your local advocate follow this link:

If you are with a private dental practice, the best way is to raise the issue directly with them or again ask for their complaint’s procedure. If you do not receive a response after following their complaints procedure contact the Dental Complaints Service who are able to help resolve complaints against private dental practices –


Contact the Ombudsman

If you have not resolved the issue using the methods above then you should raise your complaint with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman – If they are able to investigate your case for you they will provide you with an outcome within 12 months. They will make the final decision on any complaint for the NHS in your area.

Contact the GDC

As mentioned above the GDC is the official organisation which regulates all dental professionals in the UK. If you have not resolved your complaint with your dental practice and you feel that the dental professional you are complaining about is a risk to other patients you should contact the GDC. They won’t be able to resolve the complaint, but they will take action if they think that a dental professional’s ability or behaviour for instance to practice is at risk and will intervene accordingly.

Personal Injury Claim

You can use the small claims court for claims of under £1,000. For claims higher than this you’ll need to use the fast track court proceedings, but this route can be expensive. Alternatively contact a solicitor who will be able to advise you on how to start proceedings.

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