How to make a complaint about my dentist

Written by ashley kurz
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How to make a complaint about my dentist
Do not hold back complaints about your dentist. (two dentist image by Andrey Kiselev from

Making a complaint about a dentist is not something that most people expect to do when they visit a dentist, but situations do occur that warrant a complaint. Whether the complaint is about malpractice, ethical violations or substandard care, you should know how to handle and make a complaint using the proper steps. Some complaints can be handled within the office, while others may require the mediation of a board or attorney.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pen and Paper

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    Minor Incident

  1. 1

    Speak with your dentist directly about your concerns unless you feel the dentist has broken a law or has been abusive to you. In minor disagreements, it can be helpful to address the problem directly.

  2. 2

    Write a formal written complaint about the incident or incidents that concern you. Add details like who was present, what happened, and when and where it happened.

  3. 3

    Send the complaint to your state dental board for review. To be sure the complaint is received, send it via certified mail. The ADA provides a list of dental boards by state on their website.

    Abuse Or Illegal Activity

  1. 1

    Write out a detailed account of the entire incident in question. Include every detail you can remember about what happened and who was involved.

  2. 2

    Contact the police in your area if you feel you have been the victim of sexual or physical assault. If the situation is illegal in any way, law enforcement will need to know about it so they can uphold the law and possibly protect others from such treatment.

  3. 3

    Contact a malpractice attorney in your area and explain the situation. The attorney can make recommendations for how to deal with the situation legally and come to a satisfactory solution.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have been abused by a dentist, do not continue appointments no matter the outcome of your complaint.

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