Other organisations that can help
We are one of a number of organisations which may be able to help if you are not happy with the treatment, behaviour or service you have received from a registered dental professional.
We require all dental practices to have their own query or complaints procedure and most concerns can be settled locally and quickly, by the dental professional or their employer.
If you have a concern about the way in which your treatment was carried out, you can raise this with the practice to see if you can resolve the problem or NHS in the first instance (but not both). If you are unhappy with the outcome of your concern with either the practice or NHS, then you should contact your local Ombudsman.
- The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (England)
- The Northern Ireland Public Service Ombudsman
- The Public Service Ombudsman (Wales)
- The Scottish Public Service Ombudsman
For more information on other organisations who may be able to help you, please see below:
My complaint is about NHS treatment
You can either raise a concern with the practice where you received your treatment or NHS (but not both). Dental practices should have their own complaints procedure and you may wish to speak to them to try and resolve any concerns locally.
However, if you wish to raise your concerns with the NHS instead, you can visit their website for your area below:
- How do I make a complaint about an NHS service?
- Patients in England – NHS Choices
- Patients in Scotland – NHS National Services Scotland
- Patients in Northern Ireland – NI Direct
- Patients in Wales – NHS Direct
My complaint is about private treatment
The Dental Complaints Service (DCS) can help you and the dental professional put things right by working with you both to sort out the complaint. You can contact them on 020 8253 0800 or complete their online form.
The DSC may be able to assist you in seeking:
- An explanation and/ or apology for what has happened
- A full or partial refund of fees in relation to the failed treatment
- Remedial treatment from your dental professional, if you are both in agreement
- A contribution towards remedial treatment so that the work can be completed by another dental professional at the same practice or at an alternative practice
Following a review of the service the DCS can now, on referral from your plan provider, impartially assist with complaints about private treatment provided as part of a dental plan.
Patient support organisations
If you would like support to make a complaint, you can get help from an NHS Complaints Advocate. See list below to find out who provides Independent Health Complaints Advocacy in your local area:
- If you are in England, contact your local Healthwatch.
- If you are in Scotland, contact the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.
- If you are in Wales, contact Advocacy Support Cymru.
- If you are in Northern Ireland, contact the Patient and Client Council.
I am unhappy with the way a dental professional or a business is advertising their services
The Advertising Standards Authority can look into complaints about misleading, harmful or offensive advertisements. The ASA can change or remove a problematic advertisement.
The clinic or business premises are unclean or unsafe
The Health and Safety Executive provides information about risks in health and social care that can affect employees and anyone using these services. The HSE can visit any workplace at any time to carry out a health and safety inspection.
They can investigate following a report of an injury or suspected unsafe working practice which may breach health and safety legislation.
I am concerned about a clinic or business rather than an individual
There are four regulators which set standards for dental providers and can look into whether these are being met.
- Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates all primary dental care services in England - both private and NHS and published up-to-date information from assessments. The CQC can take action against any service provider that is not meeting their standards.
- The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) is Northern Ireland's independent health and social care regulator. It can investigate complaints regarding private care/health care from independent (private) healthcare providers.
- Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) is the independent inspectorate and regulator of all healthcare in Wales. The role of its investigation team is to undertake focused reviews of healthcare organisations or services in response to concerns arising from a particular incident or incidents, depending upon seriousness and/or frequency of occurrence.
- Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) has responsibility for the regulation of independent healthcare services in Scotland, previously the responsibility of the Care Commission.
Other healthcare regulators
Other healthcare professionals are regulated by other regulators. Should your complaint be regarding another healthcare profession, please contact their regulator directly:
Who they regulate
Nurses and midwives
Arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists/podiatrists, clinical scientists, dietitians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists/orthotists, radiographers, social workers in England and speech and language therapists.
Optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians, optical businesses
Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians (on the voluntary register) and pharmacy premises (excluding Northern Ireland)
Pharmacists and pharmacy premises in Northern Ireland