Rise in complaints about private dentists

THE number of complaints made about private dental treatment rose by 17 per cent last year, new figures show.

A report from the Dental Complaints Service (DCS) revealed it dealt with 1,887 complaints in the year to April 2012, compared to 1,559 complaints the previous year.

The DCS’ Annual Review 2011-12 also showed the service received 14,145 calls compared to 13,522 in 2010-11, a rise of 4.5 per cent.

The most frequent concerns related to patients feeling they were not properly informed about treatment, being given unclear information and feeling their concerns were ignored.

The top treatment types for complaints were crown (16 per cent), full and partial denture (15 per cent), filling (14 per cent), root canal (nine per cent) and implant (nine per cent).

However, two-thirds of complaints were resolved within a week with many cases resulting in remedial treatment, a refund, an apology or an explanation. The DCS, now in its sixth year, is a free service funded by the General Dental Council to deal with complaints about private dental care.

Chair Derek Prentice said he was proud that, since it was first established, the service has recovered more than £1million for patients and has an average resolution time of 7.5 days.

He added: “We have worked hard to make our complaints service easy to use. I am particularly proud of one result of our service and our approach to resolving complaints is that the overwhelming majority of complainants stay with the dental practice they complained about.”


Dental Complaints Service Annual Review 2011-12

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