As with any service, sometimes things will happen that you are unhappy with. Your dental practice will want to resolve this as quickly as possible, so it is important that you bring your concern to their attention as soon as you can.

The first, and easiest, thing to do is to speak to the Dentist or the Practice Manager. It may be that a brief chat is all it takes to get the situation resolved.

If not, your next step should be to complete a Practice Complaints Form, or write a letter to the Practice Partners, outlining your complaint and, if possible, what you would like them to do to resolve it.

You should give them a time limit to respond – two weeks is reasonable – and remember to keep a copy of all correspondence.

What happens next depends on whether your treatment was carried out privately or under the NHS.

Complaining About NHS Treatment

If you live in England and are not happy with the response you get from your dental practice if you complain about your NHS dental care, you need to contact your local Primary Care Trust.  The Primary Care Trust (PCT) will then help you to resolve the dispute.

Tel 0300 311 2233 open 8am – 6pm  Email

If your complaint is serious, you may also want to contact the General Dental Council, which regulates dentistry in the UK and holds the Dentists’ Register. They have the power to discipline the dentist and, in a small number of cases, strike them off the Register.

Complaining about Private Treatment

In our experience many patients find that their complaint can be resolved by discussing the issue with their dentist. In the event that your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction in this way, we suggest that you put your complaint in writing to the practice, allowing 14 days to respond and keeping a copy of everything you send.

If the practice either does not respond or offer a satisfactory explanation and you are an NHS patient and living in England or Wales, you should then contact your local primary care trust or local health board (contact details will be available from your local library or phonebook), sending them copies of all the correspondence.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome and you are a resident of Northern Ireland, you may write to the Complaints Officer at the relevant Health and Social Services Board (contact details will be available from your local library or phonebook). If you live in Scotland, you may write to your NHS Board (contact details will be available from your local library or phonebook).

If you have received treatment privately, please contact the Dental Complaints Service. This independent service, launched by the General Dental Council, resolves complaints about private dental care.

You can contact the DCS through the following details:

Telephone: 020 8253 0800 at local rate (Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm)


Write to:
Dental Complaints Service
Stephenson House
2 Cherry Orchard Road