The Dental Complaints Service

The Dental Complaints Service (DCS) was launched on 24 May 2006. It resolves an average of 30 complaints a week and it is contacted by both patients and dentists to resolve complaints.

How does the Dental Complaint Service work?

A patient can call the Dental Complaints Service and an advisor would normally ask a patient with a complaint if they have been through their dental practice’s own complaints procedure. If not, an advisor would refer them back to their dental practice’s own complaints procedure.

If a patient is still unhappy, DCS advisors try to improve the communication and understanding between patients and the practice in question.

The third stage is for a panel of lay and professional volunteers to meet with patients and their dental professional to consider and try to resolve the complaint.

Below are three typical examples of how the DCS can resolve problems: 

  1. In this case, Patient A was unhappy with his treatment and in particular the fact that his dentist had refused to discuss matters on the telephone with him. The patient wanted to obtain a costly second opinion and was requesting a refund for a cracked crown and a tooth. After advice from the DCS, the patient then wrote to the practice which explained the treatment and offered a full refund, thus restoring the relationship
  2. Patient B rang the DCS complaining about two years of dental treatment which had resulted in little or no benefit. The patient’s dental practice attempted to employ the services of another dentist to advance the patient’s treatment. Patient B was advised to write to his practice and the patient’s request for a refund was agreed by a dental professional
  3. Patient C complained about temporary dental work which failed within a couple of days and the patient wanted a refund. Neither the practice’s complaints procedure or the services complaints advisors had been able to resolve the matter, therefore the matter proceeded to a panel meeting. At the panel meeting the dentist and patient were unable to agree on how they could resolve the complaint. The dentist’s notes confirmed that she had treated the patient as an emergency and had described the work as temporary and the panel recommended that no further action was necessary 

Complaints are often against crowns, bridges, dentures, tooth whitening and fillings.

How do I Contact the Dental Complaints Service?

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


Write to:

Dental Complaints Service
Stephenson House 
2 Cherry Orchard Road 

Or visit their website: