Patients should initially raise complaints with their dentists, but if this does not resolve the issue, they can go to their state's dental society or dental association. Patients can find a list of state dental associations on the Mouth Healthy website, which is managed by the American Dental Association.
State dental associations use a system called peer review to resolve disputes between patients and dentists. This review system can handle disputes over care quality, the appropriateness of care and the fees charged by dentists, according to the American Dental Association. The review process is impartial and is designed to be easily accessible to patients. Patients can contact their state dental association using the email address or postal address listed on the Mouth Healthy website.
When a patient raises a complaint against a dentist with the state dental association, the peer review committee meets to discuss the case and examine relevant clinical records. They may also talk to the dentist and patient to find out what has happened and work out how the dispute can be resolved. The committee can also arrange for a clinical examination to take place to assess the quality of dental care that the dentist provided to the patient.