In dentistry, there is no universal right and wrong protocol when it comes to patient management. But, the dentist who is ethical strives to do which is right and good. If you believe that a dentist has, or is, engaged in illegal or unethical activities that are related to their professional responsibilities, a complaint should be filed.
These are the steps I would take to rectify the situation.
- Talk to your dentist, try and clear up any misunderstanding or confusion. If you have been assaulted or injured that is one thing, but if the outcome of treatment hasn’t met your expectations this may or may not indicate any wrong doing by the dentist. Discuss the issue.
- Maybe a second opinion would set the record straight. If you are not confident about treatment proposed, get a copy of your treatment plan and x-rays and seek out another dentist. They will be able to confirm if the proposed treatment is appropriate. They will not however be able to direct you after the fact.
- If you are still not satisfied or don’t feel either of those suggestions will bring you closer to a resolution, contact your local dental society. Most have established a peer review system. This committee of impartial dental professionals will attempt to mediate the problem and may meet to discuss the case, examine records, talk to the dentist and patient, and arrange for a clinical examination if needed.
- Contacting your state dental association would be the next step if no help was found at the local level.
- When ALL else fails, you have exhausted every other means possible, as a LAST resort, seek legal counsel.