What are your Options if your Dentist Makes a Mistake?

Dentistry is a highly-skilled profession, and one that’s in major demand. Most of the organs in our body make do with barely any attention, until the day they start to malfunction. But the teeth are lavished with regular check-ups from a professional trained specifically in their care. 

While some of us might need to occasionally consult a dermatologist, an endocrinologist, or a cardiologist – we all need to visit the dentist from time to time. Thus, we all have an interest in ensuring that our dentist is able to offer a consistent quality of care – and we’re all vulnerable to the occasional slip-up, where that quality of care doesn’t meet the required standard.

How do dentists become dentists?

Dentists, like other medical professionals, must undergo rigorous training. This means five years spent training for a degree, much of which will be spent learning the practical skills needed to actually treat patients. Having graduated, would-be dentists must register with the General Dental Council before they’re licensed to practice. It’s the GDC that sets the standards for care, and that decides exactly what goes into dentistry degrees.

How do I choose a dentist?

To give yourself the best possible chance of receiving quality care, look for a dentist’s qualifications and learn about the service they offer. They should, at the very least, have the letters “BDS” or “BChD” after their name. Clinicians, like dentists, must be appropriately qualified in order to practice. If you have particular dental needs, then you might look for a dentist with special expertise in a given area, and the qualifications needed to back this up.

Of course, there are other indicators that a surgery is fit for purpose. Cleanliness is a big factor – a waiting room that’s dirty or untidy should be viewed as a red flag. Similarly, the interpersonal skills of the staff should be given some scrutiny. Visiting a dentist can be a stressful (if not traumatic) experience, and soft skills will empower the professionals working there to put your mind at ease. Naturally, just because the surgery is clean and the staff are polite doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of care will be stellar. What’s more, even a qualified and experienced dentist is not immune from making mistakes. If you’ve been the victim of dental negligence, then it’s not a question of whether you think the dentist is appropriately qualified – speak to a solicitor and establish whether you have a case. They’ll often proceed on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Meighan Sembrano

London based journalist Meighan Sembrano is an expert in beauty and skin related concerns and topics. She has contributed a vast range of research papers and features in the Health and Fitness field.