Report Date


Case Against

A Dental Practice


Clinical treatment outside hospital; Dentist

Case Reference Number



Upheld in whole or in part

Ms A complained about the treatment she received from the Practice after she attended an emergency appointment due to a crown falling out. The investigation considered whether Mrs A’s dental treatment from December 2022 was appropriate; and whether the Practice’s response to Ms A’s complaint (including the decision to refuse her further treatment) was appropriate and in line with relevant guidance.

The investigation found that it was unlikely that the Practice’s treatment (specifically a dentist making small adjustments to a tooth by ‘easing’ or filing it) caused the occlusion (‘bite’) issues Ms A complained about and this element of the complaint was therefore not upheld. However, it found that the complaint responses provided to Ms A when she raised concerns about this were very brief and did not answer any of her specific questions. It also found that although relationship breakdown was given as the reason for refusing to further treat Ms A after she had made a complaint, it was never explained why this applied to all the dentists in the Practice when she had only complained about the treatment provided by 1 named dentist. Both of these failings contradicted relevant guidance. The investigation concluded that while the relationship between the Practice and Ms A eventually deteriorated to the point where the Practice’s decision to refuse Ms A further treatment and remove her as a patient was justifiable, opportunities were missed to avoid the relationship deteriorating to this extent. This element of the complaint was therefore upheld.

The investigation recommended that the Practice should write to Ms A offering a formal apology for the issues identified and offer her a payment of £500 in acknowledgement of the substandard responses to her complaint.