Your Options for Resolving Complaints
One of the main goals of dentistry is to provide you – the patient – with personalized attention and the highest quality dental care possible. However, even in the best dentist-patient relationship, problems may occur.
First, talk frankly to your dentist about any concerns you have. Often, you and your dentist will be able to resolve any problems. If for some reason you cannot satisfactorily resolve the issue, or if you believe your dentist has not provided you with the best quality care possible, there are still options. You may decide to have the dispute mediated through the Peer Review Mediation Program.
The Peer Review Mediation program is available if your dentist is a member of the American, Florida and West Coast District Dental Associations. Mediation is voluntary and is designed to resolve problems between dentists and patients in a fast, cost-effective manner.
Only cases involving problems with actual treatment and procedures are eligible for mediation. Cases not eligible for the Peer Review Mediation Program include malpractice litigation; formal regulatory investigations; disputes over dental fees; treatment that occurred more than 12 months before the patient’s last appointment with the dentist; and cases involving dentists who are not members.
If your case is ineligible for the Peer Review Mediation Program, you may wish to explore alternatives. These include but are not limited to, consulting with an attorney, which may result in a malpractice lawsuit; complaining directly to the Florida Board of Dentistry (850) 245-4339; Federal Trade Commission (877) 382-4357; Better Business Bureau (727) 535-5522; dropping the complaint; contacting the dentist directly; and /or contacting another consumer-services organization. We cannot advise you about which course of action, if any that you should take.
If you are interested in initiating the peer review process, please contact the West Coast District Dental Association at (813) 654-2500.