Cost of treatment tops list of DCRS complaints

Annual report reveals that crown and bridge work also left patients down in the mouth during 2015

The cost of dental treatment was the main cause for complaint in 2015 according to the Dental Complains Resolution Service (DCRS).

The service’s annual report revealed that it accepted 134 complaints out of a total of 287 calls and 970 emails or letters last year, compared to 158 accepted cases in 2014.

Among these cases, the majority were about treatment costs (21 cases) or failure to explain charges properly (10). Other reasons were crown and bridge work (14), fillings (12), root canal (11) and diagnosis (10).

The DCRS revealed that it had resolved 44 of the cases by the end of 2015, eight more than in 2014. Of these, seven were found to have no substance and one was resolved by an explanation and apology from the dentist. In four cases, dentists agreed to carry out remedial work or pay for the remedial work to be carried out elsewhere. The majority of cases (28) were resolved by explanation and refund, while three cases could not be satisfactorily resolved and were closed. The remaining 90 were either resolved between the parties, withdrawn or remain unresolved.

The DCRS annual report states: “The most important thing for dentists to do is to listen to patients. Sometimes things end up before the Dental Council or in court and 90 per cent of the time it’s avoidable. Even if the dentist believes they are not in the wrong, they should still engage with the patient to try reach a resolution.”

The DCRS was set up in 2012 by the Irish Dental Association (IDA) to help resolve complaints about private dental treatment.