You probably worked long and hard to obtain your dental license. Surely, a few patient or associate complaints are not enough to jeopardize your legal right to practice in Pennsylvania, right?
Wrong. When complaints are severe enough, they can very well put your dental license at risk. Even if you know your professional conduct is above reproach, complaints require a comprehensive approach to prevent a poor outcome.
Why do people complain and dentists?
Some people are not great at letting others know about perceived mistreatment or professional problems. You may think everyone is satisfied with your practice when all the while, they are planning to file a formal complaint.
Common reasons patients, associates and employees file complaints against dental professionals include:
- Standards of care violations
- Substance abuse or addiction
- Billing or record-keeping irregularities
- Sexual misconduct, including unwanted advances
Another possible reason for a complaint involves improperly informing patients of the risks of dental procedures.
What should you do upon notice of complaints?
Act right away to preserve your professional dental license. The American Dental Association recommends the following:
- Do not respond to the complaint yourself
- Do not discuss the matter (you might worsen your circumstances)
- Do not speak with any investigator without a legal representative present
- Do consult a professional licensure defense advocate
- Do collect and preserve all records related to the complaint
- Do inform your professional liability carrier about the complaint
Above all, do not ignore the matter as it will only make an already turbulent situation much more frustrating in the longrun. We also recommend familiarizing yourself with possible defenses against dentistry complaints.