The Dental Complaints Resolution Service (the “DCRS”) is a new service intended to assist dental patients and participating dentists resolve complaints. The DCRS, which will facilitate the cost-free and efficient mediation of complaints, is endorsed by the Irish Dental Association ( the “IDA”). It will function as a completely independent body. Previously, dissatisfied patients could only take a consumer complaint, civil action or make a complaint to the Dental Council.
The DCRS will deal with complaints regarding any aspect of dental care, treatment or service
involving any participating dentist who is a member of the IDA, or who has subscribed to the complaints resolution service. The DCRS will also deal with requests for assistance from participating dentists.
Any complaint about private care is eligible for consideration however, the most serious complaints and issues which relate to a Dentist’s fitness to practise will be referred by the DCRS to the Dental Council. Dissatisfied patients will be encouraged to seek to resolve their complaint directly with the relevant dental practice in the first instance.
If that approach is unsuccessful, the DCRS will become involved and will liaise with all parties. If the matter remains unresolved, the DCRS will then convene a panel with the power to make recommendations. Possible recommendations include; advising the dentist to offer an apology and offering a full or partial refund of fees. However, recommendations will be non-binding on dentists.
The DCRS will not handle complaints regarding treatment by dentists who are covered by the medical card scheme, PRSI credits or insurance based schemes. It will also not consider complaints regarding dental professionals other than dentists, employment disputes or contractual matters. The DCRS will aim to resolve all complaints received within seven to ten days.