Resolving a Dispute with Your Dentist

The best dentist/patient relationships are built on trust as a result of open communication. If a problem has developed in that relationship, the Wisconsin Dental Association recommends the following:

Talk with your dentist

  • If you are displeased with something your dentist has done, make an appointment to talk to the dentist openly about your concerns. Your dentist cannot correct a situation that is bothering you if you do not communicate directly with him or her. At the meeting, be prepared to state what the problem is and how you would like your dentist to handle it. Be clear about what you’re asking for so that your dentist doesn’t have to guess.
  • Be open to suggested alternatives from your dentist. Because your dentist is familiar with your oral health conditions, he or she may be able to recommend a solution you have not considered.
  • When discussing your concern(s) with your dentist, do so in a calm, non-accusatory manner. This will allow for a smoother conflict resolution process.
  • Give your dentist time to consider the problem and suggested solution. If you are not able to resolve the conflict during your meeting, it is best to give the dentist time to consider a mutually acceptable solution for both of you. This may take several days or even a month or more, depending on the situation.
WDA Patient Line

If – after taking the above steps – your concern remains unresolved, you may contact the WDA Patient Line by calling 414-755-4120 or completing the form below. A WDA representative will get back to you in a timely manner.

Please note that the WDA does not have a formal mediation, case review or peer review program, and we do not review patient files. Additionally, the WDA does not have the authority to order a dentist or dental office to take any specific action. What we will do is contact the dentist on your behalf, share details of your complaint and ask them to work with you to resolve the matter. The WDA is unable to accept anonymous complaints, complaints where the dentist is not specifically named or complaints about fees, insurance or billing.