Are you concerned about the quality or appropriateness of the oral health care you were provided? The WDA’s free and voluntary Mediation Services program provides an expert and credible system for resolving disagreements between patients and dentists.

Mediation Services is a confidential, methodical and objective process that identifies and analyzes relevant facts related to disputes that cannot be resolved in a less formal way. Decisions and recommendations are reached in a fair and objective manner, based on the evidence provided. WDA Mediation Services is not a court of law. Its goal is to assure and improve dental health care in Wisconsin.

View Frequently Asked Questions

To file a complaint, please complete the form below. You can also email kristine@wda.org, or send a letter by U.S. mail to WDA Mediation Services, 6737 W. Washington Street, Suite 2360, West Allis, WI 53214.

 

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Are cases ever dismissed?

A case can be dismissed at any time if the tone of a patient’s or a dentist’s written or verbal communications (e.g., telephone calls, voice messages, emails, letters) is disrespectful and/or threatening. The Mediation Services coordinator may provide one formal reminder about participation standards. Subsequent disrespectful or threatening communications will result in the patient and the dentist involved in the complaint immediately receiving formal notification of case closure without resolution.

In addition, a case may be dismissed if a party fails to cooperate with, or participate in the process and/or requests of the WDA Mediation Services committee.

What if dentist named in complaint is not a WDA member?

Non-member dentists named in complaints are notified that a patient complaint has been received by the WDA. Information about Mediation Services and joining the WDA is shared. If the dentist declines to join the WDA, a letter is sent notifying the patient of the dentist’s ineligibility and the complaint is closed. The patient is then free to seek resolution through private negotiations, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services’ Dentistry Examining Board and/or the court system.

How long does Mediation Services take?

With the goal of a fair, objective and confidential process, there is no set time frame for resolving cases. Complaints are acknowledged within 30 days and may take several months to complete. The Mediation Services process depends on committee member dentists volunteering their time and relies upon patients and their dentists responding promptly to information and meeting requests.

What if a complaint isn’t resolved during the investigative stage?

  • If a complaint is not resolved during the investigative stage, the local committee will conduct a formal Mediation Services meeting that includes at least three WDA member dentists.
  • In an effort to hear all sides of the situation, the patient and the dentist who provided the care in question are interviewed separately and in person by the committee.
  • The patient may be asked to submit to a dental examination to determine if the care provided was within acceptable standards; if the treatment was proper for the condition of the mouth; and, if the treatment was technically
  • Following the meeting, a report is compiled containing the specific complaint, the clinical findings, the committee’s conclusions and its A copy of this report is sent to all parties involved and the WDA Executive Office.
  • The patient and the dentist charged in the complaint each have 30 days to appeal in writing the local Mediation Services Committee decision.

How does the process work?

  • Patient requests, then submits a completed and signed “Request for Review” form to WDA Mediation Services.
  • Mediation Services coordinator acknowledges receipt of the form within 30 days.
  • A copy of the form, along with a request for a response and applicable records are forwarded to the dentist/s named on the form.
  • The complaint is given an initial review to determine if the matter is eligible for WDA Mediation Services.
  • If the complaint is determined to be eligible for Mediation Services, it is then referred to the appropriate local dental society’s Mediation Services.
  • Local committee chairperson appoints “investigative designee” to oversee review process.
  • The patient and the WDA member dentist named in the written complaint are contacted and information related to the case requested.
  • The investigative designee carefully reviews submitted information and attempts to reconcile the differences between the patient and the dentist(s).
  • If the case is resolved, a written report is submitted to the local committee chairperson who forwards it to all persons involved and the WDA Executive Office.
  • The case is then considered closed.

 

Do patients get refunds?

Any financial considerations the committee may recommend are tied directly to treatment costs. The committee does not make awards for issues, such as pain and suffering, loss of work time or mental anguish. WDA Mediation Services is not a court of law. Requests for reimbursement, payment or refunds should not be included in writing, either in the online complaint form or in a hard copy letter. 

 

Is there a fee for participating in Mediation Services?

No. WDA Mediation Services is a free and voluntary program for WDA member dentists and their patients.

What about confidentiality?

All information – including names of the patient and dentist involved – are kept confidential. However, unless the patient specifically asks that the complaint remain on file only, copies of the complaint are forwarded to the dentist with a request that he/she respond to specific issues raised, as well as provide relevant records.

Who reviews complaints?

Decisions and recommendations are reached by a committee of volunteer dental professionals in a fair, objective and confidential manner based on evidence provided. The program does not handle complaints currently in litigation or being pursued through the legal process or other review.

How does a complaint qualify for WDA Mediation Services?

Matters are eligible for review if they appear to involve substantive issues of appropriateness of care and/or quality of treatment.