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Consumer Complaints System

If you are unhappy with treatment you have received from a dentist, the NZDA may be able to help.

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ABOUT DENTISTRY : ABOUT NZDA

Consumer Complaints System

If you are unhappy with treatment you have received from a dentist, the NZDA may be able to help.

Please note that we can only help if the dentist concerned is a member NZDA. You can check this by contacting us at the NZDA Headquarters.

What do you need to do?

To help you reach a quick resolution, we suggest you follow these two steps:

  1. If you haven't already done so, please contact the dentist concerned and discuss the issue with him/her (or write them a letter if you find this easier). Many misunderstandings can be resolved just by taking this simple step.
  2. If you are unable to resolve your concern with the dentist, your next step should be to put your complaint in writing, and send it to the New Zealand Dental Association.

When writing your complaint, remember to include:

  • your name, address and daytime telephone number, including area code
  • the name and address of the dentist involved in your complaint or inquiry
  • copies of any letters or other documents that may help us to understand your complaint
  • a description of the complaint - state what happened, including the dates and the names of any other people involved, and then state how you see it being resolved

What happens next?

  1. Your written complaint will be assessed by the consumer liaison officer, who will contact you if they need any further information.
  2. The consumer liaison officer will contact the dentist concerned, and give him/her an opportunity to respond.
  3. The case will be reviewed fairly and impartially by the consumer affairs officer, who will consider ways to resolve the situation. He or she may then contact you and the dentist to try and achieve a solution that is acceptable to both parties.

What happens if my complaint can't be resolved?

If your complaint can't be resolved by the consumer liaison officer, then the next process that may be available to help you is NZDA 'peer review'. This means your case is considered by a peer review panel, consisting of a chairperson, one or more other registered dentists, and a lay person. It is a condition of membership of the NZDA for a dentist to accept peer review and the findings.

The purpose of peer review is to resolve disputes concerning quality and appropriateness of dental treatment. Fees charged is not a topic that can be considered for peer review. Peer Review is not a disciplinary system. It provides fair and independent answers to disputes about quality and appropriateness of dental treatment.

Can anyone else help me?

There are three other avenues of support available. Click on these links for information about the consumer complaints systems provided by:

  1. the Health and Disability Commissioner's Service
  2. the Dental Council of New Zealand
  3. the Disputes Tribunal (District Court)