As a dentist, you might do all you can to ensure your patients have a great experience every time they visit you for treatment. However, pleasing everybody isn’t easy. 

You’re bound to receive negative feedback and dental complaints from patients who probably weren’t satisfied with their treatment. These patients might escalate the issue by writing a negative review of your practice, which could harm your online reputation. 

But the good news is such complaints about dentists preventable. In this article, we’ve covered the most common dental complaints that patients make and how you can resolve them. 

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5 Types of dental complaints and how to solve them

When it comes to dental care, patients may encounter various complaints or concerns. These issues can range from pain and discomfort during procedures to dissatisfaction with the results. Here are five common types of dental complaints and their practical solutions. 

Dental complaint 1: The treatment was too expensive

Cost is a significant concern for many individuals seeking dental care. Dental treatments can be expensive, making accessing the necessary care challenging for some patients. 

A lot of patients visit dentist review sites to complain about the high cost of treatment at your dental clinic.

Although some of your patients might understand that the great dental treatment they receive comes at a price, others might not. 

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How to resolve such complaints about dentists?

Explain the cost of the treatment in detail to ensure that your patients don’t complain later. 

If your patient is visiting you for a tooth filling, but you find that there is considerable tooth decay because of which you’ll have to carry out an additional procedure, explain the additional cost and the benefit to the patient before you begin the procedure.

Dental complaint 2: Long wait time

Patients come to your practice to quickly get over whatever bothers them. Understandably, they’ll not be pleased if they wait too long. If the wait is beyond a few minutes, they may even go on to write a negative review.

How to resolve such complaints about dentists?

You might be a popular dentist in your neighborhood who attends to several patients every day. Since the time spent treating each patient can vary, some patients might have to wait. Make sure you don’t receive uncalled dental complaints and do these: 

  • Ask your patients to schedule appointments so that you get enough buffer time to help you in case somebody’s treatment stretches beyond your expectations. ‘
  • Proactively inform all your patients that their appointment time is tentative and can vary slightly.

Dental complaint 3: Lack of information

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Many patients complain about dentists not providing enough information or explanations about their oral health conditions and treatment options. Feeling uninformed can lead to confusion and uncertainty. 

You, as a dentist, might be doing everything in your control to ensure that your patient’s treatment goes as planned. However, it might so happen that because of inadequate post-treatment care or any other reason that isn’t in your control, the treatment fails. 

How to resolve the lack of information complaints about dentists?

To overcome this issue, consider the following solutions:

  • Discuss the treatment with them in detail and explain all possible consequences.
  • Inform your patients with all post-treatment care instructions.
  • Give them a complete understanding of their dental care.

Dental complaint 4: Not actively listening to the patient’s issues

You might be able to understand the problem by just listening to a few symptoms of the patient. However, if you don’t listen to your patient completely, they’ll feel that you don’t truly care about their health issue.

How to resolve if complaints come regularly?

Although you might have understood the underlying problem by looking at your patient’s teeth and knowing the best treatment, you should never stop your patient from explaining all their symptoms first. 

  • Listen to your patient sympathetically and then suggest a procedure. This way, your patients will believe you’ve understood them correctly, and the suggested treatment will help them improve.
  • Highlight all the benefits and risks associated with the treatment they’ll undergo. 
  •  Openly communicate and understand their fears and anxieties and provide any additional support they might need.

Dental complaint 5: Inappropriate behavior

Your patients come to your practice with a problem that might have been bothering them for the last few days or even weeks. Although some patients might still be calm, others might be slightly irritated. 

Either way, they expect you and your staff to treat them politely. 

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How to resolve this when someone complains?

Since you and your staff have been handling all types of patients, they might get a little impatient sometimes, which your patients would find rude.

Handle such situations professionally.

Remember: An angry patient is likelier to leave a negative review than a satisfied patient will ever write a good review. So: 

  • Be polite
  • Maintain a positive tone

If their problems are addressed appropriately, they might write a positive review for your practice online.

Read more: Improve feedback and reviews for your dental practice

Did you know: Over 90% of dental patients check online reviews of dentists before they book an appointment? It is important for dentists to manage their online reputation by offering the best experience to their patients and addressing all their concerns so that they don’t escalate as negative reviews.

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Frequently asked questions about dental complaints

Where to file dental complaints?

Based on the complaint’s seriousness, you can file dental complaints with either the management of the dental clinic, the dentist, or the state/national Dental Association Board.

What are common complaints of dental visits?

Some common complaints of dental visits are:
-Long waiting times
-Price of the service
-Lack of information on what to expect
-Behavior of the staff or the dentist
-Fear and anxiety from the patients 

How to file a complaint with the Dental Board?

You can file a complaint with the Dental Board by calling them at (916) 263-2300 or using their website’s online complaint forum.

What can I do if I am not happy with my dental treatment?

If you are unhappy with your dental treatment, reach out to your dentist and the clinic’s management to understand the best solution. If you are unhappy, you can escalate the complaint to the State Dental Board.

Let Birdeye help to manage your reviews easily

Although you can prevent negative reviews, you cannot avoid them completely. If you’ve received negative feedback about your dental practice online, here’s how to convert it into an opportunity to get more patients to your practice. 

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