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Connecticut State Dental Association

Complaint Against Dentist

A dispute can arise between even the best patients and dentists. We strongly recommend that patients first speak with their dentist to discuss their concerns. This is often the quickest and easiest way to resolve a dispute. However, on the rare occasions when this does not resolve the matter, a patient can file a request for peer review through the state chapters of the American Dental Association. In Connecticut, our state chapter works with our twenty-two local dental societies to offer an alternative dispute resolution system that can help patients and dentists find a way to resolve these matters in an amicable manner.


What is Peer Review?

Please watch the video below, to answer questions about the process. 




Dispute Criteria

  1. How does this complaint process work?

    The video above provides a brief overview of our peer review process.

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  2. Who can file a request for peer review with the CSDA?

    A patient or third party payer (i.e. insurance company) may file a request for peer review. 

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  3. Can I file a request for peer review on behalf of a friend or relative?

    We need the patient to file this complaint on their own because our process relies upon the voluntary cooperation and active participation of the people directly involved in the dispute. There is an exception in the case of underage children because their parents or legal guardians typically act on their behalf with regard to dental treatment issues. 

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  4. What types of complaints can we file with the CSDA?

    Our process is designed to look at disputes related to the appropriateness of care and the quality of treatment. This can include billing errors if there is a question about whether the charge in dispute is the dentist’s usual fee for a given procedure. 

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  5. Are there any topics or issues that may be considered inappropriate for peer review?

    A complaint must be related to the care and treatment of a patient. Even then, we will not accept a case if the matter is currently the subject of litigation. This can include criminal complaints, civil lawsuits and state agency investigations. However, there is an exception for fee disputes that are subject to a collection action in court. In those cases, we will agree to consider a case if the dentist agrees to withdraw their lawsuit against a patient. 

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  6. Will a dentist agree to participate in this process?

    Most dentists will agree to participate in our process. As professionals, they are often eager to tell their side of the story, especially when contacted by their peers regarding a complaint that was received from a patient. 

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  7. Who reviews these cases?

    When we receive a request for peer review, it is automatically forwarded to a Peer Review Committee of one of our local dental societies. The volunteers who serve on these committees are dentists who were selected by the leaders of these local societies because of their reputation within the dental community, especially as it relates to their technical knowledge, clinical skill and judgment. 

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  8. Can I speak to someone at the CSDA about my case before filing a complaint?

    CSDA staff can answer general questions about how the process works. However, we can’t answer questions related to treatment or billing issues because that is outside of our area of expertise. We also can’t refer a matter to a local peer review committee member before a case is filed, because they need to hear both sides of the story and review all available dental records before they are able to make an informed decision about a dispute. 

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  9. How do I file a complaint?

    You may file a request for peer review by completing and submitting the following two forms to the Connecticut State Dental Association: 

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