Growing concerns: 66% increase in complaints regarding NHS dentistry over the past five years


Patients in England continue to encounter challenges in accessing NHS dental services, with many expressing dissatisfaction over increased fees and the standard of care. Complaints filed with the government and health service ombudsman have surged from 1,193 in 2017-2018 to 1,982 in 2022-2023.


Spokesman Rob Behrens stated, ‘Poor dental care leaves patients frustrated, in pain, and out of pocket. Both they and dental professionals deserve a better system that ensures quality care.


‘Many of us have recently read headlines about people resorting to removing their own teeth and witnessed images of individuals queuing outside practices in search of an NHS dentist. This highlights access problems, including appointment availability and a lack of treatment, which are common issues in the complaints brought to our attention.’


According to the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman website, the ombudsman receives approximately 100 calls a week regarding issues related to dental practices.


The Ombudsman upheld cases in 2023, including:


1.A pregnant woman in Southampton who had to pay £1,045 for a private root canal treatment because her dentist failed to inform her about NHS fee exemptions, resulting in her treatment being free. The dentist also neglected to fit a crown within the recommended 30 days, causing the woman ongoing pain and distress.


2.A woman in Birmingham suffered a burn inside her lower lip during a root canal treatment, enduring ‘excruciating’ pain for 13 days. This condition disrupted her sleep and limited her to soft or liquid foods like eggs and soup.


3.A Stockport practice misrepresented the cost of a five-tooth bridge at £330 total, rather than £330 per tooth. Misled by the pricing, a patient agreed to the removal of his front tooth for the bridge, unaware of the true expense. Left without a front tooth, he had to seek additional treatment from another practice to address the gap.


Dealing with complaints

At All Med Pro, we believe in clear communication with our clients and giving them the best advice for their claims. Our strong partnership with a team of legal experts helps us address claims quickly and honestly. We understand how important your professional reputation is to you.

  1.  Let us know about your claim! You can call us at 0203 757 6950 or send an email to     [email protected]. Please note that we check emails from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday.
  2.  Our claims manager will then send your request to the right dento-legal team for help
  3.  After that, you’ll get advice from experienced professionals to guide you and support you.


As part of Project Sphere, we are committed to providing unparalleled support to dental professionals. One key aspect of this initiative is the elimination of restrictions on seeking advice. There has always been and will continue to be no limit to the number of times you can reach out to us for advice, and the frequency of your enquiries will have no impact on your indemnity fees. We believe that unrestricted access to guidance is essential for promoting patient safety and professional development.


Recruitment and retention pose significant challenges within the dental industry

Like various sectors within the NHS, dentistry is grappling with issues such as low morale, insufficient funding, and challenges in recruiting and retaining staff. All Med Pro continues to provide you with the tools to improve your daily practice and CPD resources. In addition to your professional development, we have launched a new podcast in partnership with PDI, with a recent episode covering recruitment and how to find the right team member for you. To listen to this episode, click here:

Be sure to hit that follow button to avoid missing out on future episodes brought to you by All Med PDI.

Need to speak with one of our expert team members? Book a FREE consultation at a time suited to you by clicking here: All Med Pro (


Source: Dental complaints on the rise | Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)


For peace of mind that you and your business reputation are protected, contact All Med Pro for all your insurance needs.

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