The IDA Dental Complaints Resolution Service handled 130 complaints in 2013, according to Michael Kilcoyne, mediator with the Service. Michael received over 1,230 emails and letters, and just over 260 phone calls last year.

Ultimately, this resulted in 130 complaints being submitted, of which 28 cases have been resolved in full and 102 are still being processed. The majority of complaints related to disagreements or misunderstandings in relation to professional fees, followed by adverse clinical outcomes and communications difficulties.

Dentists are encouraged to seek advice from their medical defence organisation and are strongly encouraged to avail of this voluntary service, which is proving very effective in resolving disputes that might otherwise have been referred to the Dental Council or the law courts.

Michael says he is very satisfied with the engagement of dentists and certainly the feedback we receive from members is that this is a very welcome and successful initiative, which helps to resolve disputes in an informal and less time-consuming manner, and which ultimately enhances confidence in the high standards of care and treatment provided by Irish dentists. An Annual report for 2013 will be published by the Dental Complaints Resolution Service shortly.