Fitness to Practice
The Dental Council can consider allegations of professional misconduct or allegations of unfitness to practise by reason of physical or mental disability. Professional misconduct is defined as a serious falling short in the standards expected of a dentist, and allegations of professional misconduct must be capable of been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The word ‘serious’ is the key word in this definition and it means that while treatment may have fallen below the standards expected of a dentist (and sometimes significantly below the standards expected), often the problem will not meet the narrow definition of professional misconduct.
The regulatory process is not designed to resolve private disputes between professionals and their patients in relation to issues such as fees or access to records. Healthcare regulators have no power in this regard. The regulator’s role is only to decide if the registrant is guilty of professional misconduct and, if so, to impose a sanction on them. It is for the legal system, specifically the courts, and not the regulatory process to address any restorative and compensatory matters. This applies across all of the healthcare regulations and not unique to the Dental Council.
You are welcome to contact the Dental Council if a problem occurs during your treatment and if we can, we will advise you on your next steps. Often, the issue is best resolved with your treating dentist.
Fitness to Practise Proceedings
The Dental Council has agreed as a matter of policy to publish the results of Fitness to Practise Inquires where allegations of professional misconduct against a dentist have been proven together with the sanction(s) imposed.