Filing a Complaint Against a Non-Hygienic Dental Office
Cross-infection in the dental office is a rare issue, but that doesn’t make it less important. Due to a breach of strict guidelines on infection control and cleanliness, there is an increased risk of spreading conditions such as hepatitis and HIV. The consumer-dentist relationship is based on trust, so the reality is that consumers have little chance of knowing what is going on. Dentists, as professionals, must guarantee that cross-infection doesn’t happen.
Consumers are not totally out of control because there are things you should pay attention to see whether your dentist is following infection control and cleanliness procedures. If you believe they are not, then you should fill out a complaint form and send it to the Dental Board of California for review and possible inspection.
How to Spot a Breach in Infection Control Guidelines?
- Keep your eyes on the gloves. Dentists and dental assistants should always put a new pair of gloves taken out of a glove dispenser. Gloves taken off of a countertop could be contaminated. And if they touch anything besides your mouth or the instruments, they probably picked up some germs.
- How clean is the countertop at the dental office? Cluttered surfaces are difficult to be sterilized, so check to see if the office is cluttered. Also, a carpet shouldn’t be in the office because it cannot be sterilized (unlike hospital-grade linoleum floors). Not seeing special disposal containers (for sharp items and needles) is also a clear indication of how serious your dentist is about cleanliness.
- Check the instruments. A sealed bag of instruments means that they have been sterilized, and a dentist should unwrap it in front of you. If the bag is already open, there’s a possibility that the instruments contain germs.
Suspicious about Your Dentists Cleanliness? Here’s How to File a Complaint
There are three ways that you can file a complaint with the Dental Board.
- File a complaint via an online complaint form
- Call to have a complaint form sent to you by mail
- Download and print a complaint form (and send it to the Board for review)
The information requested on the complaint form is collected by the Department of Consumer Affairs as authorized by BPC (Business and Professions Code) section 325 and 326. This information will be used to follow up on a complaint. Providing personal information (e.g., name, address, and phone number) is voluntary, and you may choose to remain anonymous when filing a complaint. However, the Board may not be able to help you resolve the complaint or contact you.
The Department of Consumer Affairs may need to share the information you provided with the dental office you complained about or with other government agencies to follow up on your complaint. Also, the information you provide may be disclosed in certain circumstances, such as:
- To another government agency required by federal and state law.
- In response to a Public Records Act request.
- In response to a search warrant, subpoena, or a court or administrative order.
Dental Specialties Institute, Inc. was founded in 2000 and has served as a licensed provider of continuing education for RDAs and RDAs with Extended Functions. All applicants must receive an Infection Control Certification to receive an RDA or RDAEF license. We are approved by the Dental Board of California and the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.