File a Complaint

Patient Complaints

There are two options available to patients with a complaint about care they received from a South Dakota Dentist. The SDDA Peer Review Program (if complaint qualifies) or the South Dakota Board of Dentistry.

Peer Review

Peer Review is not a court and has no disciplinary function. It merely provides an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, at no cost to either party. Peer Review is a process by which the dental profession reviews and attempts to resolve dental treatment problems and misunderstandings through mediation.

The purpose of the Peer Review system is to resolve disputes that may arise in the delivery of dental services to the public.

Unbiased, objective and timely reviews are conducted using the SDDA Peer Review Committee for addressing disputes between patients and dentists.

The SDDA Peer Review Committee consists of SDDA member dentists who volunteer their time and expertise to review and assist patients. They may meet to discuss the case and may examine clinical records, talk to the dentist and patient and, when indicated, arrange for a clinical examination.

Matters accepted for Peer Review

  • Your dentist is a SDDA Member. If the dentist does not appear in Find A Dentist, they are not a SDDA member and Peer Review is not an option.
  • The treatment in question must have occurred in the past two years.
  • Appropriateness of Care: The Peer Review Committee shall determine the professional acceptability of planned or completed treatments, consistent with diagnosis. In other words, did the dentist provide appropriate treatment for the condition that existed?
  • Quality of Treatment: The Peer Review Committee shall determine the acceptability of completed treatment provided using the standard of care expected by the profession. In other words, was the treatment performed by the dentist done correctly?

Matters not accepted for Peer Review

  • Complaint involving a dentist that is not a member of the SDDA. If the dentist does not appear in Find A Dentist, they are not a SDDA member.
  • Any complaint that doesn't concern the appropriateness of care or quality of care is not accepted.
  • If the case involves a fee or billing dispute, it is not accepted.
  • Complaints of poor customer service, practice management or concerning a staff member's behavior are not accepted.
  • If either party has contacted an attorney, even if litigation has not been initiated, the case will not be accepted.
  • Peer Review is designed to be an alternative to civil litigation, it is not within the scope of Peer Review to consider cases in litigation. If either party has initiated litigation, dental services which might otherwise be reviewed, the complaint cannot be accepted for Peer Review. Receipt of the written correspondence from an attorney or referral to peer review by an attorney, does not necessarily mean litigation has been initiated.

After reviewing these criteria, if you wish to submit your complaint to the Peer Review program, download the Patient Request For Mediation Form.
Return the form to: SDDA; 804 N Euclid; Ste 103; Pierre, SD 57501

Professions and Occupations Investigations Unit Complaints

If the complaint does not qualify for Peer Review, patients may complete a complaint form available from the South Dakota State Board of Dentistry. Patients may view discipline actions of the South Dakota State Board of Dentistry here.