Visitor Question

Reporting Dentist’s Negligent Behavior?

Submitted By: Megan (Washington)

I just had a cleaning at my dentist’s office. After my dentist checked my teeth he kept falling asleep in the chair while we were discussing my treatment plan! He wasn’t answering my questions and when he did speak he made no sense. This seemed like totally negligent behavior to me and maybe like he was on drugs or very sleep deprived.

He didn’t cause me any injury and I don’t have any desire to sue or anything like that, but I don’t think it’s legal for him to be practicing dentistry in the state he was in.

Where and how can I report this behavior?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Megan,

You can certainly contact the State of Washington Dental Licensing board at There you’ll be able to find the information you’ll need to file a complaint. Unfortunately from the facts you present there doesn’t seem to be any indication of dental malpractice.

Is it at all possible the doctor may have had something which kept him up all night, or may have been feeling ill? Have there ever been those times when you just had a bad day at work and couldn’t keep your eyes open. I know it’s happened to most of us.

In the event you believe the doctor’s behavior was more than simple transient illness or physical exhaustion, then a formal complaint might be warranted. You might want to also check with the doctor’s receptionist or dental assistant before taking any action. They may be able to either confirm or allay your concerns. It’s entirely up to you.

Learn more here: Filing a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


One comment on “Reporting Dentist’s Negligent Behavior?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Maybe he was a diabetic, or was in the process of having a medical illness causing this. Why would you be so quick to cause issues for him/her?

    Maybe don’t go back, or complain about the service and get your money back. But, before you cause issues, find out what the real problem was.

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