Sexual Abuse Complaints

The College investigates all concerns about boundary violations and sexual abuse raised by patients, staff members, and others.

The College takes all complaints seriously. As part of our role to protect the public, we investigate all complaints thoroughly. The College has a zero tolerance approach to sexual abuse.

You can contact the College to discuss your concerns and/or make a complaint. Our staff will explain what happens during an investigation and will answer your questions.

What happens when you contact the College?

You will speak with our investigator about what’s involved. The investigator has specialized training in sexual abuse investigations. You don’t have to give your name if you don’t want to. You can talk about what happened, and find out about the College’s processes and what to expect. You can decide if you want to make a complaint.

If you don’t want to make a complaint, you can share your concerns with the College about a dentist.  The College will take your information and decide whether to investigate. For more information on how we investigate, click here or feel free to speak with the College’s investigator.

What happens if you decide to make a complaint?

The investigator will ask you to describe what happened. The investigator will likely interview other witnesses if any. The investigator may obtain documents such as your dental records. Throughout the process, the investigator will share information with you and keep you up-to-date on the status of the investigation.

We will tell the dentist about the complaint and share your information. The dentist will have a chance to respond to the complaint.

The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee will then review all of the information gathered during the investigation and make a decision.

The Committee may decide to:

  • take no action
  • give advice and recommendations to the dentist on how to improve their practice
  • caution the dentist on their conduct or practise
  • require the dentist to complete mandatory education
  • refer the complaint to the Discipline Committee for a hearing

What happens if your concerns are referred to the Discipline Committee?

The Discipline Committee holds hearings. Both dentists and members of the public sit on the Committee. At the hearing, the College will have to prove its case. You may be asked to give evidence at the hearing and may be asked questions by the College’s lawyer and the dentist’s lawyer.  The College’s lawyer will meet with you in advance to prepare you for the hearing.

Your name will not be included on the notice of hearing posted on our website. In addition, the College will request a ban on publishing your name to protect your identity at the hearing.

The College has resources available to support you through this process. We have a special support program, funding for legal advice, and funding available for therapy and counselling.

Why should you tell the College?

Each person will have their own reasons for telling the College.

Having your complaint taken seriously may help you come to terms with your experience and find closure.

Incidents of sexual abuse often are not isolated. By telling the College what happened, you could help us ensure that what happened to you does not happen to someone else.

Complaining about your experience might encourage other sexual abuse victims to speak up.

Will your information be kept confidential?

If you decide to complain, you do have to give us your name. As part of our complaints process, we send the dentist a copy of your complaint, which includes your name, for a response. You will receive a copy of the dentist’s response, too.