Dentists who are the subject of notifications (outside NSW) may receive the first contact by telephone from an AHPRA officer rather than by email or letter.

I would suggest that unless you are ready for such a phone call and dealing with what may be a genuine effort to deal with this in a more informal way – that you insist on a written notification of the issues and have reception staff confirm a correct email address for the receipt of the notification.

Regulatory compliance is stressful enough without having to think on your feet between patients in response to a regulatory officer who will almost certainly record in writing the details of the conversation.

I often see dentists respond utterly inappropriately to complaints, and create a deep hole from which it is hard to emerge…and I would advise against telephone conversations with AHPRA staff except in exceptional circumstances.

If you have a complaint or notification anywhere in Australia and are unsure how to deal with it, then please feel free to call me at chambers on 07 3007 1777 or email at for an initial assessment and conversation.

The above commentary is not intended and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different and these generalities are merely observations. If you need advice about your particular situation, then seek individualised advice from an appropriately experienced and qualified legal practitioner.