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Queries

Complaint Matters

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1. Is the Singapore Dental Council the right place for me to lodge my complaint?

The Singapore Dental Council (“SDC”) governs and regulates the professional conduct of dentists and oral health therapists to ensure the provision of high standards of oral healthcare. The SDC administers the disciplinary process when complaints are made against dentists and oral health therapists.

For example:

(a)    Cases involving serious misconduct or serious mistakes pertaining to a patient’s dental care, such as misdiagnosis, wrong prescriptions and/or mistreatment by the dentist/oral health therapist concerned;

(b)    Improper conduct such as inappropriate relationships between a dentist/oral health therapist and his/her patient;

(c)    Breach of confidentiality;

(d)    Unethical behaviour; and

(e)    Criminal offences that reflect badly on the standing of the dental profession. 

 

However, the SDC does not have the power to investigate complaints involving:

(a)    Institutional policies such as scheduling of appointments, billing and charges issues;

(b)    Healthcare professionals other than dentists and oral health therapists; and

(c)    Dentists and oral health therapists who are not registered with the Council.

2. How do I lodge a complaint and what is the process?

To file a complaint, you will require:

        (a)    A Statutory Declaration Form [PDF, 67KB];
        (b)    A letter of complaint type-written in English (you may use our Sample Template [PDF, 66KB]);
        (c)    All relevant supporting documents.

The Singapore Dental Council ("SDC") is unable to accept verbal complaints e.g. phone calls. Should the complaint lack the required documents, the SDC reserves the right to reject the complaint.

More information about the Statutory Declaration Form, letter of complaint, and relevant supporting documents can be found here [PDF, 41KB].

To understand the process of lodging a complaint, please refer here [PDF, 68KB].

Please submit these completed documents to:

Singapore Dental Council
 81 Kim Keat Road
 #09-00 NKF Centre
 Singapore 328836
 Attention: Inspecting Officer

UPDATE: Please 
also email us at sdc@spb.gov.sg (Attention: Inspecting Officer) with a scanned copy of your statutory declaration, complaint letter, and supporting documents (if any).

3. How will my complaint be processed?

Every complaint is taken seriously. Your complaint will be processed by an independent Complaints Committee (“CC”), which comprises a council member as chairperson, two dentists and a layperson. Generally, investigations will usually take 3 months, while more complex investigations could take up to 6 months or more.

All proceedings before the CC are confidential, you will NOT receive periodic updates on the status of the investigations until it is completed. A letter or an email will be sent to you informing of the outcome of the investigation.

4. Will the Dentist / Oral Health Therapist see my complaint?

Yes, the dentist will get to see your complaint, including your identity and details of your allegation(s). As part of a fair and impartial investigation, the dentist will be called upon to answer any allegation(s) made against him/her.

The CC may also access your medical/dental records as part of the investigations. All documents before the CC (including your complaint and medical/dental records) remain confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties other than the dentist(s) concerned, except as required by law.

5. What happens to the Dentist / Oral Health Therapist and clinic after the CC completes its investigations?

After the CC completes its investigations, it may:

        (a)    Dismiss the complaint;

        (b)    Issue the Dentist or Oral Health Therapist with a letter of advice;

        (c)    Issue the Dentist or Oral Health Therapist with a letter of warning; or

        (d)    Order a formal inquiry to be held by a Disciplinary Committee or a Health Committee.

The Singapore Dental Council ("SDC") can only mete out disciplinary action against a dentst / oral health therapist and cannot provide the following outcomes that complainants may be seeking:

        (a)    Monetary refund to a patient or reduction in a bill;

        (b)    Compensation / damages for any harm caused as a result of a dentist's misconduct or negligence;

        (c)    Retrieval of dental records on your behalf;

        (d)    An explanation from the Dentist(s) or Oral Health Therapist(s) with regards to a treatment or procedure;

        (e)    An order that the Dentist(s) perform a particular procedure or offer a certain treatment;

        (f)    An apology from the Dentist(s) or Oral Health Therapist(s) to you and/or the patient;

        (g)    Revocation of the license of the Dentist(s) or Oral Health Therapist(s); and

        (h)    Criminal sanctions (e.g. imprisonment) against the Dentist(s) and/or Oral Health Therapist(s).

These outcomes are not within the purview of the SDC. Some avenues for seeking the above outcomes are provided under Question 8. 

6. Will the Council inform me of the outcomes of my complaint?

You will be informed of the outcomes of the appeal either via a letter or an email. 

7. What can I do if I am not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint?

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you may appeal to the Minister for Health, whose decision shall be final. You can write to the Minister for Health via email MOH_QSM@moh.gov.sg.

8. What are other avenues available for me to seek redress?

You may be able to seek your desired outcome via other avenues listed here. Some of the common avenues to deal with such complaints can be found in the attachment, as the Singapore Dental Council ("SDC") process may not be appropriate for all complaints involving healthcare issues.

CPE Matters

Revised Guidelines for the Accreditation of CPE Providers

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1. What is the reason for the revised guidelines?

Continuing Professional Education (“CPE”) providers play a critical role in planning and offering quality CPE programmes to our dental professionals. The Singapore Dental Council periodically reviews its policy and guidelines relating to the accreditation of CPE providers so as to ensure high quality and currency of CPE programmes offered by CPE providers and to instil greater ownership and accountability in CPE providers.

2. What are the key points of the revised guidelines?

  • The criteria for renewal of status for Accredited providers has been revised and will take effect from 1 July 2019.
  • From 1 May 2019, Council will cease to accept ad-hoc CPE provider applications.
  • All existing ad-hoc providers’ status will cease at the expiry of their current validity.

3. What are the actions required from CPE Providers?

CPE Providers

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Remarks

Ad-hoc providers (private healthcare institutions/ hospitals and dental clinics)

Please login to PRS to check your current validity end date.

Submit an application for accredited provider Revised Guidelines for CPE Providers 2019_Circular with Annex 1 at least 1 month prior to the expiry of your validity (if you are keen to be an accredited provider).

Outcome: Wait for the outcome of your application (approx. processing time 2 weeks).

Validity: Your accredited provider status will be valid for a period of 2 years from the date of approval.

Renewal: Please take note of the revised criteria for renewal of accredited provider status.

 

Ad-hoc providers (dental supplies/ training academies/ others)

Please login to PRS to check your current validity end date.

 

If you have an event after your current validity expiry date, please find a co-organiser (i.e. accredited provider).

 

The list of accredited providers can be found on SDC’s website under CPE -> Accredited Providers

Coordinate with your co-organizer (i.e. accredited provider) on the prompt submission of application for event accreditation and attendance.

Co-organizing events: Providers are required to co-organize their events with an accredited provider after the expiry of their current validity.

Accredited providers

No action required

 

Renewal: Please take note of the revised criteria for renewal of accredited provider status.


4. What is the criteria for renewal of accredited provider status?

  • The eligibility criteria for renewal of status as Accredited CPE provider has been revised. The revised criteria will take effect from 1 July 2019 for the renewal of status as Accredited CPE provider for a 2-year period.
  • Applications for accreditation of event submitted from 1 July 2019 must comply to the criteria below.

Criteria for Renewal of Accredited Provider Status

No. of event hours in 2 years

At least 15 hours (including co-organized events)

Class size per event

At least 10 registered dental professionals

 

Content

Not solely for the purpose of promoting any products

 

Event display on Council’s calendar

Mandatory (tick against the checkbox during each application for event accreditation)


5. I am currently a private healthcare institution/ private hospital/ dental clinic and given an ad-hoc provider status, how will I be affected?

  • The ad-hoc CPE providers’ status of private healthcare institutions/ hospitals and dental clinics will cease at the expiry of their current validity. To continue as a CPE provider, institutions/ hospitals and dental clinics should apply to Council for approval to become an Accredited provider.
  • Providers are reminded to login to the Professional Registration System (PRS) via http://www.healthprofessionals.gov.sg/sdc to check their current validity end date, and submit the application form [Annex 1] to Council via SDC@spb.gov.sg at least 1 calendar month before the expiry of their current validity.
  • All applications for event accreditation will still be subjected to review and approval by the CPE Committee. Please refer to [Annex 1] for the full list of requirements.
  • Accredited providers are given the autonomy to decide on their partnership with dental supply companies, training academies and other bodies.


6. I am currently a dental supply company/ training academy/ others and given an ad-hoc provider status, how will I be affected?

  • The ad-hoc CPE provider’s status of a dental supplies company, training academy etc. will cease at the expiry of the current validity.
  • Once the current validity ends, the provider is required to co-organize CPE events with an Accredited provider.
  • The co-organizer i.e. Accredited provider will be responsible to submit the application for accreditation and attendance for the event. Please refer to SDC’s website for a list of accredited providers.
  • Please be reminded that your co-organiser (i.e. Accredited provider) is required to submit an application for accreditation of event at least 1 calendar month before the event via PRS.
  • Please ensure prompt submission of application and attendance with your co-organiser.


7. I am an existing accredited provider, how will I be affected?

  • There will be no changes to your provider status. No further action is required.
  • Please refer to Q4 on the revised criteria for renewal of accredited provider status.


8. I am keen to apply as a CPE provider, how do I proceed?

  • For public and private healthcare institutions/ hospitals and dental clinics, dental associations and societies etc., please refer to our website under “CPE -> Accredited Providers”.
  • For dental supplies companies, training academies and others, please refer to Q6.

9. I have an event in August 2018 and I have yet to submit my application. Is there any waiver for this application requirement of at least 1 calendar month?

You may proceed to submit your application immediately and it will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Kindly note that all applications from September 2018 onwards should adhere strictly to the application requirement of at least 1 calendar month. 

10. I do not have the required supporting documents, can I submit application for my event online first?

No, please submit your application for accreditation of event ONLY WHEN you have gathered all supporting documents, (1) speakers' CV and (2) programme outline with time allocation of each activity. Kindly note that applications with incomplete information will not be processed. 

11. If I am not able to submit the application for my event at least 1 calendar month prior to the start of the event due to some operational uncertainties, is any exception allowed?

No appeals will be entertained. You are advised to adhere strictly to the application requirement to submit the CPE application at least 1 calendar month prior to the event. 

12. My event is already taking place on 01 August but I have yet to submit the application. Can I submit an appeal?

We regret that no appeals will be entertained. 

13. I have already printed the CPE points on my publicity materials for this August / September event prior to SDC's approval. What should I do?

Providers could indicate "pending approval" on these initial round of document / publicity material. The final publicity material (after SDC's CPE points approval) should indicate the approved points. 

Supervisory Matters

i. Conditionally-Registered Dentists

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1. I am a Conditionally-registered dentist. In the event that a supervisor leaves or relinquishes his role as a supervisor, what becomes of the hours that I have served so far?


The hours which you have served thus far under the named supervisor who is leaving the clinic will be counted accordingly for the period that you were supervised by him/her. While changes of supervisors are allowed, the Council wishes to highlight that the supervisor(s) must fulfil their obligation to complete the Assessment Report(s) for the Conditionally-registered dentist. 

On that note, the Conditionally-registered dentist must also remind their supervisors of their duties. You must also have two Council-approved supervisors.

To elaborate further, the nomination of supervisors should always be submitted in advance (and importantly, taking into account the administrative time that would be needed for the Council to process and approve the supervisor nominations) to ensure a smooth handover between your supervisors. this would allow you to practice continuously without any gaps during the supervisory period. 

Any Conditionally-registered dentists practising without the supervision of their approved supervisors would be in breach of the terms of Conditional Registration, and would face a cancellation of their Conditional registration. 

2. Apart from fulfilling the requirements of being supervised for 2 years at a minimum of 30 hours a week and also 6-monthly Assessment Reports, are there any other requirements I must meet in order to obtain Full Registration? Are there any rubrics or forms?


The basic requirements for conversion to Full Registration as mentioned above (being under supervision for 2 years at a minimum of 30 hours a week and 6-monthly Assessment Reports submitted to SDC) only render you eligible to apply for conversion.

However, the outcome of your application depends on many factors, such as whether you have been duly supervised at all times by your approved supervisors, your competence, quality of dental work and professional ethics as reported by your supervisors in the 6-monthly assessment reports. 

Council urges all Conditionally-registered dentists to hold regular and timely performance review sessions, minimally every 6 months, with their supervisors so as to facilitate a continuous learning culture of self-reflection, awareness and improvement. 

The period of MDS course will not be counted into the 2 years of supervisory period required for conversion. The supervision period before the MDS course (if any) can be counted into the 2 years of the supervisory period required for conversion.

3. I will be eligible for conversion in a few months' time but I plan to change employer and supervisors. Would the change affect my conversion application?

The minimum period of supervision for a holistic assessment by your supervisor(s) is 6 months. Hence, if you have a change in your supervisor(s) less than 6 months prior to the end of your current registration period whilst under supervision, you may only apply for conversion after attaining supervision of minimum 6 months under your new supervisor(s).

4. If I am employed part-time and practise less than 30 hours per week under the supervision of my approved supervisors, can I accumulate the supervision hours over a longer period of time to meet the requirement for conversion?

No. A conditionally registered dentist must practise under supervision for at least 30 hours per week (clinical duties only), under approved supervisors for the 6-month assessment report to be counted into the requirement for conversion to full registration.

Assessment reports that show supervision hours of less than 30 hours a per week wll not satisfy tje requirement for conversion. Such reports will be excluded from the 2-year supervisory requirement for conversion to full registration.

5. I applied for conversion to Full Registration today. When will I know the outcome?

After conversion applications are received by Council, a last set of assessment reports may be routed to the supervisors for their completion. In addition, if Council requires more information on the performance or supervision hours of the conditionally registered dentists, supervisors may be contacted to seek clarifications. Once all information and documents are in place, the applications are tabled for Council’s deliberation every month.

Hence, the outcome of the conversion applications is usually available around 3 months from the application dates. The processing period may be longer for complex cases.

6. I wish to change my employment and supervisors. How long can I remain unemployed while I seek for a new employment?

A grace period of 28 days will be implemented for conditionally registered dentist to update Council of any change of employment. In the event that the conditionally registered dentist is unable to secure a new employment within the grace period, his/her Conditional Registration will be cancelled.

Completed assessments will be forfeited if the dentist has ceased practice for more than 6 months.

7. Will my eligibility to covert from conditional to full registration be extended if I change employment during my period of C-reg?

The minimum period of supervision required for conversion remains the same, i.e. at least 2 years’ worth of assessment reports. The minimal period of each assessment report is 6 months under the same employer. Any break between employments is excluded from the 2-year supervisory requirement for conversion to Full registration.
 
However, please note that if the conditionally registered dentist leaves any employment within 6 months from commencement, i.e. the assessment reports are less than 6 months, then these reports will be excluded from the 2-year supervisory requirement for conversion to Full registration.
 
For example, a C-reg dentist practised 9 months at ABC Dental clinic and changed employment to DEF Dental clinic where he practised for less than 6 months before he changed employment again to XYZ Dental clinic.

The first 6-months assessment reports over the period of 9 months from the supervisors at ABC Dental can be counted into the 2-year supervisory requirement, provided that performance was satisfactory. The subsequent 3-months assessment reports at ABC Dental will not be counted into the 2-year supervisory requirement, as they are less than 6 months long.

The assessment reports from the supervisors at DEF Dental will not be counted, regardless of the performance, as they are less than 6 months long.

ii. Part II Oral Health Therapists

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1. I am a Part II Oral Health Therapist. When am I eligible for conversion to Part I?

To be eligible for conversion to Part I of the OHT register, you will need to have obtained:

(i) at least 60 continuous months of practical experience in the area of Oral Health Therapy, whilst under the supervision of a Division I Dentist; and

(ii) all Assessment Reports that are duly completed. Note: The last submitted Assessment Report should not have lapsed for more than 1 year.

You should only apply for conversion after attaining a minimum of 60 continuous months of OHT practical experience, and within 1 year of the last Assessment Report. In the event that you have not attained at least 60 months of practical experience with complete Assessment Reports, or the 1 year period after your last report has lapsed, your Part II registration will be extended accordingly, until the minimum of 60 months has been met.

You will be informed of the outcome after your application and when all duly completed and submitted Assessment Reports have been reviewed and deliberated upon by Council.

2. If I am employed part-time and practises less than 30 hours per week under the supervision of my supervisors, can I accumulate the supervision hours over a longer period of time to meet the requirement for conversion?

No. A Part II OHT must practise under supervision for at least 30 hours per week (clinical duties only), under approved supervisors for the period of the 12-month assessment report in order for the report to be counted into the requirement for conversion to Part I of the OHT Register.

Assessment reports that show supervision hours of less than 30 hours per week will not satisfy the requirement of conversion. Such reports will be excluded from the 5-year supervisory requirement for conversion to Part I of the OHT Register.

3. I applied for conversion to Part I of the OHT Register today. When will I know the outcome?

After conversion applications are received by Council, a last set of assessment reports may be routed to the supervisors for their completion. In addition, if Council requires more information on the performance or supervision hours of the Part II OHT, supervisors may be contacted to seek clarifications. Once all information and documents are in place, the applications are tabled for the Oral Health Accreditation Committee (OHTAC)’s review and later, Council’s deliberation.

Hence, the outcome of the conversion applications is usually available around 3 months
from the application dates. The processing period may be longer for complex cases.

4. I wish to change my employment and supervisors. How long can I remain
unemployed while I seek for a new employment?

A grace period of 28 days will be implemented for the Part II OHT to update Council of any change of employment. In the event that the Part II OHT is unable to secure a new employment within the grace period, his/her Registration will be cancelled. Completed assessments will be forfeited if the Part II OHT has ceased practice for more than 6 months.

Secretariat of healthcare Professional Boards

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1. What is "Secretariat of healthcare Professional Boards"?

With effect from 1 Jan 2020, the Singapore Dental Council is supported by the Secretariat of healthcare Professional Boards (SPB) for its secretariat and operational functions. The registration and regulation of dental practitioners continue to be governed by Singapore Dental Council. Singapore Dental Council retains autonomy and independence over professional and statutory matters, as provided for under the Dental Registration Act.

Other Common Queries

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1. I am a dental practitioner and was accorded a National Day Award (NDA) for my community service. Can I display and state the NDA on my name card?

National Day Award (NDA) is not deemed as a professional qualification per se and dental practitioner accorded such NDA by the President of Singapore need not seek Council's approval. However, dental practitioner must display the National Day Award title against the name in accordance to PMO's guidelines. 

[ACCORDION-WRAPPER]
[ACCORDION Header="2. I am a Conditionally-registered dentist and I would like to contribute and volunteer as a dental practitioner in community works and projects. Is this allowed?"]If you are currently under Conditional Registration, you are still required to practice under your approved supervisor(s) at all times including volunteer work involving dentistry practices. In addition, you are also required to seek permission from the Council for the volunteer work. Please fill in the attached form and email it to SDC@spb.gov.sg at least 30 days prior to the commencement of the volunteer works.