Peer Review

Peer review provides an impartial, easily accessible, and generally expedient means for resolving misunderstandings regarding dental treatment. It exists for the benefit of the patient and the dentist, and for the third party. Peer review is not a court of law. It is a voluntary process that relies on the good faith between a dentist and a patient and their mutual interest in good dental health.

Peer review is a process by which a mediator reviews and resolves problems or misunderstandings regarding dental treatment. Peer review exists for the benefit of the patient and the dentist. The Idaho State Dental Association has established peer review processes to resolve disagreement about dental treatment that a patient and a dentist have not been able to resolve themselves.

A peer review committee consists of dentists who volunteer their time and expertise to consider questions about the appropriateness or quality of care in a given set of circumstances. The members of the committee are impartial, and their services are available to those who participate in the process. A dispute may be resolved through mediation alone, or through review of patient records and clinical examination.

The dentist and the patient are informed of the committee’s decision and recommendation for resolving the problem. Most importantly, the committee makes its recommendation in the hope that it will provide a reasonable and mutually agreeable solution for the parties involved.

The Review Process

  • A written request for review is submitted to the Idaho State Dental Association. The request should include all necessary and appropriate documentation that would help to explain or clarify the circumstances.
  • The request is reviewed for completeness and referred to the appropriate peer review committee.
  • The chairman of the peer review committee reviews the request and appoints one member of the committee to attempt to mediate the problem.
  • The mediator contacts all parties and attempts to reconcile the problem. A clinical examination is not conducted during the process of mediation.If the problem is successfully mediated, a written report is submitted to the committee chairman and the case is closed.
  • If mediation is not successful and further action is necessary, the chairman is advised and a committee of at least three members is appointed.
  • The committee may meet to discuss the case, and may examine clinical records, talk to the patient and the dentist and, if necessary, arrange for a clinical examination.
  • The committee concludes its review and all parties are notified of the decision and recommendations in writing.
  • If any of the parties is not satisfied with the decision and can show just cause for an appeal, the case can be appealed to the appropriate peer review appellate body within 30 days.
  • The decision of the appellate body is final within the peer review context.
Should you wish to know more about peer review, please contact the Idaho State Dental Association at 208-343-7543 or by email at