From Seth Godin:
He wants a connection, an apology and some understanding. He wants to know why you made him feel stupid or ripped off or disrespected, and why it’s not going to happen again
via Seth’s Blog.
This is oh so true in dentistry. If you have really angered a patient they just find another dentist or worse yet talk to a lawyer. If they complain you are being given a second chance. Don’t blow the chance by arguing or making excuses.
The best thing you can do is listen. Repeat back to the patient what you heard them complain about. Apologize. Ask them what you can do to make it better.
Do what you can do.