Will the dentist list all of the patients he owes money to.
A: He probably will list everyone, but if this is a "no asset
" Chapter 7, then he doesn't have to list anyone, because every claim will be discharged. So, you cannot count on being able to use the bankruptcy court creditor matrix to determine the other patients identities.
or do we all have to take action on each on our own behalf or as a group?
A: You can sue as individuals, or as a group, assuming that your claims are the same (fraud). If you know any of the other patients, then you can combine your resources, sue together, and then as part of the adversary proceeding, name the other plaintiff's as "John and Jane Does," and then force the dentist to disclose the other patients identities so that they can all be added as plaintiffs. Assuming that the dentist has any assets, he may decide to try to settle, rather than risk having a bankruptcy in which most of the claims are declared nondischargeable.
But, if you do nothing, then your and every other patient's claim will be discharged, and the dentist will be free of further liability to you. Though, you could still file a complaint with the Dental Board, and the dentist may have his license "pulled" (pun intended).
Hope this helps.