Five months ago, my left front tooth broke at the gumline. Although my dentist said he would do an extraction and bridge, he did a root canal on the tooth instead of the extraction. My insurance company will not pay for the bridge because I have other missing teeth and one that requires extraction, so really, a bridge will not work. My dentist said he would give me a refund if I signed a waiver to agree that he is not responsible if I have problems with the tooth that broke at the gumline. I am wearing a poor-fitting partial flipper and waiting for a solution for the damaged tooth. My dentist wants me to pay for the flipper without telling me about the final solution. I do not think it is fair to ask me to sign a waiver. Should I accept the loss and go into debt for a dental implant? – Thank you. Tyrone from Kansas City
Your dentist is responsible for starting work that he cannot complete and switching treatment options on you without proper notice. We recommend that you not make any decisions before switching to another dentist. Do not sign a release.
Getting a Refund from Your Dentist
You can get a refund from your dentist by contacting these professionals or organizations for help:
- A lawyer – Consult with a lawyer to understand your options for getting a refund and compensation for your discomfort. Get copies of your dental records before the consultation.
- A cosmetic dentist – Look for a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training—preferably accredited—to conduct a thorough exam and take x-rays to determine how to restore your teeth. The new dentist will likely be willing to confirm that your dentist’s work on your teeth was faulty. A dental implant is a reliable way to replace your missing teeth. Talk with your new dentist about payment plans or financing to make treatment affordable.
- Your dental insurance company – Report the issue to your insurance company if it is involved. Your dentist should not receive payment for the care you did not receive.
- The state dental board – Report the issue. Although your dentist may not receive a reprimand, reporting the problem can help prevent other patients from having a nightmare experience with your dentist.
Best wishes for a progressive and thorough resolution.
Lowell, Massachusetts, accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek sponsors this post