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Resolving a Fee Dispute with My Dentist

I went to a dentist and paid the amount that we agreed upon. I am receiving a bill for more money. It seems in the small print there was a clause that stated if it cost more then I would be billed. She would not put the crowns in until I paid the bill after she removed the crowns for the second time. What recourse do I have?

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March 6, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Did you talk to your dentist about being charged more than agreed upon? Is that where they pointed out the clause to you/or, you saw it on your end.

I encountered the same scenario where my dentist agreed upon a price, but billed my insurance anyway. Insurance covered a portion and the out of pocket for me was more than estimated. They played the estimated game with me saying it was unsure but I told them I was on a budget and I would not proceed unless, the estimate was accurate. They waived the balance for me, but I was a loyal customer for over 20+ years.

Are you loyal customer of the dentist you're at?

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March 6, 20180 found this helpful

This happens sometimes and most of the time there is little that can be done other than paying the bill.

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  • Your dentist has the upper hand as you were given an opportunity to read and reject the terms and you trusted her and did not read before signing (as most of us do).
  • This was kind of sneaky but that clause is in most doctor/dentist forms that we sign all the time.
  • I was told that you should always inform a doctor/dentist that you want to be informed before they do any procedure that will cost extra money (unless it is an emergency).
  • There are people to contact for help but an attorney's fees would most likely be more than your bill and they may not win either.
  • You can write to your senator and ask them to investigate if this is common practice with this dentist but that could take a long time and if there are no other complaints they probably would not do very much.
  • Here is a link to the ADA - American Dental Association - if you wish to file a complaint with this organization.
  • www.mouthhealthy.org/.../problems-with-your-dentist
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March 6, 20180 found this helpful

I will make a report to the ADA on this dentist. Thank you. She started this work in September and finished in February. Her first set of crowns were yellow and made of metal which is not what she took out (replacing crowns). Teeth were to large and air was coming through the teeth when I talked impeding my speech. She did file with the insurance company for the year 2017 and 2018. We agreed on a price after she filed the first set of teeth off she gave me my balance and that if when she said, it was more then I would be billed.

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I knew I would be receiving another bill from the way she spoke but I was sitting there with my teeth filed off with nothing but nubs. I did pay the remainder of the original bill, however the teeth were made from the molds of the current teeth. She said she lost the first molds, and she wouldn't do them over, so the teeth I have now are to big, one of the front teeth overlaps and my bit is off, with air coming through one tooth when I speak. My question will I go into collections paying her $1.00 a month? Just how little do I have to pay to stay out of collections?

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March 6, 20180 found this helpful

You should file with ADA as soon as you can and they may be able to help you keep this out of collection agencies.
Maybe think about sending the dentist a memo saying you have filed your complaint with the ADA but I would not give her a copy of your complaint as that may give them time to build a defense against your charges.

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Be sure you have all of your information available for ADA and be especially sure your dates are correct.
I would suggest you include photos of your present condition.

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March 6, 20180 found this helpful

This may be legal, but it is highly unethical. I would report this dentist on Yelp, or other social media. I would find another dentist who does good work at the agreed-on price.

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March 6, 20180 found this helpful

Even if her fine print states you'll be charged more if it cost more, doesn't give her the right to put crowns back in that don't fit and can cause other damage in the long run. This is not possible that you should pay for this type of work and I'd file a complaint against this dentist. It isn't your fault she lost the other set of molds she took. In this case she should have made more and not charged you for this. On top of it, she should have made a set of molds before removing your other crowns, once after she filed your teeth. This way she could make sure the new crowns fit like they should fit and not be like this at all.

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March 8, 20180 found this helpful

To me, this sounds very unprofessional. Good dentists not only know your teeth, your mouth, but also their own capabilities / limitations as well as the supplies and materials with which they work. You do have legal recourse, but you also have (to me, justifiable) anger. If you can keep that in check, write a polite letter informing the so-called dentist of your intentions; including but not limited to registering a professional complaint, proceeding with a legal claim (small claims court is always an option), and using social media to tell the world about the issue.

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Don't forget online review sites. Offer the option to settle the matter amicably (by a certain date) before you proceed.

Good luck!

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