I went in to see my dentist because I wanted to replace my amalgam filling with a composite one. He said the tooth was too far gone and needed a crown. I was surprised because the tooth wasn’t bothering me, I just wanted a better, less toxic filling. But, he’s the dentist and I trusted him. I went ahead with the crown. The temporary crown was way too white for the rest of my teeth. I mentioned that and he told me the permanent one would match the other teeth. The temporary crown also fell off, but he told me that was because it was a temp crown and the permanent one would not do that. Well…the permanent crown’s color was equally off and it has fallen off three times in less than six weeks. I asked him to fix the color and he said he could only have it changed for an additional $400. I figured for that cost I could get my teeth whitened to match the crown and at least I’d have whiter teeth, so declined his “offer”. By the time the permanent crown fell off the third time, I asked him what he was going to do about it. He said he would declare it defective by the lab and replace it free of charge. I agreed to that even though I had lost much confidence in him because he said it would be free. When I arrived for the appointment he started doing additional drilling and added a post that he insisted was necessary for the crown to stay. When I checked out they had charged me and additional fee of $397. That’s not exactly free. I told them how upset I was and would be in touch with them soon as to how I will handle this. They weren’t happy, but at that point I didn’t care. Can they do this?
Wow! First, I’m not even sure you needed this crown. For a filling to be too far gone to switch it out you would have noticed something. I’m wondering if he just didn’t know how to do a composite (mercury-free) filling. Either way, if you have any other fillings you want to replace, I recommend going to a mercury-free dentist. They’ll know what they’re doing as well as the safe way to replace this filling without exposing you to mercury pieces or mercury vapors.
However, that is water under the bridge. Let’s talk about this crown. First, he charges you for a dental crown. Then, he wants you to pay an additional $400 to get it to match your other teeth. Now, he wants you to pay very close to another $400 to get it to stay in?! Yeah…that’s not okay.
A basic tenant of the standard of care for dental work is that it actually stays in your mouth. Here is my advice. First, do NOT pay the additional money they have charged you. Second, tell them you want a full refund on the original, faulty dental work, then go to another dentist to get this done properly. It goes without saying that you should never allow this dentist to do any more work on your teeth. Also, I recommend that you leave a detailed review of what happened to you online for the protection of other patients considering that practice.
If the dentist refuses to give you a refund you can do a couple of things. First, tell him you will be reporting him to both the dental board as well as your insurance company for the violation of standard of care. That should sober him up. Next, you can also get another dentist to look at this crown and give their opinion on the workmanship. Sometimes dentists will give a refund so they can avoid looking bad to their peers.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.