Post # 1
I finally went to the dentist last year after not going since high school (about 8 years without going to the dentist). For sake of this post, I’ll call him “Dentist A”. And my new dentist I’ll call “Dentist B”.
Dentist A seemed strange from the start. He’s the only person that works in his office, no receptionist or dental hygienists, just the dentist alone. He cleaned my teeth and took xrays like normal, but the only thing he fixed was the tooth I told him that needed fixed because I could actually see the cavity in it. He didn’t tell me I needed any other work done. (8 years since my last dental visit, I knew there had to be more!)
About that tooth that he did work on: He put a filling in it, about a month later I was in tears because it hurt so bad. I went back, and he told me I needed to have a root canal. So I went to an endodontist, got my root canal, and then Dentist A put the crown on it.
Fast forward a couple months, I was still feeling like Dentist A didn’t catch everything. So I go to Dentist B. Dentist B finds I need 4 fillings (I expected that), and that Dentist A may have left a wad of cotton in my tooth when I got my crown put on! Dentist B calls Dentist A, Dentist A is defensive and doesn’t even want to tell Dentist B what he used in my mouth!
Should I file a complaint with the dental association against the Dentist A? And if I do, will it help or hinder if I have to take him to court to get my money refunded if he screwed up my crown and left a wad of cotton in my mouth? (Crowns are expensive! I hate to be a bitch, but I don’t want to pay $1000 out of pocket for his screw-up. My dental insurance only covers a crown every 5 years!)
Dentist A has already cost me $160 extra out-of-pocket because my insurance only covers a filling once every 2 years; and he wasted my filling coverage on filling a tooth that really needed a root canal.
Post # 3
woah, I don’t know anything about legal stuff, but that’s not cool.
If it’s feasible to recoup your losses (I’ve heard it can be expensive/time consuming to take someone to court), I would say go for it!
ETA: Could you at VERY least report him to the BBB or some equivalent organization for dentists? Maybe that’s what you’re really asking. I say report him! That way others are less likely to suffer under his hands as well… theoretically at least!
Post # 4
I think if you plan on taking him to court, you need to file every complaint that you can. I would try to see if there was a way that your insurance company could negotiate for you, I’m not completely sure if they would but it might be worth something.
Post # 5
Each state has a regulatory office for Dentists. I forget what it is called. You may want to contact them about the appropriate action to take. We had a case of a dentist 2 years ago that tried to bill us for $500 above and beyond the $300 max per person on insurance covered — for a cleaning! In order to accept our insurance they have to agree to to bill us for more than the $20, which it states right on our insurance card. Just the threat of being reported “negotiated” our bill with them 🙂
Post # 6
Its actually really, really easy to take someone to court – and you dont need a lawyer.
I am a lawyer and I think you should file a complaint with the dental board in your state, then get ALL your recpiets + xrays + clinical charts and notes from Dentist A (he has to legally give these to you) and then figure out how much $$ you lost from his bad work (if it is under a threshold- lets say US$3000) you can then go to your local court. Speak to the clerk of court – tell her you wish to file a small claims suit.
Send the suit via court process server (sherrif) to his dental office and voila you have a law suit.
See him in court, present your case yourself (you DO NOT NEED A LAWYER in small claims) its very relaxed and informal.
I would imagine if he did cock up, you will get the difference awarded.
THIS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVISE