I was moving in two and a half months. I told my dentist this when I went to him about needing to replace the overdenture for my four mini implants. I asked him how long it would take him to make a new one because I was trying to decide if I needed to wait until I was in my new state to take care of it or if I could knock this out before moving. He told me three weeks so I agreed to move forward. Nine weeks later, the thing finally arrives and doesn’t fit. The dentist forces it on and sends me on my way. By the next day, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even eat a bowl of noodles. I call the office and they squeeze me in but with a different dentist because mine is tied up. He diagnosed a two-fold problem. First, the holes were not drilled out properly. Second, the overdenture was slanted. They said they can order new gaskets which should fix some of this. I’m out of time and have little confidence in this office or their follow through. Is it unreasonable for me to just ask for a refund and get this taken care of after I move?
You are not being unreasonable. Your dentist made a legal agreement with you that the dentures would be ready in three weeks. Three weeks is the standard for turnaround on dentures. He took nine. That alone would be enough but most patients are just happy they got them and move on. However, your situation is different. Even after they came in they were not up to any standard of acceptability. Your dentist should not have forced them on, but instead examined them to see what the issue was.
Here is what I recommend you do. Start out by asking for a refund. Hopefully, he has the wisdom and integrity to realize he blew it here and just give you the refund. If he refuses, you have some leverage here.
Options You Have When a Dentist Refuses a Refund
- Tell him you’ll be writing a review warning other potential patients of his lack of follow through, skill, and ethics. Research shows that about 65% of potential patients looking for a new dentist check online reviews.
- Go to the dental board. This definitely did not meet the standard of care and you even have one of his colleagues in the same office saying that.
- Call your dental insurance, if you have any, and tell them what happened.
- Threaten to take him to court. This can be expensive and time consuming so I only recommend this when there is the potential for a payout that makes it worth it. I do not believe your case has a payout that makes it worth your time.
When you get to your new state, make sure the dentist you go to has post-doctoral training in dental implants so you don’t end up in a similar predicament.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn, AL Dentist Dr. Alan Yount.