I had a horrible dental experience this week. I had to have a crown and two fillings done. I opted to have the nitrous oxide, which did not really do anything to help me. When the appointment first started, the dentist nicked my lip with a piece of equipment. It bled on and off throughout the appointment because he was pressing on it. A few minutes later a chemical of some sort splashed into my eye and burned like mad. Instead of apologizing for these two things he just yelled at me to sit still. How was I not supposed to jump when my eye was burned? Then, when he was drilling he slipped and put a tiny slice in my tongue. His assistant gasped but he gave her a look that made her go quiet. I tried to talk to him about it after the procedure, but he said I probably just bit my tongue because a lot of patients do that when they use nitrous. I did NOT bite my tongue. All I really wanted was an apology but because of the way he is trying to blame me, I sort of want part of my money back now. Is that possible?
I am terribly sorry that you experienced such a horrible dental appointment. Appointments like that can affect people’s dental experiences for years. I’ll talk about how to ensure you have a pleasant dental experience next time in a moment. First, let’s answer your questions. Because it sounds your dentist is taking up a defensive posture it doesn’t sound like you will get an apology even though you certainly deserve one. As for getting a refund, if he’s not willing to offer an apology, I sincerely doubt that you will get any money out of him, but you are certainly within your rights to ask. I don’t think there’s enough in damages to recommend you take him to court, so unless he’s willing to own up to his mistakes then your only options are to switch dentists and write a review about the type of care you received in order to warn other patients about him.
You mentioned that the nitrous oxide didn’t really do much for you. This is often a signal of a strong dental anxiety. With that issue as a base and the negative experience you just had, I am going to recommend you see a sedation dentist the next time you have any substantial dental work that you need to be done, specifically one that offers oral conscious sedation. This is stronger than nitrous. In fact, some patients call it sleep dentistry because they nap through the entire appointment.
Again, I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m hopeful your next dentist will have much more empathy. Dentists who offer sedation are often more compassionate because they are used to dealing with anxious patients.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.