I had a dental crown put on a front tooth that had stuck out a bit since childhood. The only reason for the crown was to make that tooth look “normal”. After the crown was placed I had sensitivity to cold and hot. My dentist told me this was normal when first getting a dental crown. Fast forward a few weeks and I was in so much pain I ended up in the ER with a swollen face. They told me it was a dental issue. So, I got an emergency appointment with another dentist who could fit me in faster and they told me that I have a massive infection because the dental crown has something called an open margin. I missed a few days of work because of the pain, plus the cost of the ER, and now I have to pay for a root canal treatment and a new dental crown. I am only halfway through paying for the first dental crown. I called them and told them what happened and asked for my money back. They replied by saying once the crown is in my mouth it is my responsibility. How was I supposed to know about an open margin and what it was supposed to do? I stopped paying on the crown and now they are suing me for the balance! What do I do? Should I file a countersuit?
You have been through so much here. I am so sorry. It sounds like your dentist is not someone who is going to be voted “Best Dentist” any time soon. As for a countersuit, it is not always financially feasible to file a suit because of the amount of money you get as oppossed to the legal fees. However, there are ways to pressure a dentist.
You’ve already done the most important thing, which is getting a second opinion from another dentist who has determined your dentist messed up. That will help with every thing else I am going to say. Bear in mind that I have not examined you. However, based on what you described, your dentist did not meet that standard of care that he should have. One thing he is supposed to do after placing a dental crown is to check the margins to make sure there is no risk of decay due to the margins being open.
I would tell your dentist if he does not retract his suit and give you a refund that you will be contacting the dental board about his negligence. If that doesn’t work, you can have the second dentist contact him and say what in essence is, “Dude, you messed up. Own it and refund the money.” Sometimes pressure from a peer works better than from a patient because they want to keep a good reputation among their peers. A third option is telling him you will be writing a review about the poor care you’ve had. Finally, you can have an attorney write a threatening letter. That may sober him up.
I hope he has the integrity to make things right, or at least the fear of your threats.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.