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New crown fell off 4 times, and my dentist charged me for it

My dentist removed a large silver filling from a top left molar and put a crown over the tooth. My temporary crown came off three times within the almost three weeks that I wore it. Of course, my dentist reattached it each time. I received the permanent crown in mid-January, and I have returned to the dentist four times to bond it back on.

The color of the crown is off too, but my dentist said that it would cost $385 to correct it. I decided not to argue with him about the color. But I wonder if he is treating me fairly. Isn’t he responsible for the crown color?

Two weeks ago, the crown came off, and my dentist said he would order a new crown. The lady in the billing department said they would try to return the crown as defective so that I will not be charged for it. I politely but firmly told her that I am not paying for a crown that does not fit and is the wrong color.

Last Thursday was my appointment for a new crown, my dentist drilled on the tooth and said he was reshaping it, inserting posts, and making new molds, so there was no new crown for that appointment, and I have to wait. When I was checking out, the billing rep told me that I owed money because my insurance would not cover the crown. The cost is $385, which my dentist initially said he would charge to correct the crown color.

I paid for the crown with a credit card because I hope there is a way to cancel the whole thing and get my money back. They tricked me, and I feel that I allowed it to happen. But I have no plans to return to the dentist. Can I stop this process and somehow get a refund? – Micah from Indiana

 

Micah,

What an experience you’ve had with your dentist! It’s among the worst we have heard this year. Your dentist’s policy to charge you so that he can correct his mistakes is unethical.

When Your Dental Crown Is the Wrong Color

If your dental crown is the wrong color, your dentist has not met his or her service agreement. You expect a crown that fits well, is in harmony with your bite, and matches your natural teeth. And it is your right as a consumer to receive what you paid for. It is the same with any major purchase. If you bought a new refrigerator with an ice maker, you expect all components to work. If the ice maker is defective, the seller will not charge you an extra fee for a new refrigerator with an ice maker that works. Please do not settle on faulty dental work.

When Your Dental Crown Keeps Falling Off

When your dental crown keeps falling off, either your dentist prepared it so aggressively that it will not stay on, or your dentist did not build up the tooth enough to retain the crown. It seems that your dentist used posts to help stabilize your crown and build up the tooth with composite. If your dentist cannot secure your crown, it is time to get a second opinion.

How to Deal with a Dishonest Dentist

Same-day crown CAD/CAM computer with scanner
CAD/CAM same-day crown technology helps restore molar teeth quickly

If your dentist is dishonest and you already paid for the service, there are several things you can do:

  • Reverse credit card payment – If you paid with a credit card, contact your credit card company and ask if they can reverse the charge.
  • Find another dentist – Look for a cosmetic dentist. Although cosmetic dentistry is not a specialist, look at dentist’s websites and check their bio for post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry. Your new cosmetic dentist might be willing to help you get a refund if you did not pay by credit card.
  • If your dentist does not refund you – Explain to your dentist that you agreed to a crown that fits well and matches your tooth. It is the standard of care that every dentist must meet. Also, tell your dentist that you are ready to report the issue to the state dental board. And complain to your dental insurance company and let them know your dentist is overcharging and submitting claims to them. You can also feel free to submit negative online reviews on your dentist’s Yelp, Google My Business, or Facebook pages.

 

We hope your dentist will cooperate and that you can quickly find a cosmetic dentist who restores your teeth with crowns that fit well and match your natural teeth. You may find a dentist with in-office, CAD/CAM technology to restore your teeth in one visit.

Best wishes.

 

Timothy J. Goebel, DDS, a cosmetic dentist in Moline, IL, sponsors this post.