I went to a chain dental clinic and had a significant amount of work done, including a crown, two root canals, and several fillings. For my next appointment, I went to the same chain but in a different city where I recently moved. This dentist told me some of my dental fillings actually need crowns and asked me where I had the work done. I told her the same clinic but at a different location. I ended up leaving because I was not sure who to trust. Was she dishonest or my last dentist inept? So, I went to another dental place that only has one office instead of a chain. This dentist told me that most of my work needs to be redone. Now I’m wondering if I am able to get a refund for the badly done work so I can get this done right. I haven’t asked for one yet, but wanted to feel out my options here.
I can understand your frustration. It is tricky but possible to get a refund here. I recommend you go about it by telling the current dentist that you believe him and want to get the work done, but need him to help you with two things to make that possible. First, ask if he’ll help you secure a refund from the dental clinic that did the bad work. Second, tell him your case will be strengthened if you have two dentists saying essentially the same thing, so to be certain, you will need to get one more opinion. He should provide you with your x-rays to help with that.
When you do that, you will want to make sure it is a blind second opinion. Go to a private practice in another city. Do not tell them what your dentist said. Just let him or her know you want them to look over your mouth and x-rays then let you know what needs to be done. If the diagnosis is similar, you have a better chance of getting that refund. Your dentist will need to call the original clinic that did the work and tell them you have two independent opinions from dentists on the poor quality of this dental work and it all needs to be redone and therefore they should refund your money.
If the clinic still doesn’t cooperate, you have a couple more options. You can start by telling them you are going to write your story on every review site so that other patients are warned not to go there. You can also tell them that you will be speaking with the dental board. Hopefully, they will want to avoid the trouble and loss of business that will cause.
The Problem with Dental Chains
When a dentist goes into private practice it is often because they want to develop lifelong relationships with their patients. They went into their field to work one on one with patients and change their lives and smiles for the better. You lose that with chain and corporate practices, such as Aspen Dental. These tend to rotate patients in and out quickly. Plus, the corporate model puts pressure on the dentists to do as many procedures as possible which can lead to rushed, shoddy work.
My true hope for you is this dentist you found will end up being the dentist that you can have a lifelong relationship with and feel secure in the knowledge you are getting high quality care.