This past June I selected an affordable dentist to take care of a horrible toothache that was literally making me sick. My face was swollen, I was nauseated, and nothing worked to get rid of a constant headache caused by the tooth. I first called my regular dentist but I couldn’t afford the out of pocket costs to get them to take care of the tooth. So I opted for a dentist with lower fees. I checked out his website and a saw several decent patient reviews.
After my first appointment, I was scheduled for a root canal 2 days later. The pain during and after the procedure was horrible. I told the dentist that my tooth hurt worse than before the root canal. He told me it was because he had to go so deeply into the tooth to remove the decay. 2 weeks later, my tooth was still hurting badly. It was only slightly better than before. I went back to the dentist and he told me that the root canal didn’t take and he needed to do another one. During the procedure, I heard my tooth crack. The dentist grunted and his assistant sighed. Then he told me that the tooth needed to be extracted. What else could I do but agree to the extraction? I wish I had let my regular dentist do the work and now I’m too embarrassed to go back there.
Since that appointment, I’ve been going back and forth with the dentist’s office about the bills for the second root canal and the tooth extraction. I think they are crazy. I’ve been talking to my dental insurance company about the bills, and I’m starting to think that I might need a consumer protection attorney. Why should I be responsible for both procedures? What can I do to get this dental office to back off and be reasonable? Eddie
We agree that you shouldn’t be billed for a second root canal treatment, as well as the tooth extraction. Without examining your dental x-rays, it’s difficult to say whether or not the cracked tooth and extraction could have been avoided.
The issue is probably not worth the time, expense, and anxiety of legal proceedings. We have a few suggestions:
- Ask to speak directly with the dentist. Let him know why you think you shouldn’t be billed for both procedures. Stay calm and speak respectfully.
- If you have found a new dentist, ask him or her to contact your previous dentist and ask for a reasonable solution.
- Ask for help from your local dental board or the Better Business Bureau.
- Without filing a legal claim, ask a consumer protection attorney to contact the dental office and find out if they are willing to negotiate on the bill.
Try to resolve the issue before the dental office submits it to a collection agency.
If you haven’t already found a reliable, affordable dentist, you should do so to discuss the options for replacing the tooth that was extracted. It should be replaced to prevent other teeth from shifting and to prevent bone shrinkage at the extraction site.
This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.