My right upper front tooth broke at the gumline. My dentist recommended extracting the tooth and doing a bridge to cover the two teeth on either side of the missing one. After insurance, my out-of-pocket cost was $2200.
When I returned for the extraction, my dentist did a root canal on the tooth and sewed over my gums over the tooth root. Although he did not want to get a pre-authorization from my insurance, he eventually did it. In March, I learned that my insurance would not cover the bridge because my upper arch has three other missing tooth and my left first molar will be extracted soon. Now the dentist wants to charge another $1200. He said that he would refund me if I sign a release not to hold him responsible for the tooth that broke at the gumline. I have a temporary partial denture that broke twice. He wants to charge me $525 for the partial but says it will be free if I sign the release for the right front tooth that broke at the gumline. Why do I feel like a dental hostage? After all this work, am I going to need a full upper denture? I will no doubt find another dentist to finish the work—although I do not feel that my dentist accomplished anything yet. – Niles from GA
Thank you for choosing our office to submit your inquiry. We are glad that you recognize the need to switch dentists.
Sign a Release for Dental Work?
If a dentists ask you to sign a release to avoid responsibility for faulty work, do not sign it. Your dentist is concerned that something is wrong with your tooth and that you might sum him or her. You can handle the situation with these steps:
- Remind \your dentist of the questionable work and your disappointment with not receiving the treatment you paid for
- Ask the dentist for a refund
- Tell your dentist that you will not pursue a lawsuit unless he or she refuses a refund
- If your dentist refuses to refund you, contact an attorney
- Report the issue to the state dental board
Broken Partial Denture
If your partial denture broke twice, refuse to pay for a dental appliance that does not work. Report the issues to your dental insurance company.
Will You Need Dentures?
If most of your upper or lower teeth are damaged, decayed, or missing, a skilled cosmetic dentist may recommend a complete denture. Otherwise, a partial denture or dental bridge will add stress to the few remaining teeth, and you may lose eventually lose them anyway.
We recommend that you look for dentists with advanced cosmetic dentist training and schedule consultations with two of them to discuss your options.
Dr. David Finley of Monroe, LA, sponsors this post. He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and an Accredited Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.