I hadn’t been to a dentist in years because I have severe dental anxiety. I’d been reading about sedation dentistry and decided to give it a try. I knew I needed a lot of work, but asked him to work out a slow-moving plan that I could afford. He agreed. I did my first few procedures the other day. The next day, when they called to check on me, they informed me the dentist was able to knock two extra procedures off my list and they’ll add that to my bill. That really bothered me. Not just because I can’t afford those other procedures, but because he did work without asking. What’s to prevent him from doing things I didn’t want done? Can they do that? I still have to get my permanent crowns glued on but I’m scared to go back in.
Wow! I’m so sorry this happened to you. You were so brave to find a way to get your dental work up to date and then they violate your trust like this. Honestly, they did more than that. They violated some serious ethics. I don’t think you’re going to have to even worry about paying for those other “bonus” procedures. They didn’t have a right to do the work without getting your consent, which they certainly couldn’t have done while you were under sedation.
The first thing I would do is talk to the dentist himself, skip the business office. Remind him that you guys worked out a specific plan and it is a violation of ethics for him to do unapproved work, so you don’t want to be charged for those additional procedures.
Now it’s up to you whether you go back to them to have the crowns bonded. I don’t know if you’d planned on sedation for that. Most patients don’t need it to have the crowns placed. It’s not painful. But, you said you had severe anxiety so if you’d planned on getting sedation for it, I would just ask for the crowns then go to an emergency dentist who also does sedation to have them bonded on. There’s absolutely no way I’d let them use sedation on you again. They obviously can’t be trusted.
Finding a Sedation Dentist
If you’re wondering why I suggested you go to an emergency dentist, it’s because temporary crowns don’t last very long. You don’t want to leave a space there because your other teeth will start to shift into the empty space. That will cause a couple of problems for you. First, you’ll have to start over with your dental crowns. When your other teeth drift, it will mean your dental crown will no longer fit in the space left for it. Secondly, that shifting can throw off your bite enough that you need orthodontics of some type.
If you don’t already have a copy of your treatment plan from your now previous dentist, get one to save you from having to start over. If you tell the new dentist what happened, they’ll certainly understand. When searching for your new permanent dentist you can do an internet search using any of these terms:
- Gentle Dentist
- Sedation Dentist
- Cater to Cowards Dentist
After you make a list of dentists from your area that use sedation, be sure to look up their reviews on sites such as Google Reviews and Yelp. You want to see that other patients have had great experiences with them and their office staff.
Best of luck to you. I hope you won’t let this bad apple spoil your efforts to get your oral health back in shape.
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