I needed my overdenture replaced. However, I knew I would be relocating soon for a new job. I asked my dentist how long it would take to make a new one for me. He told me it would take three weeks. I didn’t actually receive it until a little after nine weeks. However, even after it did come in, the dentist had a devil of a time getting it attached. He had to force it on. After I got home, I could not even eat a bowl of pasta. I was in so much pain. Eventually, I was able to get it off. Unfortunately, when I tried to put it back in, I found that impossible. I called them and scheduled an emergency appointment. My dentist wasn’t in, but I saw one of his partners. He told me that the denture was not properly made. Not only was it at a slant, but the holes were not drilled out properly. Then, I got a call a WEEK later, saying they’d just ordered the new gaskets. I don’t have any time left. I have to move. Is it unreasonable for me to ask for a refund and have this fixed with whatever dentist I end up with in my new location?
You should definitely get a refund from this dentist. He made a legal agreement with you by telling you that they would have your dentures ready in three weeks. He missed the agreed time by a significant amount. Then, when he finally did get them to you, they did not meet the minimum standard of care with the results. Though you should not have trouble getting a refund if this dentist has integrity, I have found that sometimes dentists who do shoddy work are the most reluctant to give a refund, no matter how well deserved. If that happens to you, there are ways for you to gain some leverage.
First, tell him you will leave a review telling him about the horrendous service you received. Believe it or not, these reviews have a large impact on their business. You could also tell him that you would be willing to write a positive review about his integrity and his willingness to make things right.
If that does not work, your second piece of leverage is to threaten to go to the dental board. Dentists do not like dealing with the dental board, so this carries more weight than you might think.
Finally, you could do a malpractice lawsuit, but the truth is I don’t think this would do you much good. You wouldn’t get enough to justify the cost, not to mention the hassle and time, of the suit.
Hopefully, he’ll step up and do the right thing.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Marion, who tries to be one of the best dentists in Duluth, GA.