I have been wanting to close the gap between my two front teeth with veneers for years. It was always so embarrassing. So, I saved up and decided to get Lumineers. I ended up getting six of them done. I liked the way they looked. I never realized how much it really bothered me.
Fast forward to a year later and I was told at a regular dentist appointment that I have had significant bone loss, like over 50% in four of the teeth with Lumineers on them. They explained that I should get dental implants, which were quoted at $2,700 a piece. He said he would credit me $1,500 toward the final fees. But, he will only apply the reimbursement if I get the dental implants done at his office.
This doesn’t feel right at all since the Lumineers were $720 each. Shouldn’t the dentist have realized the bone loss situation before the Lumineers were done? Would an x-ray have revealed the problem? I found out it had been over three years since the I had x-rays done that they have on file. Do I have any grounds for negligence or to make a stronger case for a refund if I don’t want to move forward with the same dentist? I have been consistent with periodontal maintenance which takes place four times each year.
I know this is a lot of questions. But, I don’t know where else to turn and feel like I’m in a tough spot.
-Bernard in Texas
Negligence is a strong word. But, based on the information you have shared, in this case it fits. Your dentist failed to perform a basic fundamental procedure of taking x-rays prior to applying Lumineers to your front teeth. By recommending that the teeth be extracted and replaced with dental implants after only a year, in a way he is admitting fault.
Then, the offer of a partial credit of $1,500 toward getting dental implants with him that will end up being well over $10,000, isn’t even a drop in the bucket.
First off, you absolutely should demand to be refunded for the Lumineers work. If he refuses, go ahead and state that you will pursue legal action. You definitely have a case.
Your instincts are right to be hesitant to move forward with this dentist doing the dental implants. It would be wise to find another dentist to get the work done. If he agrees to refund you, then he will be getting off easy because if you did pursue legal action, you would get more than that. You have the upper hand in this situation. So, don’t settle for less than a full refund.
Then, if he isn’t agreeable, you have every right to pursue getting a lawyer.
Honestly, at this point, it is questionable as to whether the dentist is giving you a proper diagnosis. When you see the new dentist, you’ll be able to get a second opinion. It wouldn’t be surprising if you don’t actually need dental implants after all. However this plays out, it is not in your best interest to stick with the original dentist.
This kind of situation would make most dentists cringe because they believe in the ethics of the industry. Dentists typically love helping people and will do everything they can to make something right for a patient. It doesn’t sound like your dentist shares these ethics. It’s true that everyone makes mistakes. But, to try to take advantage of a situation where the dentist didn’t properly treat you in the first place is wrong.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma dentist Dr. Rick Lane.