Bella Dental Complaint - Unethical Dental Practice

Review by Regulus on 2011-08-12
KATY, TEXAS -- I have bad teeth, no money, and no insurance. I am trying to get by while I save for expensive dental work. A very old crown with a post came loose. I went to Bella Dental because they are open on weekends. They did the usual x-rays and the dentist told me that the tooth's base had decayed to the point that cementing would only last a short time, and I needed extensive work. (I already knew this.) Without any financial means to begins extensive work, I asked the dentist to cement the tooth anyway, and I told the dentist that I knew it would not last long. It lasted 3 months. I went back and the dentist cemented the crown again with a stronger glue, and it lasted 5 months before coming loose. I went back again and the dentist could not remove the tooth to re-cement it. I had already paid for the service so the dentist told me to come back when it actually came out and he would re-cement it at no charge.

Three months later it finally came out. when I went to Bella Dental, they tried to charge me, in advance, but I refused and told the clerk to ask the dentist if he was good for his word. The clerk came back and told me that, yes, the doctor said he would not charge me for re-cementing the tooth, but claimed that was only good for a "reasonable amount of time" and it had been three months so I would have to pay. When I refused to pay, the clerk told me that the dentist would not re-cement the tooth because I needed an implant or bridge. She said that the doctor wrote in my chart that he was going to talk to me about these options the next time I came in. When I said that wasn't acceptable at this time I was told again that the doctor was refusing to re-cement the tooth because it had already come loose twice and the tooth was so decayed that there was not enough there for the cement to adhere to which is why it was coming loose. And if he cemented it again and it came loose while I was, for example eating, I could come back and claim that they did not cement it correctly. I was told again that I would have to agree to a new procedure in order to see the doctor. I got mad, and had angry words about this. I told them I would never be back (and I won't) and I was loud about it, and then I left.

Hey, if I was going to complain about them and the cementing work, I would have already done so. I know my teeth are bad. That is not their fault. I just wanted to get by while I saved enough money for a down payment so the monthly payments on the dental loan would not destroy my budget. It will be at least another year before I save enough money. I thought they understood my situation, but these people have no compassion. All they care about is going to the bank. I will eventually save enough money to get the work done, but they won't get any of it, and I will be sure to tell all of my friends and neighbors to stay away from Bell Dental.
Comments:1 Replies - Latest reply on 2011-08-13
Posted by At Your Service on 2011-08-13:
I've recently went though a very similar operation with an implant on one of my teeth. I had a similar crown that started given me a problem, requiring the implant.

According to your own story, your tooth was in a steady state of decay. The first lasted three months, the second five and then an additional three months. This does place the time-frame eleven months after the initial problem. I can understand the doctor simply saying the bad tooth needs to be removed with a bridge or implant being put in place.

Many insurances still do not pay for implants. Really weird, and in my opinion, ridiculous whereas the bridge compromises the teeth next to the problem tooth.

As maddening as it may be, you can't continue to delay the unavoidable. Many dentists are not the ones who do the implant surgery anyway. You'll want to work through an oral surgeon for that work. Reasonable cost on the implant surgery will be about $1000 - $1300. This should cover the extraction and implant post. The new crown will generally run around $800.

I'd just "byte" the bullet and get the work done (pun intended). The dentist reasonably worked with you, cementing the crown twice.

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