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Old 01-24-2004, 07:16 PM   #1
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Carlu HB User
Question Due to my previous DDS fault I have to go for costly treatment; how to make him pay?

A year and a half ago I went to a dentist for a general checkup and to fix a pre-existing cavity and a cleansing. Surprisingly, DDS 2002 after taking the x-rays said that I had 3 HUGE cavities with urgent CROWNing ($700 each) needed, and I knew I needed one crown in a tooth with a previous root canal so I went for it. He charged 700 for the crown and 100 for the nail (usually every dentist provided 35-40% discount for people without insurance and paying thru check/cash, not my case) so I paid 400 and the insurance 400.

After this, I decided to go for the next tooth (the last upper one, not wisdom since was previously taken). He put a crown and no nail (the root is still alive, and as far as I read now that tooth cannot be crowned without taking the root first since it is affected by sinus). In this case, he billed 350 to me and 350 to the insurance, the insurance replied saying that it was only a cavity, that he could have fixed it that way and they were not ready to pay anything. The insurance also said that if he thought that was a mistake he should submit further proof; and he never submited more proof or contact me for that purpose; and surprisingly -or not- never billed me the 350 remaining, so I understood that he was only after getting more money out of a simple cavity and he knew that all the way.

Of course I never made the appointment for the 3rd crown for the bottom tooth, since I knew he was only a liar.

Few months ago I moved interstate; and didn't ask for my previous dental records, and don't have dental insurance anymore

The reason I am posting this message in Jan 2004, after getting the second crown on Aug 2002, is because for a month now, I am having a terrible pain in the upper last tooth (not wisdom) which has a crown and the root alive inside (the crown the insurance refused to pay)

I went to a see new dentist and she took all the 18 X rays and an extra one in the particular tooth that pains. My new dentist showed me -thru x ray- that:

a-) In the crown which was first done - the one accepted by the dental insurance- there is a small hole inside left of course by my previous DDS (the hole is where he pasted the crown) and even though now is not infected sooner or later she said it will, and I will need a new crowning.

b-) The last upper tooth is now paining because my 2002 DDS put a crown over there leaving the root alive inside, the root is becoming traumatized and will keep on paining more and more, and most probably I will need very soon to contact a root canal specialist, to take the crown out, perform a root canal and put it back (a very expensive procedure since I am not having insurance now). It is not needed to clarify that I am suffering from pain because there is a crown where is not needed, and worse there is a live root inside.

c) For my surprise I don't have any cavities, not even in that tooth that 2002 DDS wanted to crown and I didn't.

I need some advice! I don''t know what I should do in order to bill this doctor for his own mistakes? Any suggestions?

Thanks !!!

 
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Old 01-26-2004, 06:52 AM   #2
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frosty87 HB User
Re: Due to my previous DDS fault I have to go for costly treatment; how to make him pay?

First let me say I am not sue happy but I would pursue that avenue in this case I hope you still have the refusal from the insurance company. I would get your old dental records and find a good attorney you could save someone else allot of pain and unnecessary dental work. When my son was young the dds we went to suddenly found 7 cavities on one of his 6mth appointments this was before I became jaded about the medical/dental fields so I had him drill and fill them all. I was a little suspicious but never knew what a quack he was till I took my daughter a couple years later she had an abscess where she had fallen and loosened her front tooth even I knew it was an abscess it was soft and perfectly round but he said not to worry it was just her permanent tooth coming in she was 4 at the time. Needless to say I took her for a second opinion and have never gone back to see dentist 1 My son now 20 has never had another cavity I really don't think he ever had any. DDS 1 has moved on to yet another unsuspecting town after his reputation got so bad here he had no patience. I would at least check with one of those "you don't pay unless you win" lawyers and see if he thinks you have a case.

Last edited by frosty87; 01-26-2004 at 08:38 AM.

 
Old 01-26-2004, 03:11 PM   #3
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db2kp HB User
Re: Due to my previous DDS fault I have to go for costly treatment; how to make him pay?

I do agree that there are alot of dentists that shouldn't be practicing.

However, I have a few questions...

You refer to a "nail" being put in the tooth. I think that you are referring to a post?. Posts are only put into the roots of root canaled teeth. But, you can put a small post in with a filling for support.

The tooth that is still alive is bothering you now. When you bite down? Does the gum area around the crown hurt? Is it puffy? Crowns can be done successfully on live teeth, however, they can go bad too. If you go to get a root canal on the tooth, they will probably cut off your crown. Many times a crown cannot be saved when it needs to come off.
As well, the crown may no longer fit that tooth any lmore after the root canal is completed. The shape of the tooth will be different and a new impression will have to be taken.

The root canal tooth has a crown on it, and a dentist told you that she could see through it on an x-ray? She could see a hole in under the crown on your natural tooth? A dentist cannot see through a ceramic or precious metal crown on an x-ray. They can't see through silver fillings either. They can see underneath the filling, but the crown covers the whole tooth. She can, however, see the roots of the tooth. I would question that one.
The dentist cemented the crown to your natural tooth by putting cement all over the inside of the crown, not just on one spot. You refer to him pasting it in one spot, but, if he did that ,crown wouldn't have stayed on at all.

The problem with getting $$ back from the dentist is finding another dentist that will cross that fine line and help you sue the other dentist. Dentists will go after insurance companies to retrieve money if a root canal is partly finished by another dentist and they need to complete it, etc... Anything that keeps them squeeky clean with the dental community. But, it's hard to find a dentist that will stand up and say that another dentist did wrong.
It's not right, but that's the way they are.

I don't know that you should let the 2nd dentist do work on you until she shows you how she can see through the crown. I would be lery of that.
Second opinions are a wonderful thing. In your situation, I'd spend the extra $50 or so, take my 18 x-rays and go get one. Couldn't "hurt"?!

db

 
Old 01-26-2004, 05:14 PM   #4
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Carlu HB User
Re: Due to my previous DDS fault I have to go for costly treatment; how to make him pay?

Thanks for all the replies.

To make it more clear in Aug 2002 I went to the DDs which put 2 crowns, one in a tooth with a previous root canal (of course no root there), he put a crown and a post, this one the insurance paid and my new dentist showed me through x rays a hole. Might be I was not clear the hole means that there is air in between my real tooth and the crown at some point, that has to be that the material they used to paste it wasn't covering it completely, I guess. For this tooth the insurance paid but the x-ray clearly shows there is an air bubble if you want to call it that way in the upper center of the tooth. Doesn't that make sense? Please let me know if I am mistaken. Anyway my new dentist said that it will get infected sooner or later but until that time comes that she is not planning to do something about that.

About the other tooth that I got a crown and not a post and the root is alive inside, is the last upper tooth (not wisdom since I don't have one). That tooth reading later I found out that it is linked to sinus and that should never be crowned without a root canal first, because the root inside can get traumatized between 1 and 3 years after the crowning. Anyway, I didn't get a root canal in this tooth but a straight crown without post instead, and the insurance refused to pay their part since it was a simple cavity. In this tooth is that I am having a killing pain and I am taking aspirines all day! My new dentist said that it is because the root became traumatized, and that I should see a root canal specialist, since that is the only tooth she doesn't work because it is a very delicate one, so you can see that she cannot make a penny out of that tooth. I didn't know that I might need a new crown afterwards.

I am not trying to sue my old dentist for the sake of it, but I don't have dental insurance now and I don't want to spend a penny to solve his mistakes, there has to be a way to try to get him to pay for the new dentist bill . He works for a dental chain in a metropolitan area and is a member of the State dental associacion. I don't know if contacting them if he is not ready to listen will help. I also didn't know that I needed my new dentist to stand for me, I cannot pretend that she does that, but the x-rays and the insurance rejection are not enough proof? As you can see I don't know much about this. I am not after money I just don't want to spend more, that is it.

Thanks.

Last edited by Carlu; 01-26-2004 at 05:20 PM.

 
Old 01-26-2004, 08:39 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 74
db2kp HB User
Re: Due to my previous DDS fault I have to go for costly treatment; how to make him pay?

Carlu,

That last post cleared up a few things. It sounds like the one crown doesn't have a good fit and maybe there's decay developing underneath. I honestly don't know that she can see through that crown.
See, anything that's metallic, like a silver filling, a precious metal or gold crown can't be seen through.
It shows up as white on an x-ray.

And, to clarify, so when you have to speak with your dentist about this: A root canal doesn't remove the root. (alot of people think that)
The nerve that is dead, or is dying is removed from the root of the tooth. Then the root is filled with gutta percha, which is a rubbery substance. When they put the post in they put it into that gutta percha.

I know that you're not out for money. But, the time to question things was when the insurance didn't pay for the crown. You shouldn't have had to pay for the whole thing if it was a simple filling that should have been placed. Did you pay for the crown in full...cash? He should have sent out a predetermination first to see if they'd pay for it, then proceeded.

I really don't think that you're going to get any money back from your old ins co. You're going to have to pay for all of the treatment that you need...again.

Ask your dentist if she will write a letter to either the ins co or the old dentist to see if you can retrieve any $$ for you to have the future work done.

Good luck!

db

 
Old 01-29-2004, 07:53 AM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Northeast US
Posts: 276
antoni HB User
Re: Due to my previous DDS fault I have to go for costly treatment; how to make him pay?

Hi,

I had 9 fillings done in two sitting unnecessarily. I have been in contact with attorneys but the one works on a retainer and I would have to pay expenses at the end plus 30% commission.

My teeth were cut very imprecisely with the whole surface of the tooth being obliterated so I needed costly onlays. I tried having one tooth refilled with white resin bonding but because it was so wide it couldn't hold the bonding material and I needed porcelain.

ALso, my whole bite was ruined. I now have what's called an open bite. I paid the prosthodontist nearly $7,000.00 and he made it worse.

My fear with this one attorney is that I will be bled dry with him in terms of the expenses and get to the point where I will have to withdraw the case because it can go back and forth between you and the dentist for so long.

I called another dentist and I'll see if she works pro bono. I question why you never seem to hear of anyone winning dental malpractice lawsuits.

Is there anyone out there who has actually one a dental malpractice suit???

 
Old 01-29-2004, 04:51 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 74
db2kp HB User
Re: Due to my previous DDS fault I have to go for costly treatment; how to make him pay?

I worked for a group of 3 dentists. Many patients went to seek legal counsel, as you did, and ended up with the same result.
They were never sued. The dr's knew how costly it would be for the patient.
The dr's would just sit back and wait after being threatened with a lawsuit, and nothing would happen.

If the lawsuit would be against a large medical group and hospital...no problem. Figure out the total that you would be suing for. How much will you spend and how much you will end up with IF you win.
Will it be worth it?

Let us know what happens,
db

Last edited by db2kp; 01-29-2004 at 04:52 PM. Reason: added group to first sentence.

 
Old 03-27-2004, 07:41 PM   #8
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Posts: 3
carlau HB User
Re: Due to my previous DDS fault I have to go for costly treatment; how to make him pay?

Wanted to let you all know what happened finaly.

I went to an orthodontist who performed a root canal in the upper tooth next to my previously extracted wisdom tooth and the problem dissappeared. Fortunately even though the crown that the B@@@@ used was bad quality, it survived and will for at least a couple of years, and in an year my dental insurance will cover 50% of it so it will sort of be OK, so after 3 months of continuous pain I am free. I didn't sue my previous dentist and I didn't request the x-rays and records, that is the end of it.

 
Old 03-28-2004, 06:27 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 90
Dimeit HB User
Re: Due to my previous DDS fault I have to go for costly treatment; how to make him pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlu
A year and a half ago I went to a dentist for a general checkup and to fix a pre-existing cavity and a cleansing. Surprisingly, DDS 2002 after taking the x-rays said that I had 3 HUGE cavities with urgent CROWNing ($700 each) needed, and I knew I needed one crown in a tooth with a previous root canal so I went for it. He charged 700 for the crown and 100 for the nail (usually every dentist provided 35-40% discount for people without insurance and paying thru check/cash, not my case) so I paid 400 and the insurance 400.

After this, I decided to go for the next tooth (the last upper one, not wisdom since was previously taken). He put a crown and no nail (the root is still alive, and as far as I read now that tooth cannot be crowned without taking the root first since it is affected by sinus). In this case, he billed 350 to me and 350 to the insurance, the insurance replied saying that it was only a cavity, that he could have fixed it that way and they were not ready to pay anything. The insurance also said that if he thought that was a mistake he should submit further proof; and he never submited more proof or contact me for that purpose; and surprisingly -or not- never billed me the 350 remaining, so I understood that he was only after getting more money out of a simple cavity and he knew that all the way.

Of course I never made the appointment for the 3rd crown for the bottom tooth, since I knew he was only a liar.

Few months ago I moved interstate; and didn't ask for my previous dental records, and don't have dental insurance anymore

The reason I am posting this message in Jan 2004, after getting the second crown on Aug 2002, is because for a month now, I am having a terrible pain in the upper last tooth (not wisdom) which has a crown and the root alive inside (the crown the insurance refused to pay)

I went to a see new dentist and she took all the 18 X rays and an extra one in the particular tooth that pains. My new dentist showed me -thru x ray- that:

a-) In the crown which was first done - the one accepted by the dental insurance- there is a small hole inside left of course by my previous DDS (the hole is where he pasted the crown) and even though now is not infected sooner or later she said it will, and I will need a new crowning.

b-) The last upper tooth is now paining because my 2002 DDS put a crown over there leaving the root alive inside, the root is becoming traumatized and will keep on paining more and more, and most probably I will need very soon to contact a root canal specialist, to take the crown out, perform a root canal and put it back (a very expensive procedure since I am not having insurance now). It is not needed to clarify that I am suffering from pain because there is a crown where is not needed, and worse there is a live root inside.

c) For my surprise I don't have any cavities, not even in that tooth that 2002 DDS wanted to crown and I didn't.

I need some advice! I don''t know what I should do in order to bill this doctor for his own mistakes? Any suggestions?

Thanks !!!
First of all if your teeth hurt there must be some infection makeing them hurt.The infection is BACTERIA and it has waste just like any liveing thing.The waste is posion and can affect your whole body.Alot of dentist do not know how bad these bacteria can affect your health for some reason.Do yourself and find one that dose.If the bacteria gets in your blood stream it can eat up your heart valves and then your in big trouble...........Terry

 
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