I have been going to a large corporate dental clinic with a lot of locations. I recently moved and went to another one of their clinics that was closer to my new home. During my exam, she asked who in the world had been doing my work. When I told her another location of this same company she clammed up. This made me suspicious so I went to an independent dentist to have the work checked. This dentist essentially said that all of my work is disastrously done and needs to be completely replaced. While I don’t mind having the work re-done, shouldn’t I get a refund from the clinic that did all this horrible work?
When a dentist goes into private practice, they develop a relationship with their patients. They often treat multiple generations and get to know the makeup of the family and can do a better job with preventative measures because they know what type of things run in the families. Sometimes, they will break out into a group practice. This gives them the close knit feel of a private practice with the camaraderie of some peers to work with. It also allows them to go on a vacation with the peace of mind that their patients are in good hands.
When it comes to creating a chain or large corporation, usually the motivation is money. The dentists who come to their office are often inexperienced and trying to gain practice while they develop their skills and save up the money to go into private practice. There are some skilled and caring dentists in a corporate setting. However, that will not be the majority and the management will be more profit than patient oriented. The best dentists are most often found in a private or small group practice.
Getting a Refund
Getting a refund will take some work on your part, unfortunately. These aren’t the type of practices that easily give up their profit and admit errors. The first thing I would do is get another second opinion. You can tell the current dentist that you believe him and will go to him for treatment but you need help securing a refund from the place that did the disastrous work. Ask for a copy of the x-rays and tell him you’re going to get another opinion as well so you have more leverage.
Then, when looking for the next dentist for your third opinion do three things. First, go to one a distance away so there is less of a chance. Second, make certain they have good online reviews. Third, make it a blind second opinion. That means you don’t tell him who did the work. You simply ask him to look at the x-rays and look you over, then tell you what he thinks needs to be done.
Armed with the information you gather, you go back to the original clinic and tell them you have two independent dentists who agree the work needs to be replaced and you’d like a refund. Hopefully, they will just agree and do it, but they may not. If that is the case you tell them you will be writing a negative review and go to the dental board and insurance company if you had dental insurance involved in the payment. Hopefully, that will be enough to sober them up.