I have horrible dental anxiety. I found a practice near me that does oral conscious sedation. We set up this whole plan where I’d have work done in intervals. Most of that was because of expense. I could only afford so much at a time. I would come in every few months and they’d do more. In between, I could come in to get crowns bonded on as needed, which wouldn’t require sedation. It was a well-timed out document and I felt safe having everything down on paper for what would be done when. But, I got a call this morning that when I was in yesterday, the dentist was able to fit in more work during the sedation. They want me to arrange for payment this week. How can they do that? I tried to explain that we’d agreed to a timetable but she wouldn’t listen. I don’t have that money. What do I do?
No, they can’t do that. They’re on shaky ground and are quite unethical. They’re not allowed to do any work on you without your approval. You obviously couldn’t give your permission while you’re under dental sedation.
Here’s what I’d recommend. Skip the business manager and talk directly to the dentist. If he has an ounce of integrity, he’ll write off the work he did without your approval.
If he doesn’t have integrity, let him know you’ll be going to both the dental board and the Better Business Bureau. He’ll know he can’t get away with that type of behavior.
Dental Work with Anxiety
First, don’t go back to that clinic for the remainder of your work. There’s no way I’d let them put me under sedation again as they can’t be trusted. That being said, I don’t want this to keep you from following through with your needed dental work. What you experienced with that practice is extremely rare. In fact, I’ve never heard of it happening before.
There are other practices who used dental sedation and are ethical. I’d take the list of work you have left to another practice. I’d be willing to bet they’ll work with you.
It will be tempting to let all of this slide after your last experience, but what will happen is the needed dental work will grow worse. You will likely end up with a dental emergency on your hands. Plus, being proactive and getting it done as quickly as possible is the best way to save money as well.
Letting a dental situation progress always ends up costing the patient more in money, time, and teeth.
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