I was in need of significant dental work, but my very tight budget prevented me from landing the procedures I desperately needed. I researched and stumbled upon an online ad from an affordable dentist. His promotion was that he was offering crowns at a lesser rate, as he practiced using a new in-office machine that makes crowns. I immediately reached out because I could afford his services and he was offering what I needed. This ended up being a terrible decision.

I was in his office for five hours. His machine kept giving him issues. In addition, the crowns were not fitting correctly. He made some changes to the tooth, then returned to the machine and was able to get them to fit. Now, in addition to my tooth being sore, my entire mouth is in pain. Is it possible that the dentist caused permanent damage? If so, am I responsible since he did, in fact, claim up front that he was offering the service and price because he was learning?

Sincerely,

Erica


Dear Erica,

I am sorry you went through this. It is a good idea for you to return to the dentist and let him know that you’re in pain. When teeth are bothered a lot, as yours were, they can become irritated. It sounds like you had repeated try-ons, and your teeth probably became very sensitive to this. For basic irritation, an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen, that is an anti-inflammatory, will help ease the pain and it should clear up in just a few days. However, the pain might not improve on its own. You mentioned earlier that you needed a crown, but held off getting one. It could be that decay has formed and your tooth is now in need of a root canal, but this may be difficult to prove.

Regardless, the dentist is responsible for the work he did, whether he promoted himself as an affordable dentist or said that he was offering the low cost because he was practicing. An ethical dentist will want to know that you’re in pain and experiencing problems, and he will want to fix them. But, if he gives you an problems or does not fix the issue, you will need to consult another dentist.

For future dental needs, it is important to focus your search on a dental provider who has quality services and experience, then consult with him or her about ways to work within your budget. Many providers offer affordable dentistry plans which allow patients to spread out the dental costs, or take advantage of insurance benefits. Financing your treatment or choosing from different treatment options at various price points may also be an option.

This blog is provided by Dr. Matthew Roper, an affordable dentist in Gilbert, AZ.