Tag Archives: open margins on a crown

Can You Get a Refund from a Dentist Who Messes Up?

I had a dental crown placed on a slightly crooked tooth. A few weeks later, my tooth became sensitive to both hot and cold. He assured me that was normal for the first few weeks. But, a few months later, I ended up in the E.R. from the pain. They told me I needed to see a dentist. I called a couple of dentists but had trouble getting in. Two days later my face swelled up. Luckily, when I called the next dentist and told them, they scheduled an emergency appointment for me. At the appointment they told me there was something called an open margin on my dental crown. Apparently, that led to a tooth infection and I now need a root canal treatment and a new crown. The second dentist said this is because the dental crown wasn’t placed properly.

Here is my problem. I called the first dentist and asked for my money back because I had to get a new grown and root canal treatment. I didn’t think they’d have a problem giving me my money back seeing as they messed up. Man, was I wrong. They told me I am responsible with what happens after they place the crown. But, if the crown was defective, how can that be my fault?

The second dentist showed me the x-ray and it is huge. Should my dentist have taken an x-ray after the crown to see the margin? If so, will that help me get a refund?


Dear Presley,

Man in pain, grabbing his cheek in need of emergency dental care.

I am sorry this happened to you. One of the things I suggest you do is get these x-rays from this second dentist. This will really help you. I don’t think a malpractice suit will be worth the money, but there are some things you can do.

1. Tell them you are going to go to the dental board. It will be serious for this dentist if the board gets involved and that may cause your dentist to think twice about not giving you back your money.
2. While you are not going to get enough from a malpractice suit, that does not mean that that you wouldn’t benefit from having an attorney write a letter to your dentist on official letterhead. Your dentist doesn’t need to know you’re not going to court and it could get him nervous.
3. I would see if your second dentist would be willing to talk to your first dentist. Sometimes a dentist will be willing to listen more to a peer than to a patient.

I am glad you got the emergency dental help you needed. In your place, I would switch to the second dentist permanently, especially if they’re willing to confront your first dentist about shoddy work.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Emergency Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.