What Can I Do If I Don't Like The Care I Receive From My Dentist?

Health & Medical Blog

Having a good dentist-patient relationship is important for both the dentist and the patient, especially since many patients are prone to some form of dental anxiety. Even if you normally have no issues, it's important to know what you can do in case you have any issues or disputes with your dentist, the treatment you received or a bill you received.

I Don't Like How My Dentist Works With Me

While the quality of care you receive is important, how your dentist applies that care is equally important. How your dentist treats you determines how you feel when you're in the chair or getting work done. If you are a new patient, your dentist might not be aware of your particular fears or things you don't like, or he may have a way of speaking to you that you don't like.

There are a few things you can do. First, you can schedule an appointment for you, the dentist and any staff who work with him to talk about your boundaries and what you need. For example, you can say that you need medication to calm down before an important procedure, or that it helps alleviate your anxiety when the dentist explains everything he does as he is doing it.

You can also come early to an appointment and ask to speak with a dental assistant, or you can write a letter to your dentist's office if you are anxious about confrontation. This doesn't allow you to have a one-on-one conversation, but you can still lay out your needs. A letter may also help your dentist, as they can file it away to reference as needed rather than trying to remember everything you told them.

I Don't Like The Quality Of Care I Received

If you aren't pleased with the care you received, you should first try to come to an understanding with your dentist. For this, it's important to remember the details of the process. When you go to speak to your dentist about your issue, make sure to have the following information handy:

  • The date the procedure took place, as well as what specifically was done
  • The issue you have with your service
  • What you believe can be done to make you happy

Keep in mind that not all dental procedures will go perfectly the first time around, and your dentist will often be more than happy to finish the work properly if you have any issues. If you notice any issues, call your dentist's office and ask about the problem to see what they suggest first.

If they insist the work is fine and you are displeased, however, you can write a letter describing the issue, then send a copy to your dentist's office so you have a copy yourself. Make sure you date the letter in case you need to talk to your insurance company, who may be able to help investigate the problem.

I Think I Am Being Charged Too Much

Unfortunately, you may run into a situation where you are being charged too much money for the care you're receiving. This sometimes happens when you are charged for things you don't need, which you may or may not be told about.

The first step is to take a look at your dental bill. Every bill should have a list of codes where each code refers to a procedure or treatment you were given. Call your dentist's office and ask what each code means. If it turns out you were given a treatment you did not need or ask for, or a treatment you were not informed about, you may have been overcharged.

You can talk to your dentist or insurance company to try to resolve the billing issue, but you can also request the input of a dental society. Look for a local dental society with a peer review committee; these committees arbitrate and resolve disputes by acting as an objective third party. If you're looking for a dentist in your area, visit Michael C. Cordora DDS, PLLC.


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