Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

January 24, 2008

How to ask for a refund from your dentist.

Filed under: Cosmetic dentistry mistakes — mesasmiles @ 10:15 am

This post was prompted by an e-mail I received from Dr. Jeffrey Segal, the CEO of Medical Justice Services, not by a visitor question. But the topic is very relevant for many of our visitors, and that is, what is the impact on the dentist of your asking for a refund for dental work when you’ve had a problem? So I wanted to post this.

One of the worries dentists have about giving a refund is that refunds can go on their record at the National Practitioner Data Bank. They want to avoid this. I recommend giving the dentist an easy way to give you a refund.

Oh, and you need to know that many dentists aren’t aware of these rules, so it may help you to educate them as to the latest rules.

If your demand for a refund is oral and not written, and if the dentist makes the refund himself or herself, rather than going to their insurance company or the corporation the dentist works for, then the refund does not have to be reported. If the demand is written, it needs to be reported. If the corporate entity writes the check, then it also has to be reported.

If I were asking for a refund, and I were getting some resistance from the dentist, I would say something like, “Look, I’m willing to make this easy for you. I’m making this request orally, which means you do not have to report this to the National Practitioner Data Bank. I don’t want to have to go to a formal request or go to a lawyer and make this messy. Let’s just keep it simple.”

– Dr. Hall

Click here for referral to an expert cosmetic dentist.
Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.


  1. Dr.Hall,

    I would appreciate your opinion. I had nine “ceramic” veneers (Lumineers) done on my lower teeth, five weeks ago. When they first came back I told the Dr. that the color was too white. He had placed them in a temporary state, removed them, and had the lab change the color. I told his office that the new color should match my exiting teeth, A-2.
    On the second set, he glued them in withhold showing me or discussing the color.

    I think they are still too white. My son was getting married five days after the permanent placement and it seem futile to discuss, after they were placed.

    Three weeks after the placement, one of the veneers broke in half (from the bottom). The Dr. said my teeth will be replaced for two years w/o charge. Is the amount of time reasonable? Do I have reason to be concerned about the long term sustainability of this investment? Can an objective person look at my teeth and determine if “they are in the same coloration”? If not want is my possible recourse? Is ceramic more durable/stronger then porcelain? I had some gum coming through my teeth. Would veneers be made to “cover” them? This was not done.

    Can one determine if the material that was used is defective? I have the broken half
    Thank you for your time and consideration,


    Response by Dr. Hall:
    You have an excellent question, and I’ll address it in a separate post, which you can find here: find here.

    Comment by benjamin sherr — January 31, 2017 @ 2:05 pm

  2. Okay, so I am having a full set of dentures and 8 mini implants done. I went to a local dentist for a consultation and she gave me a estimate that I was very happy with. So she said she would do the dentures but it would be another dentist that would come to her office and do the implants.

    So i came in the following Monday for an impression and I even went back for another one and picked my color. Well, here is my problem. I can never get a straight answer about nothing. They are rude. So I got the dentist’s name that was to do the implants and called his office and when I asked them about it they had no idea what i was talking about. So they called my dentist.

    When I got back in there to see her she was pissed she said don’t call his office because his office doesn’t know nothing about what he does outside the office. So I am so done with this dentist. I am dishing out 10 grand to get treated like this? I don’t think so. But I have done paid her $1500 dollars. Please anyone with some helpful advice–this is very important to me.

    Thank You,

    Response from Dr. Hall
    If you haven’t had any services yet, you should be able to just get your money back. If you have any trouble, I’d start with complaining to the local dental society. If that doesn’t work, tell her you’re going to the dental board. That should get her attention. If you’ve paid by credit card, you can also complain to the credit card company to get your money back. If it’s a credit card payment, I’d start with the credit card people because there might be a time limit to your complaint, and it’s a pretty straightforward case of not receiving the services, so you should get your money back.

    Comment by karen — June 13, 2017 @ 9:39 pm

  3. Dr. Hall,

    I went into a normal root canal. As my numbing started to wear off it felt as if someone had taken a bat to my face. The next morning I woke up in terrible pain and a very swollen face for about 3 days. This was on tooth # 10. I called the dentist and he put me on Flagyl. . . .
    – Tonya Dozier

    (Tonya goes on to describe her dentist’s subsequent behavior, which got to be so rude some might call it bizarre. She posts an excellent question that I think merits its own blog post. Here is a link to what to do when your dentist is really rude.)

    Comment by Tonya Dozier — October 26, 2017 @ 5:46 pm

  4. Hello Dr. Hall,

    The reason I want to speak with you is because I started with on Invisalign October 25th 2016 with a Dentist. We agreed upon me paying $4,675.00.

    (Kristen follows explaining a situation where she was told Invisalign would fix her midline, but it didn’t, and now she wants a refund. I answer her question in this blog post: A situation where Invisalign didn’t work.)


    Comment by Kristen — April 22, 2018 @ 7:43 pm

  5. Hello, I was hoping to hear your take on a situation I’m faced with. I paid $880 in cash up front for an emergency extraction for an out of network dentist. After unsuccessfully attempting the extraction, he made the decision to perform a pulpectomy instead and told me I had to go to an oral surgeon. Since I did not go to him for the pulpectomy, do I have any leverage in requesting a refund for services not rendered? He charged me $175 for an extraction, $120 for x-rays, $85 for RX medication and an additional $500 fee for it being a “surgical” extraction. He added the $500 after viewing the x-rays. Since the x-rays were performed and the RX medication was dispensed during the procedure, I am fine paying those fees. I just don’t think its fair for me to pay for an extraction that I didn’t have, or for the pulpectomy that I didn’t consent to (which he says was done in lieu of the extraction).

    I guess my question is, is he obligated to refund payments for a service he didn’t actually perform? Am I obligated to pay for services rendered without my consent?

    Thank you – Michelle

    Comment by Dr. Hall,
    Sounds to me like you have a valid complaint. Frankly, the fees sound outrageous. I would tell him that if he doesn’t make it right with you, you’ll take your complaint to the dental board. And, of course, you always have online reviews. Small claims court could also be an option.

    Comment by Michelle — June 4, 2018 @ 4:15 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.