What can I do if I have paid for the services but dentist won't finish the work needed on me? 12 Answers as of June 19, 2014

I went to the dentist to have some work done starting in 2013. The dentist instructed me that I would need some teeth pulled, crowns etc. to get partials because I had the bad teeth. Well, I did everything they asked, pulled three teeth etc. with the expectation and reassurance that I would get them as soon as possible. I received my bottom which did not fit, very uncomfortable, my tops had to be remade because of the same issue improperly made. All my services have been paid in full but as of today no teeth, no money, no one will call me back. Do I need a lawyer?

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Elhart & Horvath, P.C.
Elhart & Horvath, P.C. | Mattias Johnson
To start with your final question, yes, you should probably hire an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to resolve this as expeditiously as possible. What you have is something akin to a breach of service contract, where you paid for something and the other party, the dentist, did not perform his end of the bargain. Another option, which also would be easier with the help of an attorney, would be to contact the state licensing board for dentists and reporting this misconduct.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/19/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Every claim or law suit has two basic elements: Liability (fault) and damages (how much). Many times a person may have a good claim but the damages are insufficient to interest a lawyer in taking your case. If the damages are modest you may wish to sue in Small Claims Court, where no lawyers are allowed and the damages are limited to $10,000.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/12/2014
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Contact the local dental society. In Michigan, they will mediate a resolution between you and the dentist. Perhaps they will do that also in your state. It sounds like the guy abandoned you, or else he thinks that you will just be too difficult to help. He may need to refund you some money, but he certainly should refer you to another dentist. Definitely, avoiding you is NOT the answer, I do not know if you will need a lawyer. It really depends on the extent of your legal damages.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/12/2014
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
You can start by filing a formal complaint with your local dental society....that should light a fire under the dentist and won't cost you anything.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/12/2014
Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC
Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC | Linda Chalat
Sadly, it does appear that you will need legal representation. You probably have a strong case for a refund of your pre-paid amount for the partial dentures, and perhaps a dental malpractice claim as well. If you live in the Denver metro area, you should contact Metro Volunteer Lawyers, this is a service provided by the Denver Bar Association. MVL recruits and coordinates volunteer lawyers to perform free and low-cost legal services for poor and near-poor persons who live and work in Adams, Broomfield, Arapahoe, Denver, Elbert, Douglas, Jefferson, and Denver Counties. They should be able to provide a lawyer to help you.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/12/2014
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You need to ask another dentist was sup and you need to contact the dental society to see if they have a committee to look into. There is likely more to this than I know. the dentist obviously has a point of view. What is it?
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/12/2014
    EDWARD M. MILLER, PC
    EDWARD M. MILLER, PC | EDWARD M. MILLER
    You don't say how much you paid, and whether you have proof that the work done was poorly done, or whether your mouth simply presents additional problems not covered by the payments you made. If the dollar amount paid is less than $5000, you can file a small claims case in the District court where the dentist practices, and need no attorney; none are allowed in small claims. If the dentist can show that the problems result from causes other that sub-standard work on his part, he will prevail. If not, you probably will. If the amount paid exceeded $5000, and if you have proof the work was sub-standard (opinion of another dentist retained to correct the poor work, for example), you should contact a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/12/2014
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Contact the licencing agency in the state where you live, probably the Dept of Heath, maybe the Dept of Education. There are forms to fill out, and these things take time, but be patient and follow up and they will look into it. BTW, I'm not sure I understand part of this: You state that you received the bottoms, but they did not fit, and the tops had to be remade, yet you also state "as of today no teeth" This indicates to me that they were in fact produced, but there are adjustments that need to be made. That's different from the lab not having produced them at all.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/12/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You do need an attorney. Your other option is to take him to small claims.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    Domnitz & Skemp, SC
    Domnitz & Skemp, SC | Merrick Domnitz
    I think you should call a consumer protection agency in Madison. I'm not really sure which agency has jurisdiction over dentists but I'm sure there is one. Perhaps start with the Medical Examining Board or simply contact the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Sounds like it, and I hope that your contract was in writing and provable.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/11/2014
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    If you get no response you probably will need a lawyer. first contact the State dental board and Dept of consumer protection.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/11/2014
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