My wife had dental implants with crowns on her eye tooth and cuspid 5 yrs ago. The cuspid crown recently broke off while she was eating toast. She went to the dentist that did the work and he charged her $100 to do an exam..said it would cost around $3,500 for him to fix it. We left his care about a year ago as he no longer accepted our insurance. He said had she stayed with him it may not have occurred as he could have watched it. Shouldn't something like this be guaranteed? Advice PLEASE...
How Long Should a Dental Crown (On Implant) Be Guaranteed?
Doctor Answers (6)
Guarantee Dental Work
Dentists would love to be able to guarantee all their work, but dentists have not yet been able to find the perfect dental materials, techniques and even patients, for that matter, to always make that happen. Difficult to expect a dentist to guarantee things that they have little or no control over. However, that be said, there is much dentistry done that is only done once, and lasts a patient a lifetime!
Wouldn't you love to get a Mercedes or BMW and have it guaranteed for life, or even just five years? Or, if you got into a wreck five years after the purchase, the auto dealer would fix it for free. What do you think the chances are that would ever happen? Not much, right? Again, dentists would love to be able to have their work last a lifetime, and that is the goal. Unfortunately, this is not reality.
And, depending on which state you reside in, the dental practice act may actually prohibit dentists in your state from any statements that they guarantee or warranty their work in any way, shape or form, let alone for life. How do you like that? Even if a dentist wanted to guarantee his/her work for life, the state laws may actually prohibit that!
It sounds like you are disappointed with your dentist, and when relationships suffer, it is probably best to transfer to a dentist whom you have more trust and confidence in.
No True Guarantee
There is no true guarantee for any dental or medical procedure. A lot of the post-op results are due to good maintenence on the patient's part. This includes regular visits to your dentist or doctor for them to monitor everything and ensure that the treatment (ie: crowns, implants, etc) is well maintained. It's also important that hygiene is up to par and that there are no signs of bruxing (grinding and clenching). There are also a lot of other factors that can affect the prognosis of your implant crown, such as types of chewing habits and diet. At this point, it seems that you will need to take care of the cost of the crown. If you are not committed to the dentist that placed the crown, I would have a few different consultations done to see if you can get a better price quote.
Warranty vs Gurantee in Dental Medicine
There are two differences legally between a waranty and a guarantee. A gurantee is offered by the manufacturer and if the product fails, you can get your money back. A warranty is provided by the seller, which would be the dentist, stating if the product fails because of a defect, you will be able to get the product repaired.. Some dentists are willing to give their patients a warranty on a crown, providing the patient stays a part of their dental practice and continues to comes regularly for cleaning and exams. You did not stay with his practice so he is inclined not to follow through with you. I am so sorry he does not take your dental insurance anymore. I would seek two consultations regarding the price of a new crown on your implant. Also each conultation may cost because you are seeing a specialist.
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Dental Crown Guarantee
How long does your physician guarantee that you will live after receiving a clean bill of health at your annual physical? In the world of medecine there are no guarantees. We all, hopefully, try to do our best at what we are trained to do, but once the patient leaves the office, there is no telling how that restoration might be abused!
How long should a crown last?
In medicine in most cases we can not make guarantees... I suggest you express your concerns with the dentist and perhaps something can be done. Keep in mind you and all pt. should have dental radiographs every 1-2 yrs. and exams around every 6 months to help prevent these types of issues. Good luck
Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD CEO Baystate Dental PC
I am sorry to say inform you, but I think he is reasonable. I do the same with my patients. I warranty my work as long as they remain recular patients and follow protocol (e.g. no smoking with implants). The law and the boards do not require any warranty of dental work. If you have medical procedures of other types (e.g. heart surgery, spinal surgery, cosmetic surgery) none have a guarantee for any period of time. You can die during heart surgery and the surgeon is still paid. Spinal surgery is not guarantted to get you out of pain and the surgeon still gets paid. You may not like the results of a cosmetic procedure - the surgeon still is paid. Dentistry is unique in offering some guarantee on our work. Many will offer a 5 year guarantee with a 20% per year depreciation factor. Your dentist is not being unreasonable. Maybe you can negotiate with him a bit.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
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