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How Can I Get a Refund from My Dentist?

Woman with dark hair thinking, portraying how to get a refund from a dentistHow can you get a refund from a dentist if you’ve had faulty dental work or a dentist did not fulfill their agreement? One way is to leverage the fact that written requests for refunds from a dentist can go on record with The National Practitioner Data Bank.

What Is the National Practitioner Data Bank?

The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) is a database that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services operates. It contains records of medical malpractice payments and adverse action reports on health care providers. A dentist must report refunds to the NPDB for requests that patients submit in writing or that the dental practice’s account pays. Dentists want to avoid having records of their refunds in the NPDB.

How Can You Ask for a Refund?

You ask for a refund from your dentist with a direct verbal request. Remember, refunds from patients’ verbal requests do not require dentists to notify the NPDB. So, if your dentist hesitates to refund you, you can remind them that your request is verbal and does not require reporting to the NPDB. You might say, “I prefer not to make a written request or hire a lawyer to get a refund. Can we keep it simple?” Your conversation may prompt your dentist to refund you so that they can avoid having the refund recorded in the NPDB database.

For additional information on how to talk with your dentist about problems with their work, please refer to the Problems with Your Dentist page from the American Dental Association.

How Can You Minimize the Risks of Needing a Refund?

Any dentist can make a mistake. But you can minimize the risks of negligence or faulty dental work with these steps:

  • Ask friends or family members for recommendations.
  • Check patients’ reviews online.
  • Look at dentists’ websites for their credentials and experience.

For example, if you want porcelain veneers, look for a dentist with post-graduate training and experience in cosmetic dentistry. For replacing missing teeth, look for a dentist with dental implant credentials. You can schedule consultations with at least two dentists, discuss your concerns, and ask to see their patients before and after photos of cases like yours.

Dr. Thaddeus Michalski of Rocky Hill, Connecticut, sponsors this page. Read about what Dr. Michalski does to provide patients with some of the best dental care in Rocky Hill.

Dental Implant Delay Because a Sinus Perforation Won’t Heal

A sinus perforation after a second molar extraction is not healing. I wanted to schedule a consultation for a dental implant and probably a bone graft in June, but the perforation will not heal. My dentist asked me to be patient, but it’s been five months. How long should I wait before getting a second opinion? Thank you. Kasia


Thank you for contacting Radiant Smiles of Rocky Hill regarding a sinus perforation and delay in getting a dental implant.

How Long Does It Take for a Sinus Perforation to Heal?

Five months is enough time for mild to moderate sinus perforation to heal. Large perforations can take longer. Feel free to get a second opinion whenever you want. Although a sinus perforation does not necessarily mean that a dentist or oral surgeon was negligent, the dental professional who removed your tooth should take responsibility for giving you follow-up care and ensuring your recovery is as smooth as possible.

Why Would a Sinus Perforation Occur?

Three dental implants placed close together
A sinus perforation must heal to give dental implants a healthy start

A sinus perforation may occur when a thin layer of bone or membrane separates tooth roots from the sinus. Has your dentist or oral surgeon attempted to close the opening? We recommend asking for a referral to an oral surgeon or seeking a second opinion on your own.

An unhealed perforation will delay your dental implant treatment because a dental implant requires the following:

  • Healthy bone to support the implant
  • Healthy gum tissue to heal around the implant
  • Stabile environment to help a dental crown on the implants

Getting a Dental Implant After a Sinus Perforation

You can expect a highly trained implant dentist or oral surgeon to assess and repair your sinus perforation. A sinus augmentation or bone graft will ensure your dental implant has a healthy foundation that will integrate with the implant.

Request a consultation or second opinion promptly to repair the tear and promote healing.


Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist and Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologist, sponsors this post.