Dentist pulled four wrong teeth from my 10-year-old — what is justice?
May 3, 2013 6:30 AM Subscribe
My son's dentist pulled four teeth that were not supposed to come out. Help me restore order to the universe.
posted by Glomar response to law & government (77 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
About ten days ago, in the middle of the second office visit for orthodontia-related extractions of some of my son's baby teeth, the dentist disappeared for a long while and then returned to tell me that all the teeth she had pulled so far had been the wrong teeth. The dentist explained that the mistake was the result of her dental office incorrectly entering the orthodontist's orders in the dental office computer.
Suffice it to say that this was a long and unpleasant visit; I walked out shaking, inadequately comforting a crying child.
In the family, we all were and still are pretty upset. The error means an additional visit and additional extractions. It complicates the orthodontia. It caused a lot of confusion and anguish for all of us.
In the face of these real and intangible injuries, we further feel that the dentist has been too proud or fearful to be as gracious as we would like.
The dentist has offered to forgive existing and future payments for the extractions if we sign a settlement that refuses to acknowledge her error or wrongdoing. I realize that is typical but it rubs my wife the wrong way; she feels like she is being asked to sign a non-apology.
Note: the orthodontist has a generous and patrician outlook on life and is going to eat the cost of the unanticipated orthodontic appliances now required. Kinda weird, but I think he is just trying to keep order and get back to the smile business.
Also note: all the teeth in question are juvenile.
What is a good approach to getting a more generous response from the dentist? We suggested that a small gift for my son would be thoughtful, but the dentist declined. I think a written apology is SUPER unlikely.
I want to de-escalate the conflict and I also want closure. I don't feel the dentist's offer is patently unfair, but I do think it is pretty weak.
Any clever suggestions on how to get what I want without signing a settlement? Or should we take what we are offered and swallow our pride?