Sedation Dental Work without Permission

I don’t know what to do. I’d developed some pretty severe anxiety and have been neglecting some important things as a result, including my dental care. I’ve been seeing a therapist and one thing he suggested just to get my oral health back on track was to see a sedation dentist until I’ve got my anxiety more under control. I thought it was a good idea. I saw a dentist and they listed out all the work I’d need. It was more than I anticipated so we set up a schedule where we’d do something called phased treatments. I’d do so much each visit and can take a break to save up for the next visit. Everything seemed to go fine with my first visit and I really thought this was going to be my answer. He was supposed to do a root canal treatment and crown along with three fillings. When I got home I was thrilled because I didn’t even remember the appointment so there was no trauma to increase my anxiety. However, the next morning, they called to tell me he was able to fit in a second dental crown in the time they had and they want submit the additional payment. I mentioned we had a set schedule for the work and I wouldn’t have the money for the additional procedure until the next scheduled time. She threatened not to bond the permanent crowns once they came in. I’m not sure this is fair because we had an agreement. What do I do?


Dear Odessa,

A woman lsleeping in a dental chair from dental sedation
Dental sedation is designed to give you peace of mind.

This is highly unethical on the part of your dentist. In fact, I’d go so far as to say he could get into legal trouble for his actions. A dentist is to have your express permission before doing any dental work. There’s no way he can obtain your permission while you’re under sedation.

I’d call and ask to speak directly to the dentist. Remind him you had a schedule for the work and did not approve the additional crown. Let him know what the front office threatened. If he has integrity, he’ll agree to place the crowns and not charge you for the one done without your permission.

If he gives you any problems with that, feel free to tell him you’ll be speaking with the dental board. That should put things back into perspective for him.

Find a Different Sedation Dentist

You should not allow this office to continue to do your care. I wouldn’t trust them. They’ve already violated dental ethics on a couple of levels. There are plenty of legitimate sedation dentists out there who are worthy of your trust. I’d not waste another moment on a practice which isn’t.

Make a list of dentists who offer the services you need in your area. Then, be certain to check their reviews to see what type of service patient’s have received from them. If they check out, then give them a try. Your current dentist is required to turn over all notes, x-rays, etc., that will be useful in your continued care. Though, this dentist should place the permanent porcelain crowns for you.

Please don’t let this one bad apple spoil you off getting the care you actually need.

This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.