In May this year I went to a dental clinic to put a dental crown in Anchorage Alaska USA. The dental clinic told me that the total cost for the crown would be US$2300. US$1300 would come from my pocket and the 1K from my health insurance. They also told that it would take 3 weeks to have it finished.

It took instead 3 months, as they made several mistakes, e.g. they made the wrong crown as full yellow gold (cheaper and they tried to convince me to accept that one) instead of porcelain fused metal (more expensive, which it was what I paid for); so, it had to be redone again. Also, their lab caught on fire, causing some delay, etc.

They also billed it in the wrong date, as end of August, although it was supposed to be billed as early June. Because of that, I needed to contact my health insurance. Then, my insurance contacted them to investigate what was going on. So, the dental clinic admitted that they billed in the wrong date, fixing it. Also the clinic admitted to have overcharged US$500 extra, $400 from me and $100 from the insurance. So, the dental clinic refunded me $400 and $100 to the health insurance.

Noteworthy to mention that the crown they put in my mouth was unleveled and was giving me pain. When I went to complain, they said that it was right and nothing was wrong with my new crown. Thank God I changed the dentist, and the new dentist found out 4 months later that my pain was caused by the new crown that was uneven. So my new dentist was kind enough to fix the troubled crown from the bad clinic, making it leveled at no extra charge.

Now in December, 6 months later, the dental clinic sent me an invoice, charging me $260 saying that it is related to that crown treatment, and that I still owe them. They say that dental clinic was expecting to receive more from the insurance, and the calculation was done wrongly and thus I still have to pay this extra bill. I explained that I have not been in their clinic for 6 months, that their service was horrible. I paid the bill in full, they overcharged, and they refunded it.

Do I still need to pay anything for this odd and unprofessional dental clinic whenever they decide to bill me - 6 months later? What if even later this clinic decides to keep sending my other invoice charging me for their horrible service?

The bad dental clinic keeps arguing that I still have to pay them another $260. which in my view is totally odd.

Any thoughts or comments? All suggestions are highly appreciated.

  • 1
    Ask your insurance if they'll intervene. Normally, they will say how much of the bill you're responsible for.
    – mkennedy
    Dec 8, 2015 at 19:41
  • On this Law SE the answers are limited to things that touch the law. I'm sure we could issue-spot some legal questions in your facts but addressing them head-on starts to look like legal advice.
    – jqning
    Jan 12, 2016 at 3:00

1 Answer 1


Play this tape forward - some day down the road this things ends up in court, either because you've sued them to make them stop trying to collect from you or because they've sued you to make you pay.

You will bring your stack of paperwork and they will bring theirs. A judge will sort it out. We don't know what's in either stack of paperwork. I bet you signed something that says that you're fully responsible for any bills, that estimates are only estimates, etc and blah blah blah.

If I were you I'd go back hard, telling them that you're not paying them anything else. That they suck and their problems are not yours. That you've already paid too much for their crappy service and if anything they should be giving you a refund. Tell them you had to go to someone else to fix what they screwed up and that you consider the account paid in full. Let them know that if they contact you again you'll be suing them in small claims court for a refund and then do it. But that's not legal advice and probably doesn't apply to your situation.

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