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Old 27.11.2017, 15:51
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Issue with dentist

I am considering engaging legal help but before I do, figured I'd check whether any EF'ers have any insights to share.


Earlier this year I met with an orthodontist to sort issues with my teeth and jaw. Braces prescribed and fitted. Fixed fee, all papered, staggered payments, all with a "reputable clinic" in Zug.


2 months of regular appointments and all seemed to be going well. Then 2 appointments cancelled by the clinic on basis of the orthodontist having family emergencies. Then he was "on holidays for 4 weeks", then he was "sick". A visit to the clinic elicited news that the orthodontist had actually been fired, and a replacement was pending. 4 months later, no replacement and the clinic "chef" is never available to meet or speak with me.


With the help of the Zug health office, I've been able to secure my records, xray's and casts from the clinic, and have met with another orthodontist who has advised that the treatment being done was incorrect, with damage to my teeth. He has proposed removal of my braces, and starting treatment all over again. Cost difference is significant. Plus I'm already out of pocket several thousand from the payments made to the original clinic. Not to mention the pain & ulcers and all the nonsense that goes with having braces fitted....


At this point - my plan is to write formally to the original clinic, requesting refund of the monies I've paid, plus have them cover the cost difference for the new provider, plus a nominal amount to cover the time wasted/angst/damage caused etc. I've had help drafting this in Swiss-Deutsch so there should be no misunderstanding! I am however not wanting to try a US style "sue the bastards for every buck I can" approach.


My question - is it normal in CH for the consumer to try a direct resolution approach for this type of issue, or should I just go straight to a solicitor?


Since the issues started, I've learnt that there is a professional association for the dental profession (SSO) who would normally be the escalation point, but it is NOT compulsory for dental clinics to join - a definite "watch out" for any punters thinking about which dental practice to engage.
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Old 27.11.2017, 15:53
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Re: Issue with dentist

No idea but Id give them the chance to reply and maybe refund you?

You can always hit with a lawyer later and also check with an Ombudsman before that.

Bad story, good luck to you!
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Old 27.11.2017, 16:13
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Re: Issue with dentist

Thanks, bad story indeed, and not an experience I was expecting after so many great transactions with so many other service providers since I've lived in this country. The health office and SSO have since shared that this clinic has had multiple issues with patient concerns but they have no power to help.


And knowing how my own profession is regulated, I never dreamt that a dental clinic could operated without regulatory protection for consumers. Lesson learnt....make sure your dentist/orthodontist is actually an SSO member!
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Old 27.11.2017, 16:42
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Re: Issue with dentist

Smileygreebins, sorry you have to go through this.

Yes, approaching the practice that was at fault (in your opinion anyway) is the standard procedure, but I wouldn't do it by confronting them with your ideas as to how to settle the case. Just let them know that according to a second opinion something went terribly wrong (you may include details) and that the treatment has to be redone, financial consequences and all. Then ask them what they can do to resolve the matter.

However, please keep in mind that the second opinion needn't be the right one. There's an old saying in dentistry: "If you ask five dentist about their opinion on a given dental / oral issue, you'll get five completely different suggestions. If it is an orthodontic problem, you'll get seven."
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Old 27.11.2017, 17:38
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Re: Issue with dentist

Is this the kind of thing covered by legal insurance?
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Old 27.11.2017, 19:20
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Re: Issue with dentist

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Is this the kind of thing covered by legal insurance?
No idea, but I don't (knowingly) have that kind of coverage. Presumably the practice must have some kind of professional indemnity though...
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Old 27.11.2017, 19:32
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Re: Issue with dentist

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No idea, but I don't (knowingly) have that kind of coverage. Presumably the practice must have some kind of professional indemnity though...
Yes they must.
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Old 29.11.2017, 11:38
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Re: Issue with dentist

Something like this happened to me. I just went back to my dentist with the new X-ray and they fixed the problem. I'd recommend a softer approach to start with.
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Old 29.11.2017, 18:21
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Re: Issue with dentist

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Something like this happened to me. I just went back to my dentist with the new X-ray and they fixed the problem. I'd recommend a softer approach to start with.

Thanks. Issue remains that the clinic still doesn't have a replacement orthodontist though. "Nice" letter sent by registered mail to the clinic today. Let's see what happens....
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Old 29.11.2017, 18:41
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Re: Issue with dentist

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Thanks. Issue remains that the clinic still doesn't have a replacement orthodontist though. "Nice" letter sent by registered mail to the clinic today. Let's see what happens....
You might want to consider a 3rd opinion, one dentist saying that another one screwed up, to get himself more money in the pocket is nothing new.
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