Can a dentist quote you a price for work before the procedure starts, then when they are done charge you more than the quote?

UPDATED: Sep 3, 2014

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Can a dentist quote you a price for work before the procedure starts, then when they are done charge you more than the quote?

Asked on September 3, 2014 under Business Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the following:

1) Was the quote a firm one, in writing, that they agreed to honor; or was it just an informal "this is what it usually costs"? In the former case, it may be enforceable (see below); but in the latter case, it was just informational and not binding.

2) Even if it was a firm quote, did the quote contain any terms or clauses that would let the cost increase in certain circumstances (such as if additional problems that had to be corrected were found); if so, such terms or clauses are legal, so increases may be proper.

Note that even if this was an absolutely firm written estimate with no exceptions, the dentist will not voluntarily honor it, you'd have to sue to enforce it, which may or may not be worthwhile.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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