Is it illegal for a dentist’s office to withhold the price of a procedure until it is completed?

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Is it illegal for a dentist’s office to withhold the price of a procedure until it is completed?

I went to my dentist several weeks ago because one of my front teeth calcified. He recommended me to a specialist that would perform a root canal and bleaching. The endodontics office told me that this procedure was a unit and it’s entirety would cost me $230. Then, 2wo weeks ago, I went back to finish the root canal and they inserted a bleach capsule into my tooth. As I was leaving the office, one of the secretaries said, “Oh, and I forgot to tell you before: the bleaching will cost you an additional $340”. Is this illegal?

Asked on March 22, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, there is nothing illegal for a licensed dentist to withhold a procedure needed by a patient until the patient pays some or all of the costs up front. The dentist is providing a service and expects to be paid for such.

From what you have written, I see nothing improper with respect to the dentist's request.


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