Dentist Won't Remove Braces Until You Pay Bill You've Already Paid

A woman in Chicago has spent the last 9 months attempting to have someone — anyone — remove the braces from her son’s teeth. See, the dentist that put them on refused to take them off because the dentist was convinced she hadn’t paid her bill in full. The dentist also called the police on her when she tried to dispute the issue in person.

According to the woman, she had taken all three of her children to the same dentist to get braces at the same time. Several months later, her two daughters’ braces were removed without incident. But when her son went to have his chompers de-braced in December, he was told the braces couldn’t be removed because $300 was owed for missed appointments and a filling that had already been paid for.

The woman says she didn’t owe any of the $300 and went back to the dentist in January to once again try to get the braces off. But when the dentist refused to see her or her son, even to discuss the supposedly unpaid bill, she admits that she lost her temper and argued with the receptionist.

That’s when the dentist’s office called the police, saying the woman had thrown a clipboard at the receptionist. The woman denies she did any such thing.

Repeated attempts to contact the dentist by phone went unanswered, so the woman took her son to other dentists to see if they would take off the braces. They refused, not wanting to assume liability for the original dentist’s work.

That’s when she contacted the Chicago Tribune’s “What’s Your Problem?” column, who also required numerous attempts to get a hold of the dentist.

Contrary to everything the woman had said, the dentist eventually told the paper, “I’ve never denied treatment… Her balance is paid in full. We can remove the braces.”

“Patients are always welcome at our facility,” added the tooth doc. “I am busy, but I don’t understand why she hasn’t just come back to have the braces removed.”

And yet the dentist admits to having called the police on the woman. So if her bill had been paid in full, then there shouldn’t have been an argument over a nonexistent overdue bill, and thus no call to the police.

Regardless, the woman’s son finally had his braces taken off last week and everyone is smiling.

Mom not smiling over dental dispute [Chicago Tribune]