In June of 2006, I went into the Delaware office of Dr. Mark Springer for an initial consult for some crowns on my back teeth that needed replaced. I also told him that I wanted some cosmetic work done and asked about Lumineers because they don't take any tooth away to correct your smile. He told me he didn't do Lumineers because he didn't think they would last as long as a crown, so I trusted him on that. I told him that I wanted my two front teeth to match (one had a crown, the other did not), my incisors to be even, to correct (lengthen) the teeth on the right side of my mouth that seemed to disappear when I smiled, to have my smile appear straighter rather than slightly crooked, and I wanted to the color to improve on all of the teeth. Not too difficult, right? He said that he could do everything I wanted and improve my smile a great deal. The work I wanted done wasn't all that involved, as my teeth were in good shape, with a few small things that needed correction.
In August of 2006, I went in to have the cosmetic work done. Little did I know that it is standard procedure in cosmetic dentistry to have a wax impression done before the work is started in order to make the necessary corrections and make the temps from the improved impression so that you can see how your teeth will look. It is also standard practice to have a contract written up detailing all that we agreed upon to be done and signed by both parties. Dr. Springer didn't do either of these things. He just filed nine of my teeth down and made temporaries for me to wear until the crowns were done.
It took a month for the crowns to come back. They had to send them back the first time (this should've been a big clue for me!) and have them re-made. So I went in to have them placed in September. I was really excited to see how everything would look. He put them on and before he cemented them, he asked me if I was happy with them. It was hard to see due to the numbness, but I immediately saw that there was a space that wasn't there before, the incisors looked too long and pointed...like I had fangs!, and the teeth on the right side looked exactly the same as they were before! My four front teeth were also longer and hence made the shorter teeth on the right side look even shorter. He told me that he could adjust anything aesthetically and proceeded to permanently seal the crowns on my teeth, even though I wasn't happy with them. He made some adjustments to the bite and also to the incisors to shorten them and take the fang look away. My bite never felt right.
I lived with the crowns for a few days. As I got a good look at them, I realized that I got NOTHING that I asked for and even more problems than I had before! My front four teeth were so long that they hit the inside of my lower lip at a level that made it uncomfortable for me to close my mouth all the way. The incisors still looked like fangs. The space that had not been there before was still there. The striations in the tooth color were too prominent. The molars on the right side were exactly the same, and looked even shorter as the front teeth were longer than before. As I closed my mouth, I noticed that the two front teeth weren't aligned with the bottom teeth...they are off to the side. My smile was still slightly crooked.
I called the office and let them know that I wasn't at all happy with the results. I had gotten a second opinion from Dr. Missy Baker who's practice is solely cosmetic. (How I wish I'd gone to her first!!!). She said she'd have done things much differently...and mentioned first the wax impression and the contract. She also said she'd place the crowns temporarily so that I could live with them awhile and see if I liked them. As for the work done by Dr. Springer, she said the front four teeth were too long, noted that it must be uncomfortable for me to close my mouth. She also noted the other problems that I mentioned above. She said she'd be willing to re-do them for me. So I took her estimate to Dr. Springer's office to discuss it with him, hoping I'd be able to just get my money back so that she could do the work. But he got defensive and said, "I've been doing teeth longer than she's been in practice!" Then he said, "I can do a wax model and have a contract drawn up before we re-do these". I wondered...why on earth, if I am coming to your office and spending more than $11,000, didn't you do that in the first place?!! He agreed to re-do them, much to my chagrin. I had no faith or trust in his cosmetic abilities at this point, but what other choice did I have? He didn't even consider giving me my money back. I told the office that I needed to wait to have them re-done because I had been through so much pain. I needed to forget the experience. Also, the molars on the left side of my mouth were so sensitive after this procedure, that I couldn't chew anything hard on that side, nor could I eat anything that was slightly hot or really cold, because my teeth were now so sensitive to temperature. I wanted that to dissipate, but two years later, it's still the same. Another "bonus" from Dr. Springer.
You're going to love what happened next. I was about to call his office for the re-do, when, as I was eating a sandwich, my eye-tooth broke off at the gum-line! I was HORRIFIED! I immediately called the office, told them what happened and they said to come into the Columbus office and they'd see what they could do. When I sat in the chair, did Dr. Springer say, "I'm sorry this happened"? No. The first thing he said to me was, "Repeat after me...I hit my tooth". I said, "No, I was eating a sandwich!". He kept telling me to 'repeat after him' that I hit my tooth and I was getting upset...why did he keep saying that?! So he tells one of his assistants, "She's not getting it!" And the assistant laughs, like it was some kind of inside joke or something. Then he made things clear. He said, "If you say you hit your tooth as a result of an accident, I can get it covered by your insurance 100%"!!!! Hmmmm, isn't that called INSURANCE FRAUD?!! Well I lost my tooth because he didn't adjust my bite properly. He asked me, "Do you feel that tooth more heavily with your bottom teeth as you bite down?" I said, "Yes, I feel all of my front teeth when I bite down. Then he said, "I'LL OWN THAT'!!! I thought, of course you own it...you're the professional...you adjusted my bite improperly and I lost my tooth!! So he cements the tooth back in...took about 5 minutes, and then brings me up to the front and tells the receptionist, "Amy hit her tooth...amazing how that happens, isn't it?" But at this point, since he admitted it was his fault, I didn't think he was going to actually lie to my insurance company. Well, I was wrong. Soon after that visit, I got a statement from my insurance company...he told them that it was a 'restorative' procedure and charged them over $600! Not only that, but he cemented the tooth in so that it's further back than my other front teeth and I hit it when I chew or talk sometimes. I constantly feel like it's going to come out again. He said that if that happens, he'll put a bridge in the front of my mouth...! Are you kidding?!
Needless to say, I never went back to Dr. Springer. I wrote him a letter and said that I wouldn't participate in insurance fraud with him, that I needed my teeth re-done by someone who could do it right the first time and that I wanted my money back. Actually, I only asked for $9,600, the amount it would take for Dr. Baker to re-do them. Nothing doing. I looked into different ways to get my money back, and I wish I'd found Rip-Off Report sooner! So, since I've been living with my teeth digging into my lip for several years, AND now I have an absess above the tooth that he replaced (big surprise), not only am I asking for all of my money back, but I'm including pain and suffering, and money for all that I have to do in order to get my money back...the figure comes to $16,000. He should've just given me my money back in the first place. It was the fair and right thing to do.
By the way, don't be fooled by the prominant Christian symbol he puts in his ads. There was nothing Christian about how he handled this with me. This is a direct quote from his web site:
"Welcome to the dental practice at Mark Springer DDS & Assoc., specializing in general dentistry for any patient. FROM COSMETIC DENTISTRY to dentures and partials, BONDING TO SMILE DESIGN, WE'LL MAKE SURE THAT YOU WALK OUT OF OUR OFFICES WITH THE PERFECT SMILE THAT YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED!" Umm...no...not true.
I'm here to prove that one person can make a difference. Dr. Springer needs to own up to what he's done to my teeth and pay me.