I made an initial contact with Western Dental on May 11, 2007 for just a few issues (I felt a cavity) in my mouth. They ran x-rays and came up with a boat-load of things that needed to be done, inclluding replacing gold crowns and doing root canals and partials. I was surprisedl, to say the least. However, I gave them the insurance information I had that would only pay for Western Dental Services. They drew up a contract and I signed it.
Then, they pulled a bunch of teeth in my upper right side and told me to come back to make an impression for the partial. I came back, waited 3 hours, and they proceeded to then tell me about other problems and never made the impression. When I came back (another 2-3 hour wait) they made an impression. In fact, they kept making the impression wrong so I had to keep coming back and waiting for hours in a roomfull of noisy and unruly children whose parents thought they were just being cute and "age appropriate."
They then began other work and this went on and on for several months. In the meantime, I was without any teeth on the right side of my mouth and could only eat on my left side or chew with my front teeth like a rabbit. They took out gold fillings and crowns and replaced them with white fillings and crowns. I asked for the gold back. They told me they had to clean them out first and they would be ready when I came back, AGAIN. Well, guess what? They lost the fillings.
Also, during this initial 5 month period, I was in the middle of a procedure and they stopped the procedure to make me sign a new contract because they goofed up the first one. I cried hysterically because I had been waiting and waiting, my teeth were now in horrible shape since I had first come in, and it wasn't my fault that they screwed up the first contract. It was their problem but they refused to continue anymore treatment, including the treatment I was in the middle of, until I signed the contract. I was under the influence of valium at the time as well because dentist's make me nervous and they had prescribed it for me. Everytime I asked for nitrous instead, it was never available. The tanks were always empty.
It is now January, 2009. I still do not have the permanent partial and since 2007 have never had a permanent because it keeps getting sent back because they never fit. In the meantime, all my teeth on the left side had to be pulled because of the non-fitting temporary partial that I finally got late last year and because all I could do was eat on that side. At the beginning of 2007, because I could not eat food regularly, I went from 145 pounds down to 102 pounds in a six month period of time and was losing weight very rapidly. We were even planning my funeral.
102 pounds on a 5'8" woman's frame is skeletal, to say the least. I had no power and could not even step up a curbside without someone lifting me up. My doctors couldn't figure out why I was losing weight other than I couldn't eat anything. I've been drinking hi protein and hi calorie nutritional shakes (yuk!) and had gone up to 120 pounds; however, I'm dropping again and I'm down to 116 after just one week. I'm doing my best to keep my strength up by walking the dogs up the hilll behind my house, etc.
When I went in to see the one doctor I thought I could trust, she admitted that my front teeth would eventually have to be replaced and a full top denture put in. The was just a bandaid. She didn't know how long it would be before those teeth were in jeopardy of falling out. She also admitted that the reason that the two Zoom! procedures they had done didn't work because my teeth had so little enamel left on t hem that they were translucent. That cost me $400 and they won't credit my account for that.
In fact, they have sent me to collections and my credit report says I owe them over $5,000 which is about $3500 more than what the first contract was for. There are so many contracts in my file that they say I signed, that I don't have copies of or remember doing, that it's ridiculous. They have gone through FOUR different office managers and have made many, many changes to their office staff in the last 2-1/2 years. They say that they have documented all the times they called me and left voice mail messages for me to come in and I didn't return those calls. Total lie.
Did they also document the many, many times my husband and I came in, waited for hours to see the dentist, only to be finally told that they didn't have the appliances in and my time was for not? Nope. Her people wouldn't behave like that. But this latest office manager wonder just arrived and just replaced everyone. I asked her if she even knew any of these supposed wonderful people that she replaced over the last 2-1/2 years? Nope.
I finally have a new insurance plan and went to see my new dentist who is a graduate of USC dental school, one of the finest schools in the United States. He took xrays and told me that because of the unnecessary and shoddy work they did that my entire mouth has to be reconstructed. I cried and cried and he said he was very sorry and if I needed another opinion he would be welcome to that. But, I believe him. He said we could split up some of the procedure so that the cost wouldn't be so bad.
He said the top had to be done right away and a full denture put in because the front teeth had holes in them and were ready to fall out at any time. I need two implants up there in order to hold the denture in because my pallet has a very low bone structure and the denture would end up being very painful if he went any other way. He feels I've been through enough torture.
Okay, so the cost? $21,500 for a complete reconstruction. Where am I going to get that kind of money? I am currently on permanent disability and only receive a social security check. My husband already works two jobs and has taken a pay cut in one because of the economy and is in danger of losing the other, again, because they are now "streamlining" (the new pc word for downsizing) jobs in the area. It will cost $11,500 just to do the upper portion of my mouth and that was after all the discounts and insurance he gave me. I can apply for CareCredit, which I will do today, but I know I will be declined because of the false information that Western Dental has sent to all three credit bureaus.
Attorneys don't take contingency cases anymore so I just don't know what to do except start making complaints with every agency I know. If you have any suggestions, I would gladly love to hear from you. My emal addy is (((email redacted))) Thank you for listening.
Patti ****, s****. />
Desert Hot Springs, California
U.S.A. CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.