This Family dental group uses intimidation, fear and persuasion to scam people and insurance companies out of hundreds of dollars, much like a mechanic or used car salesman would do. They stretch the visits out to get paid by the insurance companies. They prey on those who come to them in trust, and take advantage of the fact that the general public assumes the clinic what they are talking about and perhaps to get more money than they would if they were not covering HMO insurance.
After searching the internet and talking with friends in the area, I heard similar stories about this office telling people they have gum disease and must have a 3 visit expensive treatment not covered by their HMO insurance.
I went in for a general cleaning, only to come out 2 hours later with nothing accomplished. I had my x-rays taken, and an assistant look through my mouth with a small camera and show me various things in freeze frame on the monitor next to me. He said it was clear that I had a few cavities that were obvious for anyone to see, and that I was at the early stages of gum disease.
Then the doctor came in and looked at my teeth and at the images on the freeze frame. She said I dont have any cavities but that it was necessary for me to get preventative care for gum disease for obvious reasons, because she cares for my teeth and my health. Yeah right.
She left and the assistant went over all the horrible things about gum disease, he left these horrible images on the screen to reinforce the necessary treatment, he showed me handouts, literature, articles and images on the wall. He said I had to come in and have this 3 visit treatment, including an antibiotic called Arestin, and that because my insurance doesnt cover everything, it would be $750 out of pocket, to be paid that day. He left me in the room for another 10 minutes, but I had already been there almost 2 hours and was getting impatient.
I went to leave through the lobby and I heard a commotion in the back and he literally chased after me with panic in his eyes. He wanted me to leave the entire amount that day, or at least half or a deposit of some sort. Looking back it seemed like he was working on a commission. We ended up getting into a confrontation / heated discussion about me not paying this amount in full that day. I should have gone with my instincts then and left.
Hesitantly, I made an appointment and had my first irrigation cleaning. There would be a second treatment for the other side of my mouth, and then another cleaning appointment of some sort. By having patients come in many times, they are able to charge the insurance company per visit.
In my first deep cleaning appointment, the only treatment done was a drill cleaning into my gums on one side of my mouth, and 2 treatments of Arestin. No polish or cleaning whatsoever. The girl at the front desk said I had cavities that needed to be treated, which I dont. I paid $333.000, half of the treatment cost and left with a horribly uneasy feeling in my stomach.
The next day, I contacted my family dentist from years back, whom I trust but is not covered in my HMO plan, and explained the situation. They said it sounded like a scam, that Arestin is hardly ever used and that if I wanted it, they would do it for free. I immediately cancelled my 2nd and 3rd appointment with Hillcrest Family Dental. They didnt seem concerned or surprised in the least bit.
I began to search the internet for information and the first search to come up was Insider Pages. I found similar experiences to mine posted regarding this Dental Center being a scam. Ive listed the responses at the end of this letter. I wish I had done this first
Again, I am writing to highly recommend the investigation into Hillcrest Family Dental scam operations. Look beyond their jargon and contracts and see what they are really doing! Save others from being ripped off!
San Diego, California