I had originally gone to Aspen Dental because it was the only dentist covered by the discount plan I had subscribed to. My first appointment should have made me suspicious because the man that was going to do the dental work on me kept being corrected by another man dressed in blue (like a surgeon) that was leaving to start his own practice.
I had received an estimate for my teeth, seven fillings and a root canal. I had several appointments to get the work done, I got the root canal done, and had a filling or two done on each appointment. During one appointment it felt as if the Novocaine didn't take effect and one minute I have the dentist working on me and the next I have the nurse holding an oxygen mask to my face. She had this terrified look on her face and when I asked her what happened she said 'nothing'. I can only assume I blacked out or had a seizure. After she took the mask off the dentist came back and continued working.
It came to the point where he tested my bite by having me bite down on a black piece of paper after which I told him my bite felt a little awkard. Instead of him grinding down the plastic crown in my mouth he started to grind down my actual teeth, not the fillings, my actual teeth.
On another occasion a piece of the epoxy cracked off in my mouth while he was doing a filling and after telling him that he did, he looked briefly and told me it didn't. To this day I have a sharp piece of epoxy between my teeth that has even made my gums in the surrounding area disform.
I had paid my bill up front, so it came as a surprise when I received a bill for $154.00. I had called the office to find out what had happened and they told me that my discount plan didn't cover the services it said it would cover. I called the company that distributes the discount plan and they said that their payment schedule didn't change and they paid the amounts they said they would. I had called back to Aspen Dental and wanted to speak to Sunday Landry their finance person only to discover she had taken a job elsewhere. So I asked the receptionist for a list of the procedures I had done because I was overcharged and I wanted to confirm it. She said she couldn't do that at their office because their invoice contained AMA numbers and that I would have to call the corporate office.
After being on hold for hours with the corporate office they said they could mail me the invoice. I received the invoice in the mail to discover there were no additional procedures beyond what Sundry Landry outlined when I first came to Aspen Dental.
I had called the Johnstown office once again to state that I was overcharged, the woman I talked to said I wasn't, and I had told her that I didn't receive any other procedures outside of what was outlined, she told me I would have to take it up with the corporate office.
Once again, on hold with the corporate office, finally I get a customer service rep which tells me there's nothing they can do, and that I would have to talk to the Johnstown office.
So yet again, I call the Johnstown office and explain that I was overcharged, to which I was told again that I would have to call the corporate office, to which I told her the corporate office told me to contact the Johnstown office. The receptionist told me that nobody was available to talk to regarding the issue and that someone would call me back that day.
Nobody called me back that day. Nor the two days that I called yet again in the preceeding two weeks. So a part of me was relieved that nobody called because I had figured they realized they screwed up and didn't want to make fools of themselves by admitting it.
Imagine my surprise when I received a letter from Med-Rev Recoveries regarding the balance on my account. I didn't know how to handle a collection agency so I looked online and sent them what was the standard response to a collection agency requesting proof of ownership of the debt, I receieved nothing to the effect, other than another form letter with verbiage similiar to the first one they sent. To which I sent my letter again. To which they sent me a third letter that was a little more harsh regarding payment. To which I didn't bother playing with these people anymore, nor did I sent in the $156.00 I didn't owe. I never heard from them after the third letter.
My credit score is still is in 800s so I assume they didn't try to slight my credit score with it however I was unable to apply for a retirement fund through liberty mutual and when I did I received a letter stating they denied my application because they were aware of 'me [you] and my [your] activities." This Aspen Dental bill is _the only bill_ I've ever failed to pay so I can only assume that it involves them.
But bottom line, I hope you find this if you're in need of dental work and you're considering Aspen Dental. Don't go to Aspen Dental. For the sake of your health, your teeth, your time and your sanity, find another office besides Aspen Dental. If I press on my gums where that epoxy is, I can feel a sharp point sticking out from the inside that makes my gums bleed. And the amount of time I had to take playing phone tennis between the Johnstown office and their corporate office, along with the stress of being threatened by a collection agency - it's simply not worth it.
And if you're a lawyer and you're reading this, if I can take some sort of legal action in spite of this happening around January to February of 2008 please get in touch with me.
I'd rather not, Johnstown, PA
I'd rather not