On Thursday afternoon, August 2, I visited the ImmediaDent Dental Clinic on West 38th Street in Indianapolis. I presented with two infected teeth, #19 and #21, recessed beneath a porcelain bridge. These teeth, particularly #19, were/are severely decayed, with the infection extending through the root to the bone. The purpose of my going to ImmediaDent was to arrest an oncoming abscess; the pain was unbearable. I had not been to an ImmediaDent office before.
I arrived before 3:30 p.m. Although there were no patients before me, I wasn't called for over thirty minutes. The technician took an x-ray of only one tooth, instead of both of them. Quite awhile later, a young dentist whose name I never knew, told me #19 could be extracted right then, and the entire root dug out of the gum. He then said the girls in the office were preparing a charge list that I would have to agree to, and pay, before any work would be done. Generally, patients pay after work is completed, before they leave.
One of the girls then brought me a sheet with charges totaling $288.00, pushed it in front of me and very rudely said, pay this or leave. I gave her my credit card, but I was not given a copy of the charges. I never saw the dentist again. The technician came by to tell me he had left and that another one would be doing the work.
It took him thirty minutes to arrive. All this time, I was being force fed cable TV. While this would have been normal for a waiting room, it was suspicious that television was the most human contact in that office. Over an hour went by and a small, black dentist finally appeared, saying, You owe us more money. This man had not introduced himself, or asked me about my condition, and, incredulously, did not mention my teeth. Just: You owe us 40 more dollars-- they didn't add in the cost of breaking your bridge. Neither dentist ever looked in my mouth. I lay in the chair for almost three hours, with two doctors pretending to provide dental care, yet never looking at my teeth. This one then said, After you pay the $40.00, I'll numb your mouth. An office girl reappeared; she took forty more dollars from me. Eventually, the unknown dentist, whom I later learned is Dr. Ervin, returned, and gave me two shots of Novocain, one going through my lip and the other through my tongue.
From that point on, I never saw another ImmediaDent employee. I waited yet another hour. At one point, I heard the technician say that she was the only assistant working there. I had been forced to pay $328 before treatment---as one of the girlsexplained: We have to have the money up front because this is an URGENT CLINIC. IMMEDIATE and URGENT would place treatment as priority, then everything else.
It was now 6:10 p.m. I had been there three hours---at the Urgent Dental Clinic. I was traumatized: I came there with excruciating dental pain; I came there expecting to be treated at least within a reasonable amount of time for routine work, and, with the assurance of the office advertising that immediate treatment would be provided. The Novocain had been injected for well over sixty minutes, and I still had not been attended. I yelled, The Novocain is wearing off. Still no one came about me, no dentist appeared. My having been there three hours in pain and fright did not prompt this unprofessional staff to act ethically or honor its billing.
I had to leave. No one in ImmediaDent made an effort to stop me with assurance I would be cared for, never attempted to ascertain why I was leaving, never called me to follow-up or attempted to bring me back. ImmediaDent wanted only one thing to entice a patient into their office with the false promise that the patient will be seen immediately, particularly if the patient presents need for urgent care, as did I.
ImmediaDent forces payment out of a patient, holding her hostage while they trick more patients into the scam. In my case, there was no treatment for acute dental need as promised in their website (see copy of web page). It was fraud. Having me pay for my work before it is done is not ethical. It is more unethical not to refund my money, given that they did not work on me.
ImmediaDent practices a Bait and Switch scam on its patients with one doctor assuring them they have paid for their services in full, and when that dentist is gone, another comes in and says there are additional fees. That is deceptive business practice, accompanying deceptive advertising.
It is unethical, immoral, thievery and fraud to force a patient to pay before work has even begun; all the more so when the patient is held in excruciating pain for as long as the dentist left me. The lack of attention and treatment on the part of Dr. Ervin constitutes willful neglect of a patient.
ImmediaDent, its owner(s), practitioners and staff are guilty of
3)Bait and Switch
4)Willful neglect of a patient
Dentists have a duty to patients. A dentist should be held to a certain standard of care when providing services to a patient. A breach of this duty, as committed by Dr. Ervin and ImmediaDent, resulted in dental negligence. I suffered further pain, infection, and injury because of negligence on the part of Dr. Ervin and ImmediaDent. I also informed the Indiana Attorney General.
After filing this report with the Attorney General of Indiana, the state Licensing Board, the BBB, and the company, I received a refund of $328.00. BUT---was this medical care? What kind of "treatment" does Immediadent do? What a scam. Do not go to one of these "clinics". You will be sorry, as I was.