ED Magedson – Founder
Western Dental320 Cherokee Ln Lodi, California USA
Western Dental This is not a dental office, it is a patient mill! The primary focus is $$$ contracts not care! Lodi California
We are a military family who recently relocated from out-of-state. I cracked a temporary cap over the holiday and simply needed the temporary repaired until I can find a new regular dentist and have impressions taken and a permanent cap ordered. I found Western Dental through the Army health insurance website, as they are a preferred network provider.
I made an appointment for the same day and arrived early; despite the former, I still waited for over one hour before being seen. They called my name and brought me into what looked like the makeshift examining room of a hospital in a third-world country. I had my records and x-rays in hand from my regular family dentist (of 11 years) ; they refused them and instead, took full x-rays (billing my insurance $200). Why they needed xrays at this time to simply repair a temporary tooth was beyond my reasoning at the time, but I assumed I would be continuing care with them in the future, so I cooperated.
Following xrays, they formulated an extensive treatment plan for basically every single thing you could possibly think of (including replacing a set of costly partials which are less than 3 years old); then worked up an equally extensive bill and payment plan. Additionally, to my chagrin, they checked my credit without my knowledge or consent (in all fairness, it is likely that consent may have been hidden away somewhere in minute writing in the volumes of redundant paperwork I had to fill out before I was seen...so that might be an oversight on my part for not reading every single thing thoroughly).
Finally, after much frustration and delay, I expressed to them that I could not enter into any financial contract or obligation without first speaking with my husband. I also asked if they were going to fix my temporary cap today, so that I could leave with my tooth repaired: the issue I originally came in to have resolved!! They said no, that I would need dental surgery to resolve it and they scheduled an appointment for 3 days later. They told me I could, at that time, work out a plan based on accomplishing the dental work incrementally; and therefore, enabling a more affordable solution. They flat out refused to make a cap for me (in the future) if I intended to keep the partials I currently have. In order to get my cap I would have to agree to having them make me a knew set of partials. I told them that I had already spent over $10,000 on my teeth in the last 3 years and was not expecting to have such an expense so soon.
I reluctantly returned to have the recommended procedure (crown lengthening and temporary cap). However, after agreeing to have the procedure and pay for it in full that day, they still insisted I sign a contract for the remaining work (which could not be performed until the site healed in 6 weeks). I declined and questioned why I would pay for services that far into the future that would not be performed for over 6 weeks. She went to ask the dentist....THE DENTIST...about the contract and he said no, he would not do the procedure unless I contracted for the future work, as it is a packaged deal. I said, so he will not fix my tooth today? Even if I pay for it right now? She said, "no." I thanked her for her time and left the office.
This place has Dentists wheeling and dealing with patients over monetary contracts. Any time you have a doctor or dentist discussing money or the cost of procedures with you....you should run the other way. A true professional will have the personnel to deal with billing and other such concerns. Doctors should not be selling and haggling- it's not a car dealership! They should be focused on doing their job, providing quality patient care. Additionally, I noticed the volume of people they were servicing; the majority relied on Medi-Cal, so probably have few options with where they can go for care. This place just adds on as many procedures as they can to unsuspecting people who trust these scam artists; they then bill insurance for as much as they can and pressure people into signing contracts for payment plans.
I have never heard of a dentist refusing to provide service, especially to a patient willing to pay in full, with the caveat of the patient forced to commit to future procedures AND pay for them that far in advance.
Western Dental's practices are highly unethical and predatory. Additionally, their customer service and patient care are non-existent. If you have the option to do so, go somewhere else. They have a terrible reputation for the quality of their dental work in addition to all that I have noted. They are scam artists; highly manipulative and not interested in patient care; patients are merely cattle with dollar signs to these people.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/10/2014 02:11 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/western-dental/lodi-california-95240/western-dental-this-is-not-a-dental-office-it-is-a-patient-mill-the-primary-focus-is-1114580. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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