Export, Pennsylvania
32.3K views
Not resolved
58 comments

As a self-employed 45 yr old with really good teeth and no health or dental insurance, I neglected visiting the dentist for 15 or so years. I had chipped a front tooth several years ago and had since developed a cavity which was causing discoloration, I also was aware of a small surface cavity on another tooth visible when I smiled.

My vanity won and I called Aspen Dental based on their accepting my dental discount card, their advertising (sucker!), their convenient location, and the speed at which I could get an appointment. When I initially called I told them I wanted my front tooth fixed, which of course I could not get without a complete comprehensive exam and x-rays which were offered for free. At my first appointment I was pleasantly surprised. I was treated respectfully and really liked the dentist.

He told me I had 4 cavities, the 2 that I knew of, and two more. My teeth were in great shape for not seeing the dentist for years, no gum disease, and no major work needing done. I did get a soft sell for their "toothbrush", but I wasn't interested and was not pressured. I was told that he was comfortable filling all 4 teeth at one appointment, and off I went to the "office manager" for my "treatment plan" I was given a plan that included procedure codes, the normal charge, the adjustment offered as a result of my dental discount plan, and my out of pocket expense which was upwards of $600.

I was told I had to pay 60% of the total plan before they would schedule my appointment, which was around $350. I whipped out the credit card. I was scheduled for the following week for 4 fillings, but their hygenist was off that day so I would have to come back for my cleaning. Again no problem for me.

When I arrived for my next appointment, I was told that I needed to pay the balance of my "treatment plan" cost to which I replied that I would only pay in full for what I was scheduled for that day. I charged another $40+. When I got into the dentist's chair, a dentist who I had never seen before introduced herself, looked at my "treatment plan" and said I had 5 cavities and she thought she could do "a few" of them today. When I told her I was told I had 4 and that they could all be done at once she asked to see the xrays and told the assistant to cross one of them off the list, there was no cavity there.

And the work began. After 3 cavities were filled, I was told I could get the other done when I came back for my cleaning. Again no problem. I had alot of roughness after polishing, but couldn't tell exactly how much because I was still numb.

I was told that their "bonding" felt a little rough but might brush off. If additional polishing was needed I could just get it done at my next appointment. I was not offered a mirror even though 2 of the cavities had a cosmetic component to them.

On leaving and stopping at the receptionist's desk to schedule my next appointment, I asked for a statement of the work I had done and how much of a credit I had as I didn't get all the work done that I was scheduled for.

I was told I would have a "big" credit, but she couldn't tell me how much until their system updated after 11PM. I got out my "treatment plan" and asked her if she could identify which procedures I had done, and I could do the math. She said she was not able to do that?!? She had to wait of the "insurance to update overnight".

I don't have insurance, just a dental discount plan. The amounts I was to be charged were clear on my "treatment plan". Nope, she had to wait for the "system to update". HUH?

JUST TELL ME WHICH 3 TEETH I HAD FILLED????? NOPE! Though after some pressuring she could identify with a highlighter the error on my "treatment plan" which was the non-existent 5th cavity. After a pretty civil disagreement, and lots of *** from her, I asked her when exactly I could find out how much of a credit I had, I was told that I could call the next morning after 11AM.

Off I went. I called the next morning and was told that I had a $170 credit. When I asked if I could have either a statement mailed or emailed to me as verification, I was told that I could not. It was against "corporate policy".

AND why again couldn't I get it when I was there????? Because their system had not "updated". I was told I would have to come into the office because it was "corporate policy" that any changes in a "treatment plan" had to be done in person. What change in my "treatment plan"??????

Well, it seems the the deletion of the cavity that I DID NOT HAVE constituted a change in my "treatment plan". When I asked why I was not told that the day before while I was IN THEIR OFFICE, I got no answer. And when I asked if their "corporate policy" allowed exceptions for THEIR ERRORS, again I had to come into the office. She got increasingly rude and I asked to speak to the "office manager".

He got on the phone and kept towing the corporate line. Then began speaking to me like I was a 3 year old!!!! At that point I couldn't get to their office fast enough. I arrived shortly after, was seen by the "office manager" after a short wait.

He didn't say a word except to hand me my new "treatment plan" and a statement saying I had a $170 credit. At which point I asked for a refund of the credit and to cancel my appointment. He said nothing, turned to his computer, worked for a few minutes, turned back and said that the credit was processed but it may take up to 6 weeks to get to my credit card company since it had to go through "corporate". When I asked if I could please have a written statement that the credit had been issued, he literally THREW a piece of paper accross the desk at me!!!!!

When I explained to him why I was so upset and disagreed with their "corporate policy", he said in a raised voice "So I made a mistake! I'm sure you've made a mistake or two in your life!" To which I replied "Absolutely, my most recent mistake was coming here." As soon as I was in my car I called my credit card company. They informed me that their agreement with Aspen Dental required the credit to be issued within 2 weeks. I then called Aspen's corporate office, customer satisfaction line, and on and on.

Long story short, after return calls from corporate, and the district manager, I was still pissed, and still had no explanation of what their "corporate policies" are! I am extremely dissatisfied with the two fillings that are visible and have reluctantly agreed to go to a different office further away to see if they can fix them to my satisfaction. But after reading multiple complaints, I am afraid!!!!

Aspen Dental overcharged me initially due to an "error" on my "treatment plan", requested more money than was due for my second appointment, failed to complete the work that I was scheduled and ALREADY PAID FOR during that appointment, and attempted to confuse me by talking in circles for hours!!!!! After reading multiple complaints, I wonder if I hadn't been paying close attention during the first consultation if I would have ended up with 5 fillings?

As a health care professional, I am outraged that a company offering medical or dental services does not offer their patients a super-bill like statement after EVERY appointment that verifies work completed!!!!!!! Read everything! Sign nothing under pressure! Ask for repeated explanations!

Watch your wallet! If you are elderly, easily confused, hard of hearing, or even nervous, take along and a friend or family member as an advocate! If at all possible, do not pay cash or use their credit services, use a third party credit card so you have some avenue of dispute!!!! Document, Document, Document!!!

Or better yet, find a private dentist through personal referrals and ask them to work with you or try a nearby dental school that offers quality care for reduced fees. DO NO GO TO ASPEN DENTAL!!!!! I have 25 years in the healthcare industry with empahsis on healthcare administration, and it can be complicated. However, their attempts to manipulate, confuse, bully and just plain *** were transparent to me.

Please be vigilant!

You are the last line of defense. I'm so upset by my experience and reading some of your stories that this may be my next advocacy mission!

Product or Service Mentioned: Aspen Dental Dental Exam.

Do You Have Something To Say ?
Write a review

Comments

You will be automatically registered on our site. Username and password will be sent to you via email.
Post Comment
Anonymous
#1745230

Thank you guys for warning me about Aspen dental. I was thinking about making an appointment there because of the tv commercials and because they are so close by.

Again, thanks. I dodged a bullet.

Anonymous
#1740414

My son went to Aspen dental in Newport, KY, and had a similar experience.

Anonymous
#1720483

I had a similar situation to the "pissed off customer". I too had a chipped front tooth.

I went to Aspen dental because it was easy to get an appointment. I was prepared to pay in cash, the cost of the filling which was about $165. However, they demanded that X-rays be done. Then one of their staff, possibly a manager came in to discuss the X-rays.

She flat out lied to me about how serious my teeth were. She said I had the early stages of gum disease and there was infection in my bloodstream. I needed a deep cleaning, else I would be susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, and wouldn't be able to have children if I was trying. She acted as if this was necessary that I have the procedure done immediately, asap.

And they wouldn't fix the chipped tooth until the deep cleaning was done. I had no insurance. And they confused me, bullied me into thinking that my health was at risk. They never thoroughly explained how their payment plan worked until I signed the agreement.

Then, I learned that the interest rates are outrageous. Not only that, but I have another cavity they neglected. That was not important to fix that. They only wanted to do a procedure they could charge me more money for.

Now, I'm out a thousand dollars for a deep cleaning that was not life threatening or immediately necessary to have done. It could have waited a couple of years, maybe longer. They keep charging me interest, and adding on fees. They are harassing me daily with calls and texts from various states.

I disputed the charges with the company because I felt how they handled my situation was unfair, it was unethical, and I wasn't valued or respected as a patient in need of care. They only wanted to perform a procedure they could charge me more money for, leaving a cavity to rot. Their company determined after "their investigation" that I didn't need a refund or even a discount. Although they misled me, lied, pressured, and bullied me into signing a contract that wasn't an immediate need.

This company needs to be held accountable for how they're treating their patients. They're preying on people without insurance, who cannot afford to pay the expense of a thousand dollars out of pocket. They make sure everyone has a minimum finance amount. Don't ever finance anything with this company.

I have made a terrible mistake by ever going to Aspen Dental. I was suffering for dental work because I haven't seen a dentist in about 12 years. This only hurt me and my credit. My teeth are worse now than when they performed this so called deep cleaning, in which my teeth were never cleaned or polished.

The filling in the chip is already looking discolored, and the other cavity was never fixed. They expect me to pay for the way they treated me and ruin my credit if I don't.

NEVER AGAIN! To the lady that lied, upset me, and bullied me into thinking that my situation was life threatening, I hope those words come back to you, and you'll be the one with those health concerns and no one helps your needs.

Anonymous
#1616701

Yes! Aspen dental will do free xrays but if you do not have dental insurance?

They will help you with Comenity-dentalfirst that will suck you dry and if you miss a payment oh boy they will be xalling you and texting you and email you constantly.Annd want you do hardship and mess up your credit score a big times!!!! I wonder what the lawyers think about it if they see it whst they did????!

Hardship programs 60 months payment plans do $55 a month but still put you on charge off and mess up your credit score where you can't get no help.I been on hardship since end of august and they do autopay out of my account each month and then put that chargeoff on my credit record???? Isn't that illegal?????

Anonymous
#1608174

Oh ok.....

Anonymous
#1606904

I had nothing done there and talked about pulling out my teeth they won’t stop calling me they say I owe them money they call every day non stop NEVER go there

HelpCenter_PissedConsumer
#1600716
On Behalf of Pissed Consumer Help Center
Find out how to get a refund from Aspen Dental, how to contact its corporate office, and what warranties and guarantees Aspen Dental offers on its dentures in the article:"Best Answers to 6 Aspen Dental Questions from Community Members"
Anonymous
#1601204
@HelpCenter_PissedConsumer

This post is not on Pissed Consumer, but leads you to an Aspen corporate propaganda site!

Anonymous
#1526773

I was in the same boat only 3000 later. For *** I went rounds for refunds, complaints in person, and cancelled invoice with my credit card company.

Had to go back many times for whitening as it didn’t work.

120 tooth brush for really. Services I never needed.

Anonymous
#1499544

going to them now,not happy with the finance scam.thinking of quitting them intirely.

Anonymous
#1516180
@harry seager

Don't go to aspen. You have just been warned.!

Anonymous
#1740321
@harry seager

“Entirely”

Anonymous
#1496787

I DO NOT RECOMMEND ASPEN TO ANYONE!!! They lie!!!

I have Temp.dentures for now because I have one infected tooth. They have me antibiotics, infection is gone, but now the temp dentures are rubbing the crap of my gums. I won't be able to get my Implants for 3 more freaking months!! I get adjustments about once a week, I need my implants!!!

Can not chew anything with these temp.

dentures!! Longview Aspen sucks!!

Anonymous
#1740322
@Anonymous

If there is an active infection present, you cannot move forward with implants until it clears. Rushing implants can transfer the infection into your bone where the implants would be placed.

Anonymous
#1476219

I went to Aspen as I have no Insurance haven't been in 6 years and my sister went there she mentioned you can get an exam for free. the office personal were nice friendly and helpful.

My exam went well no cavities not much plaque so I scheduled a cleaning. Went in for my cleaning all went well until the end she asked me if I thought my teeth were clean, an odd statement from a hygienist you would think she would know. I noticed the time I have never had my teeth cleaned in 15 minutes.....and for 148.00. I will never go back.

After my first visit they sent me a email asking me how I liked my visit...after the second one nothing. I am not sure what kind of dentist these places have but I will find a nice local dentist the next time...

Anonymous
#1476573
@Martha P

What kind of dentists do "these places" have? Only the youngest and most inexperienced dentists that cannot find a job anywhere else. Another favorite is foreign graduates with H1B visas that the corporation can force to run their scams.

Anonymous
#1740323
@ClydeDDS

More than half the dentists graduated years ago. My practice that I visit has had his license for 12 years.

The next town over, they’ve had their license for six.

Merely look on the wall to see where and when they graduated. Moron.

Anonymous
#1470196

YES I WOULD, I went to Aspen Dental on 4/19 and had exam, cleaning and x-rays. Dentist came in looked at x-rays and mouth said "you need a crown, a previous filling has broken and lodged in my gums.

Seems it had not broken off completely. No other explanations". This visit cost me $245 plus a charge of $1,000+ to a credit card. I got a second opinion a week later, seems I only needed a new filling for the broken one.

Also was explained what happened and no I DID NOT NEED A CROWN. Had two more fillings replaced the following day at a cost of $385 and need two more plus deep cleaning that will cost me $500+. Seems I am saving half of the first payment I charged and if had kept the next appointment was looking at another $1,100+.

I need to contact my credit card and Aspen to get my money back since I cancelled the second appointment. Would not recommend this clinic and so glad I sought second opinion.

Anonymous
#1468593

Aspen Dental makes ALL of these statements on TV commercials that aren't true! Such as "payments as low as $27 per month....not true!

If you don't have the money "up front" or have a 3rd party credit card like Care Credit you're just on the hook for paying for services yourself.I agree, it is very nice that your first visit, examination and bitewing and panoramic x-rays are free. That is very rare. I had been to a dentist a day or two before, who did the same x-rays, an examination and explanation of what I would need and showed me my x-rays on a large TV screen which detailed everything they were pointing out. I really liked this office and since I'm dentist phobic and HATE needles PERIOD!

But I did have to pay $146 for that visit and they were going to deeply relax or put me to sleep and do "all the work in one day". However, they wanted over $6300. At that time I did not have a dental discount plan and could not afford what they wanted.So I thought "well you hear so much about Aspen Dental, I'll call them". I was seen the next day!

Fantastic! As previously said, the 1st visit and exam truly was free! Then.........before I could leave I had to talk to someone in the office about the "financial arrangement". I was told $1825.80 for all of the work except for the partial.

I had to pay the $1825.80 that day from my Care Credit which I really had not wanted to do.They did not "see" or show me what the other office did. I'd already been told on of my upper teeth had a lot of "stress-like" cracks where possibly I grind my teeth. They told me a filling wouldn't work it would need to be capped or crowned. Aspen however, apparently did not see that or pay attention or care or whatever.

I had 2 teeth pulled and 3 filled the same day because I told them once my mouth was numb they'd better do it all. One of the 3 filled was the one with the cracks in it.I know what this gentleman is talking about when speaking about the "rough" fillings. So are mine as well as sharp places on them. I paid for my teeth to be cleaned.

They're not clean and now can't get them clean I don't care how much I brush. However I am THRILLED with the whitening! My teeth are several shades whiter than before!I called the office yesterday to get explanations about the charges since I did buy and pay for a year of discount dental access. After re-doing what I had paid at first I had a fairly nice credit.

I asked how much my partial was going to be after the discount and was told over $1100! They wanted me to pay another $206 for a mouth guard making it over $1300 which I was quoted for that in the first place! There's no discount there!It just seems that nobody in that office seems to know what the other is doing or how to do what you ask of them. I told them about the rough fillings and being unhappy with the cleaning.

She said she's schedule me an appt.

I assume that when I decide to have this corrected it won't cost me. Repairing the dry socket didn't.Aspen is not what they're cracked up to be!

Anonymous
#1468616
@AprilM

Don't do the partial at A$pen. If it even has a metal framework, which it probably won't, it will be constructed out of thin metal that breaks.

A$pen offices don't even have surveyors that are necessary for dentists to design partials properly. Often their labs use a flexible nylon material that is very rough on the gums.Sorry, but good dentistry costs good money. You went from an expensive top-notch office, which I understand you could not afford, to the bottom of the barrel corporate clinics.

Heed the warnings of other posters on this forum and find another dentists. But STAY AWAY from corporate outfits like A$pen, Great Expressions, Coast, Dental One and the like!