My name is Terrie Hendricks and I am 44 years old. I began experiencing a toothache on Wednesday Sept.
19th. As the day went on the pain worsened so the next day I began calling several local Dentist offices to try to get an appointment to get the tooth pulled on Friday. In contacting these Dentists's I came to find out that most Dentist Offices are closed on Fridays. I called Aspen Dental and they were able to set up an appointment for 10:45AM on Friday Sept.
21st. I suffered terribly throughout the night and the morning of my appointment I was in excruciating pain. I left home and arrived at Aspen Dental at 10:00 AM, just 45 minutes earlier than my appointment time. I walked in and let the Receptionist (Annie) know that I was in extreme pain and I had come early to my appointment because I felt that it was an emergency and I needed help immediately.
I asked her to let someone know that I was there. She said, "I don't really even know if we will be able to help you today". I immediately felt discouraged and I felt like they didn't care that I was suffering so terribly. As I waited for them to call my name, I cried and watched the receptionist take several other phone calls from people like me.
She seemed annoyed with them and even rolled her eyes and she was very short with the other customers. At approximately 10:50 they called me to go back. In the meantime the receptionist never did leave her desk to let anyone know that I was there and it was an emergency. I walked back and the x-ray technician began doing some x-rays.
I realized that she was taking a lot of x-rays that I felt were in excess of what I needed. I asked her why she was taking so many x-rays and she said "In order for me to receive the x-rays for free that she would have to complete the entire series of x-rays". I allowed her to proceed as I stood shaking in pain. I was shaking so bad that a few of the x-rays came out blurry.
She had me hold some plastic device in my mouth so that she could x-rays of even my back teeth, top and bottom. The tooth that was bothering me was one of my top front teeth. She completed the series and took me back to the exam room. The Dentist then came in about 10 minutes later and looked at the x-rays.
He told me that the tooth was infected and that they would need to start me on antibiotics and that they could not pull the tooth today. I began to cry, I felt devastated, but I understood that the infection had to be treated first. He talked about prescribing medication for pain. I let him know that I really don't like to take narcotics like Vicodin or Percocet.
I suggested that he prescribe Tylenol #3. However, I told the Dentist that I had a prescription at home for Percocet that I received back in December of 2011 for pain from a surgery that I had back then. I asked him if I could take them if the Tylenol #3 didn't work. The Dentist said that would be fine.
I informed him that I only had a few so if those worked could I call them on Saturday to pick up a prescription for the Percocet to get me through until Monday. He said that would be fine and to just call them. After that the Dentist gave me my scripts for Antibiotics and Tylenol #3 and they said that I needed to go into the Office Managers office to set up an appointment for the extraction. As I walked into her office, she looked at me and said "Are you sick?".
I was a little shocked that she had no idea why I was there. She proceeded to ask me when I wanted to come back for the extraction and I told her that the Dentist and I discussed getting it done on Monday Sept. 24th. She said that the Dentist that I saw today wouldn't be there but she needed to check with the other Dentist to see if he would pull the tooth on Monday.
She left and came back and told me that he said he would pull it but would not guarantee that he would be able to get me numb. Not knowing any other option I told her to go ahead and schedule the appointment for Monday. I just wanted to get out of there so I could go get the pain medicine filled at the Pharmacy. She said my appointment was at 11:00 Monday morning and asked if there was anything earlier than that and she said no.
She then began a discussion trying to suggest that I purchase a partial denture. I told her that I would have to think about it. As much pain as I was in, I just wanted to go. She started typing on the computer and printed out an estimate for the partial, it was approximately $1,448.00.
I told her again that I would have to think about it. I asked her what my bill was for today and she said that the bill would be about $221.00 and I asked her why so much. She said that with x-rays and exam and the tooth extraction that is what the bill comes to. I asked her to breakdown today's charges and the extraction that I hadn't even had yet.
She said today is $91.00 and the other $130.00 could be paid on Monday. I asked her why the x-rays weren't free like the x-ray technician said and she told me that I was previously seen there in 2010 and that deal was only for new patients. It would have been nice for them to let the x-ray technician know that before I had to endure the unnecessary pain and cost of all of the extra x-rays. I paid her the $91.00 and I left.
Later on that day, I realized the Tylenol #3 wasn't helping at all. So as the Dentist instructed I took the Percocet. It helped immensely; I was able to get a little relief from the pain with the Percocet. The next morning, Saturday, Sept.
22nd I called Aspen Dental to let them know that the Tylenol #3 didn't offer any pain relief and to see if I could I wanted to come up and get the prescription for the Percocet like the Dentist told me too. The receptionist (Annie) answered the phone. Before even putting me on hold to inquire with the Dentist about the prescription, she told me that the Dentist that I saw on Friday was not there on Saturday. So, I asked if she could speak with the Dentist on duty and ask him if he could review my chart for the notes I had hoped the other Dentist would have made regarding our discussion about the Tylenol #3 and the Percocet.
She asked me to hold. When she returned to the phone a few seconds later she told me that the other Dentist would not write a prescription for me for Percocet because he wasn't the one who treated me initially, she said he also said that pain medication would not work because of the infection. I reassured her that the Percocet would work and that is the only way I could get through the weekend without suffering the horrible pain. I asked her to please be an advocate for me and stress to the Dentist on duty what I said.
She put me on hold again and a few seconds later got back on the phone saying that the Dentist on duty stated it is his policy that he cannot write prescriptions for Percocet. They said that I would need to go to the Emergency Room if I wanted any medication. Having no health insurance made that not an option. My husband called back to Aspen Dental explaining to them again how important it was to get me something for pain, they still wouldn't even consider helping me.
My husband became angry because they wouldn't even try and the receptionist hung up on my husband.
I just needed some help, someone to care, so I felt I could depend on a place like Aspen Dental. It appears I was sadly mistaken and made to suffer unnecessarily because they did not want to provide the service that they advertise.
Product or Service Mentioned: Aspen Dental Tooth Extraction.
Monetary Loss: $91.