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SmileCare, El Cajon, California Complaints & Reviews - Dental malpractice and billing fraud

SmileCare Contacts & Informations

SmileCare

Posted:    Valerie

Dental malpractice and billing fraud

Complaint Rating:  93 % with 15 votes
Contact information:
SmileCare
1242 E MAIN ST
El Cajon, California
United States
www.smilecare.com
These people mishandled my dental care and are now billing me for work that they told me was covered by my insurance. Their staff was unprofessional and incompetent and now they sent me to collections for $300 that I was told was covered under my insurance. They told me it was approved but didn't actually get it approved and billed me over six months later for it and in the process of my complaint they said they would take care of it (or at least investigate it) but instead ignored my calls and sent me to collections instead. I have no problem paying my bills as long as they are MY BILLS properly accrued.
Comments United States Dental Services
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 14th of Apr, 2008 by   Nancy 0 Votes
Totally agree!! I went there last week. The appointment was at 11 o'clock. I had been sitting there and waiting until 12. I told them I had to go back to work at 1. But finanly, several minute before 1, the doctor came in.

Terrible! Never want to come back there!
 5th of May, 2008 by   Leslie 0 Votes
They don't have any respect for customers/patients neither they know the meaning of the word customer service. But the most outrageous thing is the way they "inflate" procedures with unnecessary expensive additions -without informing you of alternatives or that they are not essential- and overpricing everything -what is your problem, your insurance pays for you? Wrong argument as I am an honest person who hates fraud and protect my insurance from malpractice
 16th of May, 2008 by   Roisin +1 Votes
I have been suffering for six months because of dental work Smile Care performed on me. I have exprienced their inflated prices. They sold my husband into thinking he needed 1400 worth of dental work. I am questioning whether they scammed him into it now.

I have had two really bad experiences with them. First, I was put under to have my remaining three wisdom teeth removed. I woke up in pain which is to be expected, but couldn't open my mouth wider than 1/4 inch. It took working at stretching my mouth muscles for a week to be able to open my mouth normally to eat real food. I lost weight because I had to drink my food.

A few years earlier I had a different dentist at the time when I had one of my wisdom teeth pulled. My tooth had gotten infected because food gotten under the gum when it was growing in. It was an "emergency" procedure to get it taken out as soon as possible. Because i was pregnant at the time, they could not put me under. I was giving a good dose of local numbing drugs and had my tooth pulled. It wasn't bad at all, and my recovery was normal I was eating food the next day!

I don't know what SmileCare did when I was put under, but I would never go to them for that sort of thing again. My experience being awake at the other dental office and getting my tooth pulled with local drugs was much more pleasant!

Second Experience. I went in for a check up and they said I needed a cavity filled. They decided to go with the tooth colored enamel instead of the silver because the silver is said to be bad for you. I agreed. While they were in there doing my cavity the dentist decided to be nice and remove the silver in the tooth next to the cavity tooth also. I thought that was nice of them and didn't mind.

One week later, my teeth on that side of my mouth became extremely sensitive to heat, to cold, to food period. I have been chewing my food on my right side only for the last six months. It was the holiday season and shortly after we moved into a house that needed work and I was never able to get back to the dentist to complain. Later, I met a Navy dentist and he told me that the silver fillings aren't as harmful as many want to think and actually the tooth colored enamel filling will eventually kill my root and I might have to end up getting a root canal! I am so pissed! I have been trying to find a new dentist and time to go see them to see if my situation can be fixed. I am in pain at this current moment!

MY ADVISE STAY CLEAR OF SMILE CARE! MY DENTIST FRIEND TOLD ME NEVER GO TO A CHAIN DENTIST, THEY WILL CHARGE YOU MORE AND DO UNNECESSARY PROCEDURES ON YOU... AND IN MY EXPERIENCE SCREW UP EVERY TIME!
 17th of Jul, 2008 by   gretchne +1 Votes
i had 2 bad experiences and will never return, the staff seemed incompetent, rude and uncaring, i paid my co-pay on the first visit and needed to have a tooth replaced in a partial, after an exam they sent it to a lab and said it would be ready in a week, I returned to pick up the partial and paid the fee then they said they also needed a copay, i questioned that all they did was hand me a paper bag and i didnt even see a dentist but the receptionist said i visited their office so i neede to pay. i paid the stupid copay and now they sent me a bill for it too with my name and address misspelled.i just called to talk to them and was told the lady who does billing is on vactaion.what a joke.
 27th of May, 2009 by   upset 0 Votes
I wish I had read these complaints before going to SmileCare. I have been billed for a different amount than what my contract states. I have been given the run around for over 6 months now. Everytime I call or go to their office all they tell me is that they are taking care of it. I have called their corporate office and they refer me back to the local office. Now they are telling me if I don't pay it will go to collections! I don't understand, I have a signed contract and paid the amount on the contract, how can this go to collections? My insurance has paid their part, I have paid my part. They need to do their part and fix their accounting. DO NOT GO TO SMILECARE!
 25th of Jun, 2009 by   dentalspy 0 Votes
watch out for monica.
 13th of Sep, 2009 by   hatesm 0 Votes
DO NOT GO TO SMILECARE...NEVER... the worst most unprofessional bunch of quacks that have the privilege of working as dentists. Not to mention the clowns that run the front office. Its a circus from HELL!!!
 7th of Oct, 2010 by   LUCKYSTAR.2009 0 Votes
All of this has me really scared !! Last week I took my kids in for a cleaning and was told both of my kids needed braces and it was in my best interest to get them done that same day ... So I worked out a payment plan and let me do the braces ! The next day stuff was falling out of my kids mouth, the brackets were becoming detached and 1 wire broke ! I called and they said well your kids must have ate something hard or drank soda ! They hadnt eaten anything cuz they were in pain.
They said they cant see my kids for two wks because the ortho dept is out till then !
I read my contracts fine print and it says that even if I choose to go to a different dentist I am responsible to pay for the entire amount of the treatment ! IM SO SCREWED RIGHT ???
 18th of Nov, 2010 by   frown care 0 Votes
I went to them in 2008 to get a tooth removed, my insurance covered it is what they told me. Went again in 2009 to get another removed. Insurance covered it they told me. About 2 weeks later I get something in the mail saying my insurance didn't cover all the expenses and owe $50 for the procedure done in 2008! Went in there and complained told me that this is all I owed. Paid the stupid $50 and left. Its 2010 and I just got 2 more bills from them saying I owe $40 for the procedure done in 2009 and another saying I owe $30 for the procedure done in 2008!!!

Not to mention they tried to pull this one thing on me where they left me a voicemail saying "this message is for ... confirming your appointment tomorrow. If you cancel or miss your appointment you will be charged and you have until 3 o'clock to cancel the appointment." I was soo upset after hearing this I called and yelled at her saying I never made any appointment and her response was "Oh the computer automatically schedules everyone for there checkup appointments and you're due for a checkup." I was like NO take me off that stupid thing I don't ever want to go to you guys again!

I don't really know what I should do about these bills that just came in the mail yesterday for procedures done 2 years ago.. probably just throw them away
 9th of Feb, 2011 by   silvestrova 0 Votes
I have exactly the same problem with this company. They performed a service that I never agreed to and then they charged me. After numerous phone calls they said they will take care of it. Six month later they sent me to a collection agency and posted it to my credit report. My credit score dropped from 740 to 680 because of that. I would do everything to expose their shady business. There must be a oragnization or autority that can help people to deal with fraud companies like that.
 3rd of Mar, 2011 by   Rupunz 0 Votes
The same billing issues have happened to me. They are horrible and unprofessional. They need to be investigated and possibly lose their liscense. A class action law suit would be nice.
 3rd of Mar, 2011 by   silvestrova 0 Votes
I complained to BBB and they are ware of it and still not taking of the problem. I would consider a lawsuit but i am so infamiliar with the judgmental system.
 24th of Mar, 2011 by   NotSoHappyPatient 0 Votes
I went to SmileCare to get a deep cleaning procedure done and apparently they found cavities and needed to fill them in. Fine, I said. But I want the silver ones because I am not paying extra for white filling that will not even be on the visible teeth. Also declined the desentisizing irrigation whatnot that they offered for the deep cleaning because it was not covered. How is it that when I opened an email from Aetna do I find out that I was being billed by an "Ivan Berger" and not SmileCare? This now results in Aetna saying I went out of network so I must pay near $700! I have been trying to contact their corporate insurance billing department for 2 weeks and have not received any answer to my request of fixing the billing to show SmileCare and not some random dentist. Argh!
 8th of May, 2011 by   nancywheelero422 0 Votes
they made a right partial that has never fit properly and now they are refusing to fix it. they billed my insurance and my care credit account. i highly recommend that you never go there. i was on my third dentist by the time i left. i have file a complaint with smile care, the dental board, and with my insurance company. i had to pay $40.oo to get a copy of my dental file. they get you going and coming. i hate them and i hope my complaint is not for nothing
 31st of Aug, 2011 by   hate smilecare +1 Votes
let take smilecare out of business
 6th of Dec, 2012 by   HauntinguFrauders 0 Votes
I can't believe that I have bills after a few years later. They already sucked ~12, 000 USD from me and my insurance. Where do I start for a fraud billing?

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