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Aspen Dental

Aspen Dental review: Pushing gimmick services 9

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5:19 pm EST
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Last week I went to Aspen Dental in Auburn NY. I figured I would give them a try. They were offering free x-rays and an exam.
After the X-rays and exam I was called in for a consultation. I was told I need two fillings, at the cost of $250. I was also told I had gingivitus, which kind of shocked me since I take pretty good care of my teeth. The first gingivitis treatment was going to cost me $350, The second treatment or cleaning was going to cost me $150 and the 3rd visit was going to cost me $300 with some kind of oral cancer screening, not to mention they said I should have a tooth removed at the cost of $475.
Total out of pocket expense for me ... $1525 and to top it off they wanted 60% payment in advance. I told the receptionist I'll think about it. The following week I went back to my original dentist, as usual no waiting. I had an exam, cleaning and x-rays done, total cost $125.
I hade no sign of gingivitis or any other gum disease, and didn't need any filings.
In my opinion, Aspen Ddental is a BIG RIP OFF. They are nothing but a corprate dentist store trying to sell you a bill of goods and services that you don't need. I would advise anyone looking for a dentist to avoid Aspen and look for a real dentist, there are plenty of them around.

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Seasoned Dentist
Topeka, US
Jul 14, 2014 2:52 pm EDT

My only question is you is why on earth you ever thought of leaving your honest dentist to get a good deal at a sleazy corporate chain clinic.

You know these mills are actually operating illegally, by using a sham-owner dentist to front for them, don't you? This is the only way they can get around state practice laws that only allow dentists with valid licenses to own clinics. Knowing this, would you even want to patronize this business model?!

The ethical standards of these corporations are so tiny you would need a microscope to know they even exist.

Patients are so fixated on PRICE. They go to these cheesy clinics thinking they will SAVE MONEY. What is really the most important is HONESTY and COMPETENCE. You don't save any money on treatment that you do not need, nor on treatment that needs to be redone. For heaven's sake people, concentrate on dentists who are HONEST, COMPETENT, AND EXPERIENCED! That is how you will really save money!

Palm Bay, US
Jul 07, 2014 4:29 pm EDT

aspen dental in Melbourne fl is the same way I have extreme charges ...and when I called my dental insurance to ask why they were only covering $85 of my $3000 bill they were shocked apparently there were service codes that were not submitted to them (they are not even service code for the things I would need) Guess what they told me I have peritonitis as well. And then they told me that I get a free oral b tooth brush valued at $129 with my deep cleaning, ...well shocker I reread my print out only to see that I am being charged $129 for the dumb toothbrush, I am on search for a new dentist, I cant believe how the dentist would take advantage of people in such a way especially during these hard times.

most likely it's your fault
, US
Jun 18, 2011 12:57 am EDT

Oh it's a problem. Keep reading there are a lot of complaints. You got out in time. The others?

Monessen, US
Jun 17, 2011 6:54 am EDT

Based upon my own experiences, I would say there is some questionable practices occurring at Aspen Dental.
Point 1: My regular dentist of 5 years completed my yearly cleaning and check up and told me that I had 8 cavities in need of attention. I had no open days for three weeks so we made the appointment accordingly. A week before my appt. they called and said he was retiring forcing me to look elsewhere. Drawn in by Aspen Dental's "Free Exam and Cleaning, " there dentist told me that I had no cavities, but I had periodontitis. I told him that my former dentist said I had 8 cavities in need of attention. The Aspen Dental dentist then said that cavities are a relative thing; some dentists will drill at the slightest sign of tooth decay, others wait for severe damage. This made sense, but I began to think. In 5 years, my former dentist never made me pay out of pocket for ANYTHING, not even the $25 co-pay assigned to my policy. I had 11 cavities filled before with my regular dentist, which more than exceeds my policies limitations, and received not one bill. In short, he had nothing to gain from my 8 "premature" cavities. On the Aspen Dental doctor's advice, I scheduled an appt. for the periodontitis procedure.
Point 2: The Aspen Dental office in Belle Vernon PA does not have individual rooms, but one large room with individual "cubicles." Needless to say, you can hear the business of the person next to you quite audibly. During my procedure, I overheard the Dr. discussing a problem with the gentleman in the cubicle next to me. The Dr. told him that a recurring problem with a tooth returned and that he had two options: they could mend that problem and hope it does not return, or remove half of his teeth and ensure it would not return. The gentleman asked about price, and the Dr. told him approximately $5000, but he was not sure. The gentleman said he would have to think about it, but the Dr. seemed to be pushing the later option. The gentleman said, "Doc., I am 88 years old. If I kick the bucket next week, I don't want to needlessly spend that kind of money." Still, the Dr. would not relent.
Point 3: My mother in law went to Aspen Dental for the same reason as I did. They diagnosed her with the exact form of periodontitis at the exact stage as myself, only that they would have to pull all of her teeth. I understand that everyone's physiology is different; but why does one require a simple, costly procedure, and the other such extreme measures? This is like saying one person's gangrenous toes require cauterization, while another with the same exact ailment need amputation. From different physicians, maybe. But not at the same doctor.
I am not 100% convinced of malicious wrong doing on the part of Aspen dental. However, I do have enough doubt pertaining to their interests to recommend others to STAY AWAY. You decide!

East Wakefield, US
Apr 11, 2009 10:13 am EDT

I live in NH and moved 75 miles from my dentist I used for over 10 years. I decided to try to find a dentist closer to me. I kept procrastinating and went 18 months without a cleaning so I decided to try Aspen Dental in Rochester NH. I went in to make an appointment to have them cleaned and was told they had to take xrays and examine the teeth first but that this service would be free. I returned for my appointment had the xrays and examined by a dentist. Then I was told to meet with the business manager...she proceeded to work up an estimate. It came to $1700.00 WOW. $185.00 of which was deducted for the xrays and exam which left a balance of $1500.00. I too was told that I had gingavitis and would have to have a deep cleaning which would be $350.00 and a follow up appointment which would be $140.00. I was told that this is what was causing the bleeding at my gums. I replied that I floss every day and that there is never any bleeding. I was also told that I needed 6 fillings. One of which was a broken filling which I pointed out to the examining dentist. The 6 filling would cost $1500.00. I told her I would have to think about it. When I got home I called my regular dentist and made an appointment for a cleaning. When I went for this appointment xrays were taken and my teeth were examined and my gums checked for gingavitis and my teeth were ultrasonically cleaned. The dentist (on his lunch break ) agreed to replace the loose filling (to save me from traveling 150 miles round trip to have it done later). There was no evidence of gingavitis and there were no other cavities. This appointment cost me $329.00. You draw your own conclusions about ASPEN DENTAL. Patrick

jerry garrett
Apr 29, 2008 10:18 am EDT

In Tulsa Ok do not go to a place called MY DENTIST! they are a total scam, they "acted like" they spoke to our insureance co and found out we would only have to [pay 655.00 dollars and then gladly helped us finance that on a high interest credit card that they sponser! then several months later we get a bill for the full amount of the procedure, they never even spoke to the insurance co, and we had a one year waiting period on the procedure they performed, so when they finally did file the claim with the insurance co, which was only after we asked them to, we found out none of it was covered, then they told us that everyone is human and we all make mistakes! its really in broken arrow ok but I have heard that they are all rip offs kinds like a wal mart kind of dentist.

Plainfield, US
Mar 17, 2008 12:53 pm EDT

Yes, but NO DENTIST is going to tell you that you DON'T HAVE cavities when you do. That is money walking out the door.

Aspen Dental has done some things to my daughter that I think may border on serious cruelty. Something is completely wrong with this entire franchise. IT has nothing to do with cheap or expensive.

Just because a dentist charges more doesn't mean they are not lining their pockets with other people's money for needless treatment either.

Jacob Peterman
Feb 29, 2008 3:29 am EST

Just because you go to a dentist that is cheaper, does not mean you don't have those conditions you stated above. How do you know your teeth aren't going to fall out a few years later because you have signs of gingivitis. The NEW dentist that you go to might have not even been looking at your periodontal health. All I'm saying is, 1 dentist might tell you that you have 50 cavities and another might tell you that you have none. Your automatically going to assume that the dentist that told you that you have none is the one that is competent because it's cheaper. OPEN YOUR EYES!

Sarah Olson
Feb 23, 2008 4:24 pm EST

My son had a root canal and filling done in Las Vegas. His insurance maxes out at $1,500. The dentist made him pay $2,000 out of pocket - talk about a total rip off!