American Dental Centers of Ohio
On March the seventh, I received a set of new dentures. However, they are not fitting properly. And I’m not willing to go through another period of adjustment, with feelings that in the end, it’s back to the beginning.
I should not have left the dentist chair with the new dentures. My mistake! Before leaving that day with them, Dr. Schockner made another adjustment in the area where the pain persisted from the moment he first placed the lower denture in my mouth weeks ago. After adjusting and placing the lowers back in my mouth, he stated in so many words, there was not much left that he could do in the way of further adjustments.
After leaving the office, my wife and I stopped at a restaurant to eat. Remembering what was told about eating, I just ordered chicken soup. Soon, after a couple of bites, the lower denture popped out. I tried placing the denture back, but the pain was to great. I placed the denture in a napkin, leaving the upper in place until returning home.
Dr. Schockner used adhesive on the upper plate. Before application of the adhesive I felt the denture seemed loose beyond norm. Adhesive was not used on the lower denture. But again, wearing them with or without the paste, the intolerable pain to the gum area made it impossible to wear. (repetitive in one area only).
The upper and lower dentures, especially the lower has been problematic from the beginning in the painful process of adjusting the piece to the gum.
The upper denture is loose beyond reason, and is not aligned on both sides of the jaw. The bite is off. The back teeth on the right is flush with the lower gum as it should be. However, there is a gap on the left side. I can slide my tongue through the gap easily. This may be caused because the lower denture is not in place. Again, the pain caused by the lower denture after repeated adjustments had been made, I feel, makes it a good argument for replacement.
March 11. About 12:30 I called the clinic, talked with Nancy (manager) and basically told her what I had written above. I was still distraught since Monday and my thoughts to her regarding the situation, may have not been clearly understood. She took notes and stated she would forward the information to the person in charge of handling these kinds of concerns. She questioned me about a Wednesday (the ninth) appointment I did not keep. My emotional state was too upsetting to keep and did not want to put myself through further adjustments of the dentures. Because I was already told no other adjustments could be made to the lower dentures.
Afterthoughts. I will wait two weeks for a call back, if none comes, I will contact her.
March 23. Time ?? I talked with Nancy. She was told by the person in charge of patron issues, a change in doctors or a new set of dentures is not the answer. A follow up with Dr. Schockner should find a resolve (not Nancy’s words verbatim). I disagreed but gave into another appointment. She could not give one because the computers were down. I said I would call tomorrow.
Afterthought. No. I waited to call thinking in part she might call me back. And in part, because I had other pressing matters on my mind.
March 30. From the start the conversation it took a dive downward. The main points are as follows. Her conversation centered on a Friday appointment with Dr. Schockner, and bring in all the dentures. At this point I was getting flustered, with feelings that my concerns were not being addressed here. So I interjected, I’m going to write a letter (log) of our conversations, she agreed to the letter and wanted it sent to her. Here is when the conversation got testy. I said, I also want to send a copy of the letter to the person she talked to in regards to my original complaint and what I was requesting that could lead to a possible solution.
Her response was, “ I am the manager and the buck stops here!”
I paused at that point, started counting to cool down the temper, then continued by saying, I want details, name, phone, address, etc. She gave me the particulars then asked again about the appointment for Friday. Reluctantly, I agreed to meet.
Soon after hanging up the phone with Nancy, I phoned Ms.Koula (the name Nancy provided. She did not answer, lift message to call back.
Some afterthoughts. Nancy’s words, “ I am the manager and the buck stops here!” kept rolling around in my thoughts. What did that mean? Did the concerns, I addressed, the grief felt, just got trashed by Nancy’s comment. So what was the urgent request to meet with me on Friday? Nancy’s words again, “Be sure you bring in all the dentures.” Am I about to get trashed again? Meaning in some way, the aim is to retrieve the dentures and send me on my way with an agreement of sorts like, sorry we could not put a smile on your face, a check will be in the mail, have a good day. Yes, I was getting very suspicious.
March 31. I was about to call Nancy to cancel the appointment, when I got one from Ms. Koula. I made it brief, I was about to call Nancy to cancel tomorrow’s appointment. But I’ll leave you with a quote of Nancy’s, “ I am the manager and the buck stops here!” I will be sending a letter to you and Dr. Sam. This is all I care to say at the moment. (Dr. Sam last name is Jaffe, head of American Dental)
Soon after, I called Nancy. I told her I’m cancelling tomorrow's appointment. She urged me to keep it but to no avail.
Late afternoon, around 6:00 PM, Nancy called me. We are going to give you a refund, She said. Bring the dentures in tomorrow and give I will give you a receipt in return, depending on the settlement you're asking for (not her words verbatim). But before drawing upon any amount, and because she sounded friendly, I offered her some friendly advice in regards to her rude remark which is still boomeranging off my mind.
You’re remark, “ I am the manager and the buck stops here!” was accepted as an insult. I interpreted that remark as an insult to all the concerns raised. She apologized, offered an explanation but really, I felt that I
had failed in breaking through the barrier of indifference. In brief, the doctor knows best. Nothing else mattered.
She did like one thing I said about lawyers and lawsuits. Lawsuits resolves little. No, I wish to resolve matters using common sense approaches.
What I have to do now is find another dentist, start from scratch with the lower denture until satisfied. And I have no intentions of complaining about what came before.
We returned to the subject of the refund. I batted around some ideas and settled for a check (no amount was figured yet) in exchange for the dentures. Again, you encouraged me to bring them in tomorrow. No, we must come to an agreement on the amount, the check must simultaneously be placed in my hand, the dentures in yours. We closed the conversation with the understanding that she would contact me after finding if my proposal was agreeable to others.
Some afterthoughts. The conversation with Nancy was taped from her end. I knew this but waited to hear from her that the conversation was being recorded. By law, if tapped, I was to be told at the beginning of the conversation. Why wasn’t I told? Was it deliberate entrapment? Hoping I’d say something of leverage? I certainly hope not. I’m not into stupid “cat and mouse” game play!
All I wanted before suspecting (tapping) was a settlement to apply to the dental loan, so I can renew another one with whomever I chose (dentist) in hopes of putting a smile back on my face.
At the time of this log input, it is 5:30 PM on April the fourth. I do not feel Nancy will be calling back with any kind of positive or negative information. I will wait two weeks before calling her back.
April 6. 2:00 PM. Nancy called. Questions centered around settlement. I have a loan with CareCredit which Nancy recommended A.D.C. would pay off. I mentioned a pay back to the insurance company. She sounded positive, but nothing as yet on both accounts was conclusive. I had to cut short the conversation, had a meeting coming up and pressed for time. I said I would call her back.
April 13. 12.00 PM. I called Nancy, she was not in. I was told she no longer worked there. The name of the person I talked to was Michelle. I basically repeated what was said in the last call from Nancy. In addition, I asked about a charge placed on the total denture bill which I signed, but do not recall having a verbal agreement. I recently looked closer at the bill, Michelle confirmed what I was thinking. $800.00 for a five year warranty. I rarely purchase warranties on products beyond the initial safety-net. But I did signed the bill. Another stupid mistake on my part.
To be continued in the form of a log...
A brief history of what came before is important, because my request for new dentures, and a different dentist was not a compromise from American Dental. If so, it is important to brief whomever I choose in providing another lower denture. But only after services was rendered (smile, you're on “Candid Camera”). Complements would certainly be in order.
Dental services began upon entering the A.D.C in North Olmsted on October, 15, 2015. At that time, MetLife dental insurance paid $2, 038.
CareCredit paid the balance which was 2, 470., on my behalf to be repaid in monthly increments.
Lower teeth had to be removed. Surgery was done at North Coast Jaw Center to my satisfaction.
Healing in the gum areas needed to occur before proceedings on dentures took place.
Over a period of three months (give or take), I had about twelve appointments with Dr. Schockner. Most of the visits centered on the lower far back region of the jaw. I was given a temporary lower denture and after adjustments was made, the fit was comfortable. No pain, and with a bit of adhesive, the fitting was firmly in place. Not perfect, when eating (soft food) the denture popped out of place. So be it, I was just pleased there was no pain. Wore them to social affairs, and figured I must concentrate on the permanent denture, to reach some kind of conclusion in the areas of eating food.
In achieving the end goal of satisfaction with the permanent lowers, pain caused by permanent denture had to be overcome. And if Dr. Schockner was guided by ethics in his profession, the goal of two would have become one. That is my opinion, but really, It’s not for me to say, either way, only write about my observations as they unfolded toward the goal. The pain was persistent, the pain was only internal when the denture was fitted over the gum.
The last appointment was the most crucial. It was the day I would receive the dentures...and hopefully the pain would be part of the past, buried deep in the sub-conscious, replaced with satisfaction. Not going to happen, and I feel, after keen observation of Dr. Schockner’s actions, his professional stance, in short his body language, he too knew the lower denture was not working. Another adjustment was made, and while walking back to the dental chair, he said in a low voice, “there’s not much more I can do” He had the right diagnoses but failed to do the right thing. Which was to not allow the dentures to go home with me, start from scratch, do the ethical thing in business and make it right. But no...Why?! I guess it’s not for me to know.
Start at the beginning of this letter for further details. I do not wish to become redundant.
During one of the appointments and while reclining in the dental chair, I overheard Dr. Schockner speak in a hushed voice to his assistant. The aide relayed, “She’s really upset” Response, Is she asking for her money back?” That is all I heard. ENOUGH!
Enough said here, “No Confidence” in Dr. Schockner. But the echoes for “No Confidence” should be shared with others who are protectors of consumer issues...hopefully before purchasers of dental services find themselves in similar situations.
THIS PARAGRAPH MAKES NO SENSE.
A Special Note To Dr. Sam Jaffe, head of American Dental Centers of Ohio. Just straight talk, no “game play”. I conclude from my observation of the North Olmstead center, it just might be near the bottom of other A.D.C. clinics. Of course, nobody knows the status better than the people in charge. Yet, a few helpful insights from a former client can, I feel, lead to better relations with the public, especially current clientele. This Insight should also be important, just from the standpoint of competition near by. It’s the American way, the public should choices after insights into the bad and good.
Perceptions of the North Olmstead center. The clinic is located in the Great Northern Mall next to Dillard’s Department Stores. And DentalWorks, is located in Sears. Upon entering the Mall and walking straight ahead, shoppers may notice if looking, the A.D.C., looks impressive from the outside. The office part is in clear view of passers going by with 2 or 3 people behind desks looking busy. Kinda looks notable enough, a snapshot worth placing in an advertisement. But open the door leading into the most important areas of the clinic was quite an eye opener.
The busy-bee look from the outside, is a snails-pace happening on the inside. Not much going on. In the 12 (?) appointments, the waiting room and dentistry chairs I’d estimate was 80 percent of the time empty. Where’s the clients, I’d sIt for moments in a chair, quiet as a library, than be escorted back to a dental chair. Along the way, chair after chair...oh-on occasion I would see a client…
I wondered what I’d observe, if I walked into the waiting room at DentalWorks?
Nancy the manager. Maybe I should address her as Ms. Nancy. She pulled some bloopers during some conversations with me. I’m not putting the blame on her, I’m placing it where it belongs, on you Dr. Jaffe. If managers are not receiving sensitivity training via professional expertise, (instructions), A.D.C. will, in the end, be harmed by disgruntled clients, who experienced first hand that they, not the doctor, knows best.
Skip the first blunder Nancy made, again I wish not to become repetitive. During one conversation, She asked, Are you wearing the dentures now, you need to wear them. As if saying to me in a roundabout way, well that’s your problem, got to wear them. She seemed to be on the defensive, but certainly not harsh in handing a buttress against A.D.C. negatives. “No.” I replied, “ You're not listening, The lower denture is painful to wear. It’s been that way from the start.”
The third blooper. In defence of A.D.C .’s reputation, and from the standpoint as a manager, she rightly placed emphases on the extra professional care A.D.C. provides, that other denture centers lack. But here again, there is a right way and wrong way of saying it. Her choice of words was taken as another insult. And yes, this time I started counting...backwards. She said, we are not a “cookie cutter, ” center. Bassically meaning, we do the impressions, make the dentures, send you home to come back if needed, for adjustments, care for sore spots and others problems needing attention.
The “cookie cutter, ” comment is a “slam-dunk” negative toward the products other dentists produce. It’s like a hungry sales person selling cars by way of stickin-it to Ford. John Q most likely will become offended.
Sensitivity training toward John Q’s within A.D.C. needs to be addressed. Otherwise John Q will spread word that A.D.C. at Great Northern Mall is shedding light on DentaWorks.
For the past umteen years, I have been been wearing an upper “cookie cutter, ” denture. Were they done right the first time” No. Did I have any problems when I asked to have it redone? No. The dentist surveyed the problem, tried correcting then agreed to a replacement. The second time around, perfect as perfect can be. No adjustments, no sores, and no adhesive, never had to use it. So why didn’t I go back to her? The young Doctor moved on (where ??) and upwards and probably took her “cookie cutter” operations with her.
To be continued…(in a log of further information)
Questions are welcome. firstname.lastname@example.org
Leonard R, Hough
P.S. Three members of my family received dentures they cannot wear for various reasons. The clinics that made them are the following, Aspen, Hudec, and Biddulph family Dental.