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Aspen Dental / creative billing practices

1 Glastonbury, CT, United States Review updated:

When I first went to Aspen Dental, one of the dentists that happen to be there that day looked at my teeth after extensive xrays were taken. Without discussing anything with me, I was taken into an office where a printout was given to me listing all the procedures I needed to have done. It included a Full Mouth Debridement with three mouth rinses, Routine cleaning, Adult Fluoride Treatment, two fillings, and a Crown. This really surprised me, because it had been only 6 months since I had seen my regular dentist who dropped carrying my Cigna Dental Insurance. Needless to say, it all came to hundreds of dollars out of pocket. I asked what the Full Mouth Debridement was. I was told it was a deep cleaning using ultra sound, which was not covered by insurance ($169). The three mouth rinses would also cost me another $93. With the Fluoride treatment, the cleaning would cost me $303 out of pocket, instead of the fully covered cleaning my insurance normally pays for. The Full Mouth Debridement using ultra sound amounted to a regular cleaning by the hygenist (no ultra sound). That was the first $169 rip-off. With the mouth rinses, it came to $303 for my normal free cleaning. When it came time to get a cap on one tooth, the dentist on duty that day only filled the tooth, and said I could have it capped sometime in the future if I wanted to. Instead of charging me for a filling that would be completely covered, they billed it as a Core Buildup with Pins, which is something that is part of a capping procedure if I decided to have it done. The dentist got $249 for that, of which I had to pay $61. So, basically, I got ripped off for about $365 for something that should have been completely covered, based on what they really did. This amounted to nothing but "creative billing". I complained about the charges, but they would not back down. I had to pay for each procedure at the time of service. I can see why. They have my money and will not give it back. The $40 charge for the Adult Fluoride would have been covered, but they charged me anyway without sending the claim to my insurance company. To me, this is a fraud, and a scam.
The people were real nasty when I questioned their billing practices. I have never seen anything like this in my life. My only advice is if you are looking for a dentist, DO NOT GO TO ASPEN. It will be a big mistake. Just look at the other posts if there is any doubt in your mind.

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  • Jo
      12th of Nov, 2008

    First things first... CIGNA will never cover you 100% of a Fluoride treatment, just does not happen, I know because I happen to have CIGNA. Cigna does not cover Fluouride over the age of 19. So yes they are correct in stating that pricing for the Fluoride. Secondly, you need to get the word Cleaning out of your head. What you have is a periodontal disease going on in your mouth which means that you needed gum therapy not a cleaning. A full mouth debridement is not and has never been considered a cleaning. Go to a periodontist and ask them what they think a full mouth debridement is, they will never tell you it is a cleaning. The dentist is correct in stating that a Core Build up with pins is equal to a filling. It is up to you to continue that process of crowning that tooth, which by the way, you obviously have chosen not to do that, because if you had, the dentist would have done a Crown Prep with Impressions. I know all of this because at one time I too had some serious dental issues, and no, not by Aspen but by my own private dentist. It is sad to see other people downing companies that are probably doing a heck of a great job, but people like you get so bitter because you cannot face the fact that you in fact have true periodontal issues going on that for your own health reasons should be taken care of. I know once again because I too could not face the issues that I had, it was hard for me to bear that I had to pay 5200.00 in treatment from my own dentist without insurance. Which by the way, you should try and pay 800.00 for that so called cleaning that you keep referring too as I had the same thing at my own dentist. You should be lucky to only have to pay the 169.00. Quit complaining and making up false information and get yourself back to healthy while you still can, some of us cannot afford insurance, but know that our health is more important than doing all of this nonsense!

    0 Votes
  • Cr
      27th of Nov, 2008

    John, you certainly have a right to your opinion, but it should be based on facts, not personal guessing. Your opening statement that Cigna never covers adult flouride treatments does not agree with the written statement I received from Cigna twice, along with confirmation about this over the telephone. Remember, all Cigna dental plans are not the same. What they cover can be modified by the company that offers their insurance as an option. Aspen could have called them and cleared it up immediately, but they refused to do so. Why? I have no interest in going item by item with someone who either works for Aspen, or is just trying to put me down for the fun of it. How do you know my dental conditions in making your judgements? Boy, you are really good!
    Just look at the many other complaints against Aspen and you will see a pattern to the complaints. How can you ignore that? Are we all wrong and you are right? Enough of this nonsense.
    I'm glad you find Aspen Dental a great practice, and wish you the best going to them in the years to come. If I felt the same as you, I would do the same . I know what I experienced with the people I had to deal with. Nothing you say can change that.

    0 Votes
  • An
      3rd of Dec, 2008

    I took my mother to Aspen to have 5 teeth removed, she is in poor health and they gave me a hard time and said they would need to have the oral surgeon do the procedure. A date was schedule and she was required to pay 1/2 the bill which was $900.00. The oral surgeon decided he would not do the extractions and told us to go somewhere else to have her teeth pull. Which I did and within a week she had her teeth pull and on the road to recovery and only paid $600.00 for the prcedure where as Aspen was charging her $1800.00! From the day that Aspen tool us they would not be doing my mothers extractions I requested a refund which 2 months have gone by and I still do not have the refund!!! I call on a daily basis at this point. I was told they needed to wait in case my mother changed her mind and wanted dentures, then they mailed it to the wrong address and now they are saying it is in the mail. Yeah right for 2 weeks it has been in the mail. I am besides myself, I cannot get the number for the billing department to call them direct. They don't return calls. I am about ready to report them to the Better Business Bureau and go to channel 5 news "Ask me Hank" for help. DON'T GO TO ASPEN DENTAL, they overcharge, mess up their billing and do not work with you to resolve the problems.

    0 Votes
  • Cr
      4th of Dec, 2008

    Angry Customer: The fact Aspen Dental turned you away for the procedure your Mother needed may have been a blessing in disguise. After reading several other negative experiences with Aspen, things could have gotten worse if the procedure was not done correctly by an experienced oral surgeon. It sounds like you are ahead in both the final cost, and the quality of service. Dealing with Aspen's billing department can be quite an ordeal. They never returned any of my calls.
    Take care, and I wish your Mom the best of care.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
      4th of Feb, 2009

    First, I would like to say to Charles; John must be the bitter one with a toothache. $5200 cash for dental work?? Usually if you pay cash, it's a sliding scale. Second, I wish we had his ability, to know for a fact, that you were over the age of 19 since your age was not noted. And I believe the point was about Aspen Dental, not Cigna.
    My personal experience with them has not been a great one also. I have gone to an office PA, maybe 3 times and took my son, twice. I chose them because I thought, more than one dentist, won't have to wait as long as a private office. True, at first. I liked the 1st dentist. I went for an extraction and root canal. Went well as it could, for a root canal. Went back to have the cap put in, new dentist, new assisant, new everyone?? My dentist "was no longer in that office". Had my work done, few months later, my son needed to have an examine for school enrollment. Now, a third dentist.. Looks to me like even the dentist don't like Aspen Dental. They keep leaving. LOL
    As for planning and billing; they want you to have everything done that they can come up with.
    1. Yes, they over charge and balance bill which is illegal to do. Always go by what your insurance says you owe. Do not prepay!!! Never pay for services not rendered!!! What if you don't get the work done, what if you die?? They got your money for free.
    2. Get a reciept.
    3. Verify with your insurance company what your out of pocket cost will be BEFORE you have anything done.
    4. They use unbillable codes for their "special dentures". You will be charged for them.
    You wouldn't pay a mechanic before he fixed your car, don't pay Aspen either!!!
    Shop around and always get a second opinion if you think your getting ripped off.
    File complaints to your state's Board of Dental Examiners and ADA.

    -1 Votes
  • El
      25th of Oct, 2010

    You don't seem to really know what is going on if you think your insurance company is looking out for you. Insurance companies are a for-profit business just like Aspen Dental. Your complaint is with the business practices & aspen dental as a corporation but you want to tell people to file a complaint to the state dental board. Did you like the dentist who did your work? IF you like the dentist but don't like aspen and you file a complaint with the dental board, the dentist get's the complaint on his record, not the corporation. Way to go Rocket. "unbillable codes?" You have no clue how dental billing works so stop advising others who read these complaints with your ignorance. Each procedure provided has an ADA code to describe it. If there is a procedure not adequately described by an ADA code, there are codes for "by report" where the dentist provides a narrative to what was done. Don't post things on the internet when you have no clue what you are talking about. Is Aspen a terrible company? Probably not, they probably have some terrible employees but also some great ones. Maybe if people didn't have terrible hygiene & actually brushed their teeth & maintained regular dental visits, they would not have to pay thousands of dollars to get their jacked up mouths back to normal.

    0 Votes
  • Fr
      12th of Dec, 2016

    Even, i am having bad experience with Aspen dental billing in Strongsville, Clevelnad. I had Crown replacement. What ever invoice he gave me, i paid everything. Even insurance company paid more than what they were expecting from insurance. After a month, i received another bill asking me to pay $167. When i called them for the reason, they say, its showing that balance on your account and you have to pay. I called them twice and they are insisting me to pay. There is an accountant called Matt. He is so rude and money minded. I am not sure, what to do now. Can i consult Lawyer with these details?

    0 Votes

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