Careington / Recommended dentist did not honor fees
On Thursday, Aug 25 2011 I was suffering from some inflammation of the gum above my wisdom tooth. I set out to look for a dental discount plan and called a dentist from Careington's list to confirm the fees as listed by Careington for an oral exam and a bite-wing x-ray. They quoted me $28.00, which was correct. I joined the plan and saw the dentist the same day at 1:30pm. The assistant took a single bite-wing x-ray and then the dentist came in, looked at the x-ray and in my mouth for a couple of minutes and declared the gum was "completely Infected" and the wisdom tooth had to come out. I told her I didn't think there was an infection but only an inflammation but she insisted the tooth had to come out. I then asked her how much it would cost and she went to get the front desk person who told me it would cost $243.00. When I mentioned the Careington fee for an extraction was less than $75.00 ($51.00 to be exact) she said I had already accrued $103.00 in fees, which obviously still won't add up. Then I mentioned she had quoted $28.00 on the phone for the exam and x-ray, that I would find another dentist and would not pay a penny above $28.00. She then said she had to check and went to the reception area and I followed her. She saod OK it's $28.00, I paid and left the office and went home.
I called Careington's customer service to cancel and let them know this dentist was not honoring their fees. Customer Service was very nice and professional. I spoke with Harold who asked me to send them an email and promised me a full refund, including the $20 setup fee. I hung up and immediately sent him and email, repeating my discussion with Harold and adding that I would resubscribe if they recommended a dentist that would honor their fees. I called Harold back to confirm he had received the email. He told me he had.
I work nights so at this point (around 4pm) I had to sleep. I woke at around 8:30 pm and my gum was about 80% better. Hardly any pain at all so it obviously was not "completely infected" as the dentist had claimed. I went to work that night and my tooth continued to improve overnight. Meanwhile, I realized what had caused the inflammation. I had a small cut on the side of the gum, probably caused a couple of days earlier when I ate a bag of corn chips. I thought I had something stuck there, which I could feel with my tongue and that's why I had gone to the dentist expecting she would just pull whatever it was stuck in there.
I went to bed at around 9 am Friday morning (8/26) and woke at about 5 pm. My tooth was then almost 100% better. I could feel now a scar where I had felt something sticking out of my gum. The cut had apparently caused a little flap of my gum to hang out and felt like a splinter or something stuck there. I then sent another email to Careington explaining the situation and stating the dentist had misdiagnosed my condition, in addition to failing to apply Careington's fee schedule. Today (8/30), I still feel a small scar on my gum but I have no inflammation, pain, or sensitivity whatsoever. If I had listened to that dentist I would have lost my tooth for no reason whatsoever. Well maybe there is a reason but not for my benefit.
Because of the very professional customer service and Harold's promise to refund the full amount I paid Careington, I've been thinking the problem was a rogue dentist and not Careington's fault. However, after 2 emails to Careington I have yet to here from them or receive a credit. Today it is Tuesday and only some 2 and a half business days have elapsed since I sent the first email, so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt, but am not getting a warm and fuzzy feeling about this. I may need to file in small claims court. I will come back and update this complaint when I have more info.
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