The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website
Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In

Dr. Dina Lew, DDS / Money Hungry Dentist

1 Cerritos, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 562-483-4812

I was referred to Dr. Lew, an oral surgeon, by my primary dentist. to get my 2nd molar extracted. My big mistake was not following my instinct when I decided to stay for the consultation. When I saw that the fee they charge for a consultation, I was going to leave, but the nice staff of Dr. Lew asked me to stay and talked to the dentist to see if I can work something out with her. I asked her what are her fees for extractions, she would not give me an answer. Not even an estimate! Not until agree to pay for the consultation upfront, instead of the dental office billing my insurance.Dr Lew made me felt like I wasted my time and everybody else's. So feeling guilty, I went through with the consultation, took an panoramic x-ray (the x ray series I brought from my other dentist was not good enough)and ended up paying more money because my insurance covers 1 x ray per 3 years. She was like a car salesman. Very aggressive.Telling me I needed this and I needed that. When I turned them down, she seem irritated. When it came time to pay, she wanted me to fill out a credit card slip for a surgery I haven't even scheduled to go through with, which I declined to do.Told her I just want to pay for today's service and thats it. Then Dr. Lew handed to me a paper with the dental codes and said, "Smart people will take this and give it to their HR department." I was so shocked, I was speechless! So I left, but that was not the end of it. A week later, I called to get my x-ray to bring to another oral surgeon, but they said I had to pay $25 for a duplicate copy.My argument was that I paid for it out-of -pocket. I asked for them to lend it to me and I will even sign a paper promising to return it. The receptionist told me per "office policy" that was not allowed. Asked to speak directly to the Dr.Lew, but she was busy with a patient and that she will have to call me back which never happened. So I took my loss and moved on. A lesson learned, go with your gut instinct!

Am
Sort by: UpDate | Rating

Comments

  • Ti
      30th of Mar, 2009

    not only did we have a similar experiance, but almost 6 months after we (my husband and I) paid almost 1200.00 to have 1 tooth extracted, she refunds us almost 150.00. a few months later she wants us to pay 132.00... a smart person would not have refunded money that she was going to turn around and ask for later. now i know why my dentist was reluctant to reffer us there.

    0 Votes
  • Co
      20th of Apr, 2009

    Dr Lew scared me at every turn. All I needed was to get my wisdom teeth removed, and yet she instilled worry and fear at every possible turn.
    First, I should have known that a $175 consultation fee was an exorbitant rate just to have someone look in my mouth and talk with me. Second, she warned me that because I am 26 (!) that I am out of the ideal age for the surgery and that I would benefit from using Growth Factor (this is the human growth hormone that costs $500 additional, not covered by insurance) to help me heal properly. Since I am also an asthmatic, she told me that I would have to get on additional meds and would have to get rid of my cat for up to two weeks. Both of these concerns were completely exaggerated as I would find later when I went to another Oral Surgeon, who assured me that there was NO need for Growth Factor, that I would have NO problem healing properly and that my asthma was in no way an additional risk. Further, this Oral Surgeon only charged $50 for his consultation fee and was way nicer than Dr Lew.
    Third, while examining my mouth, Dr Lew said that she had felt an anomaly in the floor of my mouth that may have related to my throat/sinus. She said that I should go to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Physician to get it checked out. Oh, and how convenient (!), her husband is a ENT! So, of course, she gave me his card. Even telling me that he doesn't need the extra business, but she knows that he's a great doctor - PLEASE! However, when I went to the other Oral Surgeon, he said there was no such anomaly and NOTHING was out of the ordinary! What a scammer!
    Fourth, Dr Lew said that she only extracts two teeth at a time. And, her estimate for ONLY TWO EXTRACTIONS was OVER $3000 dollars, which she wanted me to PAY UP FRONT and then bill insurance later!!! That is the most ridiculous thing I have EVER heard. And, it was at that moment that I knew I needed a second opinion. When I went to the other Oral Surgeon, after everything, he recommended ALL FOUR EXTRACTIONS, including anesthesia, which amounted to about $1500!!!
    DR LEW IS A GREEDY, SCAMMER. She wants as much money as possible and she will prey on patients to get them scared, so that they won't pay attention to her exorbitant rates! Even her billing process is completely backwards - she wants all the money up front!!
    DON'T EVEN GO FOR THE CONSULTATION! IF YOUR DENTIST REFERS YOU - ASK FOR ANOTHER REFERRAL! EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO GO FURTHER AWAY!!!

    0 Votes
  • Je
      5th of Mar, 2010

    Response to online complaints:
    I first want to start off by saying that I have worked in the front office for Dr. Lew for a little over two years now and our office is truly sadden by these misleading remarks made about Dr. Lew and her practice. I feel as though I need to go ahead and respond to the accusations written in the above statement. I don’t want any future patients to be misled by these remarks.

    Complaint #1:
    1. “I asked her what are her fees for extractions, she would not give me an answer. Not even an estimate!”
    -It is impossible to give a patient an estimate on surgery when Dr. Lew has not even examined them. There are many different types of extractions so how is Dr. Lew supposed to know what type the patient is going have before seeing them? When you go to an auto repair shop or have a plumber come out to your house do you receive estimates prior to them coming out and examining the situation?

    2. “took an panoramic x-ray (the x ray series I brought from my other dentist was not good enough)”
    -The nerve canal can best be visualized by a panoramic film. The majority of films we receive from dentists are small films taken in the mouth which do not show the wisdom teeth.

    3. “When it came time to pay, she wanted me to fill out a credit card slip for a surgery I haven't even scheduled to go through with”
    -In the two years working at Dr. Lew’s office I have never once asked a patient to fill out a credit card slip for a surgery at the time of consultation. We do expect payment at the time services are rendered. We do NOT ask for payments or credit card slips in advance.

    4. “Then Dr. Lew handed to me a paper with the dental codes and said, "Smart people will take this and give it to their HR department." I was so shocked, I was speechless!”
    -Although I call patients insurance companies to check benefits, I have come to learn that the information the insurance companies provide to me is sometimes inaccurate. For this reason and for the protection of the patient we give them every procedure code that we could possibly use for surgery so the patient can verify their benefits as well. I m truly “shocked” that a patient would take offense to Dr. Lew trying to educate and help them. She does this so the patient does not sign up for a procedure for which they cannot afford if there is no insurance benefit.

    Complaint #2:
    1. “we (my husband and I) paid almost 1200.00 to have 1 tooth extracted, she refunds us almost 150.00. a few months later she wants us to pay 132.00... a smart person would not have refunded money that she was going to turn around and ask for later.”
    -Yes maybe a “smart person” would have not refunded the money until the patient chart was complete BUT Dr. Lew feels as though the money we receive from the insurance company on the consultation is NOT our money; it’s the patient’s money. In all fairness Dr. Lew likes to send out a reimbursement check as soon as we receive the insurance payment. It would make my job a lot easier to not have to send out multiple reimbursement checks, but Dr. Lew is only trying to be as fair as she can be to the patient.

    Complaint #3:
    1.“First, I should have known that a $175 consultation fee was an exorbitant rate just to have someone look in my mouth and talk with me.”
    - There is so much more to a consultation than just a mouth exam and a “talk”. She goes the extra mile to make sure a patient fully understands what is going on, the different options and alternatives to surgery. In fact, it is not uncommon for Dr. Lew to recommend the patient to NOT having surgery done at all. The consultation also includes medical clearance from the patient’s physician. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of time and effort that goes into getting some of these patients cleared for surgery. What’s sad is that patients don’t see Dr. Lew in her office dictating letters about them to the referring doctor as well as any other doctor that is involved so that everyone is aware of her finding s and recommendations. And when a patient doesn’t know where their dentist is, I personally track down the information for them.

    2. “that I would benefit from using Growth Factor (this is the human growth hormone that costs $500 additional, not covered by insurance) to help me heal properly.”
    -First of all, it’s not a hormone. It is growth factor from patients own platelets. Many patients already know about this from the NY Times article in February 2009. Dr. Lew recommends it to help healing. I’ve seen her use it on her own family and friends. She offers it as an OPTION. When other dentists/doctors bring their children in for surgery they want the growth factor. Anyone in our office will attest that the patients who have the growth factor do better than those who opt to not have it. Still, the Growth Factor is OPTIONAL not mandatory.

    3. "Third, while examining my mouth, Dr Lew said that she had felt an anomaly in the floor of my mouth that may have related to my throat/sinus. She said that I should go to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Physician to get it checked out. Oh, and how convenient (!), her husband is a ENT! So, of course, she gave me his card. Even telling me that he doesn't need the extra business, but she knows that he's a great doctor - PLEASE!”
    -Dr. Lew is also a Medical Doctor. As such, she reviews the patient’s medical history and the patients concerns. She does an Oral Cancer screening on every patient. If she finds a spot she is concerned about she will inform the patient and give her recommendations, which sometimes means going to see an ENT. If the patient does not already have an ENT Doctor then yes she will recommend her husband. Yes, we call and disrupted her husband’s schedule for the benefit or our patients. This is so sad. We as an office go out of our way to get medical clearances and expedite treatment. If Dr. Lew finds another problem more important than wisdom teeth extractions, she tells patients to take care of those things first and come back later for the procedure. I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

    4. “Fourth, Dr Lew said that she only extracts two teeth at a time. And, her estimate for ONLY TWO EXTRACTIONS was OVER $3000 dollars, which she wanted me to PAY UP FRONT and then bill insurance later!!! That is the most ridiculous thing I have EVER heard. And, it was at that moment that I knew I needed a second opinion. When I went to the other Oral Surgeon, after everything, he recommended ALL FOUR EXTRACTIONS, including anesthesia, which amounted to about $1500!!!”
    -I think it’s reasonable for people to be paid when services are provided. When you have your car serviced or go get your hair done you’re expected to pay for their service on the spot. I don’t know why dental treatment is any different. With regard to the estimate for only two extractions, there is hardly a time when Dr. Lew suggests only taking out two teeth at a time. I present all of the treatment plans and estimates for Dr. Lew. It is rare for Dr. Lew to recommend the removal of two teeth only. The exception would be that the removal of one or more wisdom teeth could be complicated (i.e. near the nerve). Dr. Lew has always told me when we take out all four teeth at one time, the patient only needs to be put under anesthesia one time. This saves money for the patient. Not once have I ever given a patient a quote for two wisdom teeth extractions anywhere near that amount.

    0 Votes
  • Co
      5th of Mar, 2010

    First of all, a front office worker at Dr. Lew's cannot be objectively heard without recognizing there is an obvious bias. Did this person ever work at another Oral Surgery office? Probably not.

    After I visited Dr. Lew, I contacted four other local Oral Surgeons. NOT ONE said they would charge over $75 for a consultation fee.
    Once I picked one, I asked about some of the things I talked about with Dr. Lew:
    - my asthma history was not a problem (in fact, my regular physician is an asthmatic and he recommended the oral surgeon I checked out, because of his extra consideration for asthmatics - not exploitation).
    - he was astonished that Dr.Lew commonly recommended Growth Factor for a 26 year old because she considered them as "risky" healers. She also told me that she does this regularly for people who are not adolescents (and yes, I'll admit not her exact words). And yes, she did say it was an option - but she also frightened me into thinking that I would NEED it.
    - he was also astonished that Dr.Lew only recommended extracting two teeth at a time, needless to say he was beyond shocked at the amount she wanted to charge just for two teeth! His total was $2400 for ALL FOUR TEETH, versus over $3000 for TWO! How does that make any sense!!?? Don't mistake something that doesn't logically make sense for being false - if the billing form didn't have my personal information on it and of course if I still had it, I'd scan it and post it here for ALL TO SEE! It has been over a year since I've seen Dr.Lew, and I still remember my negative experience. Those things stay with you.
    - He also said that because of my orthodontic history of braces, it would be a huge mistake to only take out two teeth at a time and it would seriously impact my jaw and teeth alignment! She didn't even mention that!
    - I also asked him to check out my mouth, and there was no anomaly at all. He couldn't figure out why she would have referred me. And, it was only a week or so after I saw Dr.Lew. I don't think it was a coincidence that her husband is an ENT.
    - the office I went to was in Huntington Beach, was very nice, very friendly, they had entirely digitized their medical records and billing, they did NOT ask for any money upfront and entirely billed insurance. The oral surgeon actually was very reassuring and APOLOGIZED to me about my experience with Dr.Lew! Why would he do that?? He totally did not have to!
    - I also told my referring dentist about Dr.Lew. And, only after I told her about my awful experience did she ALSO APOLOGIZE and say that she does not want to bad mouth colleagues but she has heard that from other referred patients. She told me she only gave me the referral because I had said I only want to go somewhere near my home in Cypress - Dr.Lew is the closest.

    I think this front office worker has the wrong Dr. Lew. Because why would I lie? What do I have to gain? I just wanted to save other people's money and sanity (Dr. Lew actually frightened me). Maybe you should ask what this office worker has to gain in trying to refute legitimate complaints.

    0 Votes
  • Km
      9th of Apr, 2010

    I was absolutely shocked, dismayed and saddened by the complaint about Dr. Dina Lew. How could anyone write such hurtful and untrue comments about her? She was originally recommended to us by our family dentist when my children needed wisdom teeth to be pulled. From someone who has seen many many doctors in her lifetime, Dr. Lew was a breath of fresh air. I couldn't believe we had found a doctor that was an expert in her field, compassionate, caring and went the extra mile to truly take care of us. Her office staff were the kindest and most patient people that I have ever seen in an office. It is obvious they LOVE working for someone who is fair, honest and genuine! The only comment from above that I will address is "Dr. Lew instilled worry and fear in me". I almost laughed when I read that comment. My son (who was 15 at the time) had always been terrified of needles, doctors, ANYTHING to do with the medical field. After his experience with Dr. Lew he saw that there WERE doctors out there that were kind and cared more about the individual than just doing a routine procedure. He is now her biggest advocate! 4 of the 5 people in our family have had teeth extracted by Dr. Lew. Our experiences could not have been more pleasant. As to whoever you are that posted the complaint, ...you said that you wanted to "help" people by saving them from having your same experience. You certainly would not have helped me if I had seen your comments and followed your advice. What a joy and blessing it is to call Dr. Lew our oral surgeon.

    +1 Votes
  • Dw
      19th of May, 2010

    I have had excellent service with Dr. Lew and no complaints. I had surgery and she called me before and after to check on me personally. Her office staff is very professional and Dr. Lew is a highly trained, competent doctor. I am grateful that I found her to serve as my oral surgeon. My experience has been top quality all the way.

    +1 Votes
  • Ju
      20th of Aug, 2010

    Dentists...holy cow! Schucks, scammers, money hungry buggers...and they treat their staff like crap. Go to Milton Pediatric (kids) dentistry to read something of interest...

    -1 Votes
  • Ro
      9th of Mar, 2012

    I had all four impacted wisdom teeth extracted (on the same day) by Dr. Lew and I have NO COMPLAINTS!!! Almost everyone I know has horror stories about getting their third molars pulled out so I was scare about undergoing this procedure. Since the first visit the entire staff, including Dr. Lew, made me feel very comfortable and answered all my questions. The surgery did not take long and the best part was that I didn’t feel a thing. By the next morning, I was up doing my regular activities (including my three and a half hour physical geography Saturday class) without a problem. The only discomforts I had were when I would eat, but that went away within a few days. I received a couple of fallow up calls from Dr. Lew and her staff after the surgery to ask how I was doing and check if I had any questions. I recommend Dr. Dina Lew to everyone all the time. My sister is currently receiving treatment for implants from Dr. Lew and her network of doctors and she has no complaints.
    In regards to the pricing, I didn’t think it was expensive. Some just don’t seem to understand that Dr. Lew is an oral surgeon and not just an ordinary dentist. This might be why certain people find her services pricey. We get what we pay for and my end cost for this procedure was definitely worth it. I would pay that and more all over again to guarantee I get top quality work done. I have no regrets.

    +1 Votes
  • La
      9th of Jun, 2015

    I must chime in here as I feel very strongly that Dr. Dina Lew is an excellent oral surgeon. The first time I used her was for my daughter's wisdom teeth extraction. I was referred by our orthodontist. He gave us several good oral surgeon's and I asked him which one he would personally choose for himself. He thought about it and said probably Dr. Lew because she is the most current on some of the progressive techniques like human growth factor, which speeds healing. I was extremely happy with her professionalism, knowledge, patient care, and follow up. Was she the cheapest? NO!! Was I happy with my purchase? Extremely. My son had his wisdom teeth out 3 years later and the only difference I noticed is that she gave us the option of taking out 2 teeth at a time if we preferred to utilize the full benefit of our insurance. We chose to take out all 4 at once. I know I could have found a less expensive surgeon, but I believe I found the best.

    0 Votes

Post your comment