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Old 04-30-2019, 11:27 AM
 
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Are the dental practice chains you usually find in outdoor shopping centers (Aspen, Mortenson, etc.) in which -- I presume -- the doctors work on salary rather than in practice for themselves okay, or are they to be avoided? If you go there, how would you rate the care compared to a private dentist?
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
Are the dental practice chains you usually find in outdoor shopping centers (Aspen, Mortenson, etc.) in which -- I presume -- the doctors work on salary rather than in practice for themselves okay, or are they to be avoided? If you go there, how would you rate the care compared to a private dentist?
My fiancee's dental insurance is not widely accepted in our home area. The closest dental practice was 50 miles away and was an Aspen. He had a routine cleaning and one small cavity filled, no other problems noted by their dentist or hygienist.



A couple of weeks later he broke tooth #20, basically 1/4 of the tooth and not down to the gum. He called Aspen to be seen, earliest appointment was 4 weeks out and he was placed on a "standby list" (never contacted- guess one didn't open or he was far down a list).



By the time he was seen he had an infection that was treated with a week's supply on antibiotics. Went back that following week and was told the tooth needed to be pulled. They never mentioned the possibility for a root canal or a referral to an Endo (which they claim to have on staff). When he let me know the tooth needed to come out I had him see my dentist (we paid out of pocket) who referred us to his Endo (we paid out of pocket) who performed a root canal. Both my dentist and the Endo have treated me for a good 10 years and I travel a fair distance to still be seen by them.


My dentist took his own x-rays and contacted Aspen for the set they took only 7-8 weeks before along with his patient record. He saw 3 cavities on both sets of films that Aspen never mentioned. One of which was slightly below the gum line.



So, from our experience, this particular location felt like a bunch of hacks.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:46 PM
 
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No. AVOID THOSE PLACES AT ALL COSTS! Believe me when I tell you they are not good.

Find a dentist who is not part of one of those places. They are mostly scam artists that do shoddy work.
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:12 AM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
37,913 posts, read 17,750,568 times
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Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
Are the dental practice chains you usually find in outdoor shopping centers (Aspen, Mortenson, etc.) in which -- I presume -- the doctors work on salary rather than in practice for themselves okay, or are they to be avoided? If you go there, how would you rate the care compared to a private dentist?
They are horrible, the biggest problem is that they are all about making money and will oversell you on services that you don't need. They are very sophisticated, the dentist hardly ever tells you what work you need, instead you are sent to a room with a salesperson whose job it is to sell you a mouth full of crowns, root canals, inlays, deep cleanings, etc. Stay away from them! On some of the cheaper dental plans these are the only dental offices that will take the insurance.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:39 AM
 
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They are horrible, the biggest problem is that they are all about making money and will oversell you on services that you don't need. They are very sophisticated, the dentist hardly ever tells you what work you need, instead you are sent to a room with a salesperson whose job it is to sell you a mouth full of crowns, root canals, inlays, deep cleanings, etc. Stay away from them! On some of the cheaper dental plans these are the only dental offices that will take the insurance.
Who are the people who work in such places? Fresh recruits right out of dental school, or dentists who can't make it in a private practice?
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
Who are the people who work in such places? Fresh recruits right out of dental school, or dentists who can't make it in a private practice?

These are usually new dental grads with high levels of debt who are trying to pay off some debt to get a loan to start/buy a practice.

Some are unsure of where they want to practice so they take an employed job while they figure it out.

Some have a spouse still in training that may take another couple years to complete before moving to where they want to live.
Some simply want to do dentistry but not have to manage the business side of owning a dental practice.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
37,913 posts, read 17,750,568 times
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Originally Posted by toofache32 View Post
These are usually new dental grads with high levels of debt who are trying to pay off some debt to get a loan to start/buy a practice.

Some are unsure of where they want to practice so they take an employed job while they figure it out.

Some have a spouse still in training that may take another couple years to complete before moving to where they want to live.
Some simply want to do dentistry but not have to manage the business side of owning a dental practice.
I think you pretty much nailed it, and the dentists I saw in two of those clinics weren't quacks or trying to upsell, they barely talk to me though, I asked them what they found during the examination and they both said something very vague like "nothing unexpected". They just write stuff on a chart and send you out to see the "treatment planner" who never lets you look at the chart or even the perio charting, their goal is to sell you $10,000 + in dental work that you most likely don't need.

What depresses me is that it's apparently legal to lie about what dental work you need or don't need.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:41 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
14,774 posts, read 20,795,231 times
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Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
I think you pretty much nailed it, and the dentists I saw in two of those clinics weren't quacks or trying to upsell, they barely talk to me though, I asked them what they found during the examination and they both said something very vague like "nothing unexpected". They just write stuff on a chart and send you out to see the "treatment planner" who never lets you look at the chart or even the perio charting, their goal is to sell you $10,000 + in dental work that you most likely don't need.

What depresses me is that it's apparently legal to lie about what dental work you need or don't need.





yes is that not something ? , no regulations on dentists or dental places .
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
37,913 posts, read 17,750,568 times
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Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
yes is that not something ? , no regulations on dentists or dental places .
There are regulations but the decision to perform a dental service such as put a crown on a tooth, or do a deep cleaning is largely subjective and I think state dental boards are reluctant to second guess why a dentist would perform a particular procedure unless it's really outrageous.

My husband's dentist in Reno filled the same cavity four times. The insurance finally caught it and denied payment. My husband asked his dentist about it and he just shrugged so he changed dentists. The new dentist said that the filling was so small and shallow that it probably never needed to be filled in the first place. The dentist who did that is still practicing, my husband did leave a scathing review on Yelp but the Nevada board of dental examiners didn't seem interested.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:00 PM
 
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I have had the opposite experience.


We use Comfort Dental which is a chain here in Colorado and across the south. We have had the same dentist for the last 10 years. He is very experienced, and easy to get ahold of and talk to (even during off hours). He does not hesitate to refer us to specialists (e.g., an endodontist for a root canal or an oral surgeon for removal of impacted wisdom teeth). I think we get better care at a chain because they keep their overhead low and are not always trying to sell, sell, sell.



These independent private practice dentists have luxurious offices in new buildings with all the bells and whistles (e.g., child care, coffee bar, slick ads, etc.). Who pays for all that overhead? You do.


I have experienced when independent private practice dentists recommended procedures that were unnecessary or performed work that was substandard because they have no incentive to keep current and are more interested in making money off you.


The bottom line is - ALWAYS QUESTION YOUR DENTAL (AND MEDICAL) PROVIDER WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND WHY. And read those Yelp! reviews (including the ones not recommended by Yelp!).
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