Children’s Dentistry Over 3 Billion Served

Who wins when children’s dentistry turns in to a franchise? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know what the answer is not! The children!

My ex-husband’s company went through a take over, which resulted in him purchasing a different dental policy for our three children. I was delighted to learn that my kids would finally be able to use the dentist office I have seen so many times on television. This dental office looked awesome. The promise of fun, smiles, and quality care seemed too good to be true. Plus, they have play equipment in the waiting room. Certainly, it does not get better than this, right?

I called to schedule my children’s cleanings, and was able to have my pick of appointments. Wow, I thought, this is great! With the kid’s previous dentist it took weeks to get an appointment.  Also, the previous dentist kept telling me that none of my children had cavities, but frequent complaints of sensitivity and mysterious bubbles on their gums told me all was not as well as I was being told. So, I made the first appointment available and off we went.

The waiting room was huge! There were chairs lined up as if we were attending a conference. I have never seen so many seats in a dental office. I am a dental assistant by trade, so its not easy to shock me, but the room full of people did shock me. I couldn’t wait to get in the back to see how many dentists they had working. Little did I know that I would not get any closer to the operatories than a big window designed to met you see six dental chairs where the kids are all worked on in one shared operatory.  The wait was long, and the slides in the waiting room quickly lost their appeal as too many children were wrestling to fit down at once.  When my children were finally called back I was flustered, but I was still excited to show my three year old how fun the dentist could be. 

However, we were not being called in to the operatory, no we were now waiting in the consultation room.  It is very frustrating after a long wait to be called in to a room to wait some more.  Finally,  a dental assistant entered and gave me the run down of the planned procedures and then escorted my older children into the shared operatory and told my son and me that we could watch in the window.

I still had not met the dentist. As a rule I am bothered by not meeting the person that will be treating my child. I would never leave them with a babysitter I don’t know, so why am I expected to leave them to be cared for by a dentist I have never seen? But, leave them I did. I stood, watching through the window, until I could not hold my 7 month old and three year old at the same time any longer.  I had to put my son down and retreat to the waiting room.

After what seemed like a lifetime, the assistant came to inform me of the treatment plans for my children that were cavity free six months ago. The plan included antibiotics for both of them to treat abcesses, crowns, extraction, and fillings. I was not doubting that they needed this work, but at that time I was still in the dark about this dental organization.  Actually, the treatment plan was so rushed through I can’t even remember which child needs what done! To top it all off, my son did not get a cleaning because of his abscess, so we will have to go back. 

After the treatment plan run down we were taken out to the desk where we were supposed to schedule an appointment, but because they were so busy we were handed a card and told to call to schedule. 

The whole experience left me feeling exhausted, frustrated, and confused. I need to wait to take my children back until they complete their course of antibiotics.  I don’t want to take them back there.  I don’t believe that my children are anything more than a number in that office. Perhaps, the dentists, or whoever owns the offices, is seeing dollar signs instead of numbers. We were rushed in and hurried out with a long wait in between!

Update:

My busy schedule has made this blog post take about four days to write so far and in that time I received a disturbing email. What was so disturbing? Well, it was an email confirming my children’s appointments. The disturbing part is that I did not call to schedule appointments yet.  I haven’t even seen their treatment plans!  When I called to inquire about the appointments I was talked down to as if I should understand what is going on.  The woman on the phone has agreed to write down the cost of the many procedures they need so that I can schedule as my wallet allows, but she offered a warning that this works needs to be done quickly so that my children don’t suffer more problems. Believe me lady I don’t want them to have any more.problems than they already do, which is why I am calling a different dentist and seeking a second opinion!

Upon doing some research on the company I have learned that they have a lot of complaints against them. Allegations which include rudeness (agreed), false treatment plans aimed at increasing funds, separating parents and children, intimidating children, and unnecessary use of a papoose board! What! Why didn’t I research this place before?

I will update this post after I take my children to a new dentist for a second opinion, but as it stands I am extremely upset with the whole situation, and I sit here in utter amazement that a company that promises smiles is taking advantage of people in this manner!

I have purposely not mentioned the name of this company because with my luck someone would finally read my blog and then I would get in trouble for saying bad things about this company, but I will say, in regards to the whole ugly mess, that I am not smiling and this is not cool!

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