Victim Location 90230
Total money lost $420
Type of a scam Healthcare/Medicaid/Medicare
Western Dental took advantage of a scared nineteen year old mother of two. I took my cousin to the dentist because she was in a lot of pain and needed her wisdom teeth removed. I stayed with her the entire time because she was terrified of the dentist. When we arrived, we told the dental assistant that we were here to get a wisdom tooth removed. She looked at my cousin’s file and said that a wisdom tooth removal is not on her file. We were so confused. Then the dentist walked in and said that it was no problem and he could do it. He glanced at her x-rays and said that she also needed a bone graft. My cousin became very worried. Why didn’t the dentist mention this in her consultation? It seems like something important that we should have known about beforehand. The dentist noticed this and tried to calm her. He told us that it’s a very simple procedure that only takes 1-2 minutes max and won’t hurt her. We asked if insurance would cover it.
The assistant said she would check, and showed us into a room. She came back and lectured us about how important the bone graft is. She said that if my cousin didn’t get it, that her other teeth could get ruined and it would be very painful. She said that her teeth would slide around and push all her other teeth around. It would cost a fortune to fix that. She said it would save us a ton of money in the long run, but it would cost $420. $420??? The procedure was supposed to be completely covered by Medical. We called ahead to make sure because money is very tight for her right now. She has two toddlers to take care of! I convinced my cousin to walk out. I was so uncomfortable because the nurse was extremely pushy. She caught us walking out and made a huge fuss about how my cousin needed to get the tooth out today. At this point my cousin was petrified and with tears in her eyes she sad back down in the chair. I didn’t want to force her to leave because it would be extremely difficult for her to find another babysitter and someone to drive her to the dentist. I told her not to worry about the money and that I would pay for it.
So the dentist came in and began numbing her. During one of the shots we heard a loud pop. The needle had shot off and hit my cousin in the lip. Then she said, “I can’t do this” and tried to get out of the chair to leave. The dentist held her in the chair and said she’s fine and continued with the next shot. After she was numbed, the dentist came back to begin the tooth extraction. The whole procedure took about 15 minutes. I watched the whole time and didn’t see any “bone graft”. I looked it up later and it takes 45 – 90 minutes to complete a dental bone graft so there’s no way she got one. I was still charged $420! Western Dental is a huge scam. Overall, it was a horrible and traumatizing experience for my cousin. She is still in excruciating pain. They take advantage of poor, young, and frightened patients. They use stress, pressure, and intimidation to make patients accept procedures that they don’t need. Then they charge them huge sums of money for services they do not even receive. Do not trust Western Dental, they use their extremely shady business practices to scam vulnerable people who need dental work. They are completely horrible.