FOR DENTISTS

Do Cheap Denture Practices Make Ends Meet by Abandoning Patients?

It doesn’t happen every day, but it happens more often than it should: dentists closing their practice and abandoning patients. Often, the patients have orders for dentures that they have paid for but never received, or received but couldn’t wear because they fit so poorly.

A recent story out of Idaho focuses on a dentist and denture lab that suddenly went quiet, abandoning patients and locking them off from their records. And, it turns out, this is not the first time the dentist has skipped town, leaving patients in the lurch. Which makes us ask, is this how some denture offices are able to promise those too-good-to-be-true prices?

Cheap Dentures Don't Deliver

Serial Abandonment

The current story involves a dental practice and denture lab in Meridian, Idaho, where patients were surprised to find a sign on the door saying that the dentist was no longer at the office. The Idaho Board of Dentistry started getting calls about the sign on the week of March 12. Reporters then found that this was not the first time the dentist had been charged with patient abandonment–a similar statement of charges had been issued last year by the Washington State Department of Health.

The Washington complaint centered on a patient who had all their teeth removed and was supposed to come back after several months to get their dentures. They’d paid more than $5000 dollars for the dentures, a seven-year warranty, plus denture cleanings twice a year and annual oral exams. But when they came to pick up their dentures, the office had closed without notice.

Deep in Debt

In Idaho, the practice had filed for bankruptcy without telling the patients. The filing showed that the practice had less than $56,000 in assets and owed nearly $763,000 in debt. The debt was related to rent, taxes, advertising, and, of course, legal fees and unpaid patient refunds. Many of the debts are disputed, but it’s easy to imagine a pattern. Advertising brings in patients. Dental work is promised. Fees are collected. The work is performed poorly, or not at all. And everyone is left unpaid.

This may not be a conscious pattern. It may just be bad business acumen. Either way, it shows that you have to ask serious questions when you see a dentist advertising cheap dentures.

Always Ask: Why Are These Dentures so Cheap?

When you see an offer for cheap dentures, you always have to ask: why are these dentures so cheap? As we’ve said before: there is no magic formula for making dentures cheap. The dentist may be cutting corners on the product or on the process. If that’s the case, you are unlikely to be happy with your dentures when you get them.

Or maybe they’re losing money by the handful. If that’s the case, who knows if the dentist will even be in business when it comes time for you to get your dentures. And that can make those seemingly cheap dentures very expensive.

If you are looking for high quality dentures that are a great value, FOY ® Dentures are an excellent choice. They can fulfill all the promises they make–and you can count on the dentists to follow through.

Please contact a local FOY ® Dentures dentist to schedule an appointment today.

About the Author:

This post was written by Rod Strickland. Dr. Strickland is a dentist in Savannah, GA. He is the inventor of the Denture Fountain of Youth® technique.