Showing posts with label Aspen Dental. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aspen Dental. Show all posts

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Why Picket Aspen Dental?

Why Picket Aspen Dental?

by Linda Reynolds

B.A.D. Soldier

What is B.A.D.?

B.A.D. is the acronym for Boycott Aspen Dental. We are a cause that primarily seeks to give a voice to the Aspen Dental victims who are not strong enough to speak out on their own. Alone we are faceless along with all the other Aspen Dental victims, but as a group we have a BEAUTIFUL face of courage with a BOLD name.  We desire to help victims of Aspen Dental because we too are a handful of victims that have been hurt; some of us worse than others.

Why has B.A.D. been created?

B.A.D. was created after experiencing my own personal Aspen Dental horror story, and after reading endless so it seems, online negative reviews about similar Aspen Dental experiences. I saw a need to create a centralized website so people can see the magnitude of thousands of voices screaming out the injustices of Aspen Dental; people who have never had their dental horror story told much less appropriately addressed by the company who caused the damage (ADM). B.A.D. is not about one individual; B.A.D. is a cause that seeks to bring Aspen Dental Victims together. We are one voice and one face: Boycott Aspen Dental.

How did you hear about Aspen Dental?

My insurance had limited options, and Aspen Dental was one of them. I searched the actual dentist for negative reviews, and couldn’t find any. Dr Mark Habermeyer was new at Aspen Dental, but he had several years of prior experience. It was just a simple crown replacement, so I made the appointment asking myself, “How could I go wrong?”

Unfortunately that one visit will cost $5000 to fix the errors made by the staff that day.

I’m still getting treated for this issue that was caused April/May of 2017, so I’m not sure if more will be added to that figure later.

Did Aspen Dental attempt to compensate for your pain and trouble?

They refused to refund my money at the time of the incident, which was when was created. Not a word was heard from Aspen Dental

until June of this year when I received a call from a staff member at Aspen Dental to say they’ve decided to refund my money. What? Over a year later they are doing this? So I get the check for $408, and then another call comes in a few weeks later to offer a settlement. Unfortunately they chose a figure I put out there a year ago, and which no longer covered all that I had gone through. Aspen Dental knew B.A.D. was soon to be revealed, and this apparently was their first vain attempt to stop it.

What do you mean by “vain attempt”?

They showed absolutely no concern whatsoever for all the pain I’ve endured. They attempted to entice me with a low ball offer, but what they failed to consider is I  already had concluded and accepted that I wouldn’t be getting any money from Aspen Dental. The plans for B.A.D. were in place (March 2017 is when the idea was conceived), so I was very suspicious when I received the first call that came a year afterthe incident with no previous attempts on record made by Aspen Dental to rectify this.

After they realized I wasn’t going to take the bait of the second call with the low ball offer, three ladies from Aspen Dental Management Corp offices in Syracuse, NY called me again to attempt to convince me to take the low ball offer. When that didn’t work, they hired an attorney with threats to close us down, and yes that low ball offer was included once more.

What about the threat of a lawsuit?

The day Aspen Dental sues its victim is the day the world will know that Aspen Dental is guilty of all they are accused of doing and more. This victim will never shut up. They don’t have the power to destroy B.A.D. like they would like us to believe. For example, if by chance they were able to have our websites removed with their money, well there was a day we didn’t have the Internet and word still traveled about upcoming events. We will revert back to sending telegrams if we have to, but B.A.D. will be around for months, years and decades to come. Aspen Dental we are not going away until you stop hurting innocent people.

Does Boycott Aspen Dental have an attorney?

We are suiting up for battle, let’s leave it at that.

What is on the agenda of B.A.D. for the short term?

Please visit our website to learn of our current goals as we are planning our grand opening October 6, 2018. That’s when we will reveal our first fundraiser for an Aspen Dental victim to be chosen by member voting. We will also have our first Aspen Dental picket on that day (locations to be announced).

What is on the agenda of B.A.D. for the long term?

To tell as many people who will listen, Stay Safe; Stay AWAY from Aspen Dental!

To have an annual picket at every Aspen Dental location until Aspen Dental STOPS preying on innocent people, often times low income seniors, people with disabilities and children of low income families. If you are an Aspen Dental Victim or know someone who is, please consider joining B.A.D. today!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

NY Attorney General says Aspen has to change it’s ways; or did he?

What apparently escaped the NY Attorney General is that the parent company is the actual owner of the dental practices and the "owner dentist” doesn’t own diddly-squat. 

Hey NY AG! The  "Dental Management Companies" hires individual dentists as salaried employees who then pretend to "own" the clinics!  But you know that, right?

In the case of Small Smiles, the original "owner dentists" paid $10.00 per clinic or less. But when we caught on the price went up to a whopping $100. That's a pretty sweet,,, "owning" a business that generates millions of dollars a year, for $100.  Sign me up!

June 2016 New York State Attorney General Settlement Order With Aspen Dental

Friday, April 17, 2015

Aspen Dental Business Practices Remain Under Fire

Below is a story I received yesterday about Aspen Dental. The relator asked to remain anonymous, I understand why.

I read your recent post regarding Aspen dental. What happened to that patient you most recently wrote about happens all the time. As a former employee of Aspen Dental I know firsthand that if we see a mistake made by a dentist we are to keep her mouth shut. If we speak up or God forbid inform the patient of a mistake we are terminated. We are not allowed to question a doctors treatment plans. It is very frustrating especially when you have over 10 years experience in the dental field and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt the treatment is incorrect. I have watched doctors pull the wrong teeth, leave root tips and charge the patient for an extraction, sell them prosthetic devices they don't need and illegally bill them. When a doctor is caught pulling the wrong teeth, the document is falsified saying the remaining teeth were found to be periodontally involved and we extracted them for free for you, then the patient is tricked into signing it.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New York Class Action Against Aspen Dental Dismissed?

Patients who have had their lives turned upside down due to shoddy dental work by Aspen Dental dentists appear to have been shut down in pursuing their case against this nasty company.

I read this to mean, the court agrees Aspen Dental is operating dental clinics illegally; that the Attorney General should/could pursue them and has the power to dissolve their phony business entity; and there was a breakdown of some sort in procedure for patients to further state their claims.

But none of this by any means says Aspen Dental is innocent of malpractice, and in my opinion should be avoided by the public at all costs. As so is that the opinion of a recent patient. (see below).

If you read anything further into it, please post in the comments, as it may help patients and future employees of the pace.


Doc 78 - Aspen Dental Motion to Dismiss Decision and Order - Cause No.v3:12-cv-1565 US District Court Syrac...


Aspen Dental Amended Complaint filed Jan 18, 2013

Aspen Dental Letter to Sen. Grassley, Feb 13, 2012

Aspen Dental Letter to Sen. Grassley, April 18, 2012

Letter to Aspen Dental from Sen. Grassley, June 14, 2012

FRONTLINE – Dollars and Dentists, June 26, 2012

Transcript of Dollars and Dentists

In another related Aspen Dental issue, just today I received a complaint from a patient who just recently saw Dr. Ajayi at an Evansville, Indiana Aspen Dental Clinic.

Email dated: April 15, 2015

I was recently in as a patient on the Aspen Dental West side of Evansville Indiana location and overheard the most sickening conversation of my life.  I was a little skeptical of the place due to horrible reviews all over the internet, but unfortunately I am one of those victims who's employer changed dental insurances and Aspen Dental was the only one in network so I had to do what I had to do. On my first visit I grew quite fond of the Dental Assistants,.  I could sense they had much experience and were very knowledgeable.  They appeared to not have any liking towards their doctor.

When I was back in for a crown prep, Dr. Ajayi was in such a hurry that he kept jerking my head back and forth yelling "turn to me!" when I was trying my best.  He about drowned me with water and kept laughing as the Dental Assistant apologized and kept wiping my face with a towel.  She asked him once to turn down the water please and he said very rudely NO! I began to get frightened.  Then he gets up and the Assistant asked, are you done? He said yes.  She didn't seem confident that he should be done.  He shoved a bunch of gauze in my mouth and I was bleeding profusely.  She kept asking if I was ok but I was numb so of course I couldn't tell. Later I found out he cut my cheek and tongue so bad I had canker sores for 2 weeks!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Texas tries to crack down on dental chains that put profits ahead of patients


CPIBy David Heathemail
January 8, 2013

A leading Republican in the Texas legislature, who says she’s outraged by allegations that corporate dental chains put profits ahead of patients, has introduced a bill that would allow the state to regulate chains and forbid them from forcing dentists to meet revenue quotas.

A joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and PBS Frontline last summer found that two of the largest dental chains owned by private-equity firms, Aspen Dental Management and Kool Smiles, put pressure on its dentists to meet production goals, prompting complaints of overbilling and unnecessary treatments.

Both companies deny this. And a coalition of dental chains in Texas contends that their dentists have total control over patient care. But the chief sponsor of the bill remains skeptical.

“Several reports, including the Frontline program, have uncovered outrageous activities involving the illegal enticement of patients, especially among our Medicaid providers and often involving dental service organizations,” said Republican Sen. Jane Nelson, who chairs the Senate’s Health & Human Services committee.

Nelson did not name a specific chain. Aspen Dental does not accept Medicaid and has no offices in Texas. But Kool Smiles has clinics throughout Texas, and public records show that the state Attorney General has been investigating Kool Smiles for Medicaid fraud.

Read the entire story at Center for Public Integrity

Friday, November 30, 2012

Aspen settles with former employee who was assaulted by her supervisor

tdnBy Tony Lystra / The Daily News

Columbia, Oregon

Aspen dental, former employee reach settlement on eve of trial

A Longview dental clinic has reached a settlement with a former employee who claimed that she had a mental breakdown after her supervisor assaulted her in the workplace.

The settlement, the terms of which were not disclosed, came on Monday, the day the case was scheduled for a civil jury trial in Cowlitz County Superior Court.

Crystal M. Manes, who had been working as a dental assistant in Aspen Dental’s Ocean Beach Highway branch, sued the company, saying her supervisor slapped her on the arm on April 21, 2010. Manes said she had come to work early that day and, at around 5 p.m., informed the supervisor, Jessica Scruggs, that she was leaving for the day. Scruggs became angry because there were still patients waiting to be seen and, with an open palm, struck Manes in the left arm declaring, “Well then, go home,” according to the suit.

Aspen Dental’s attorneys contended that Scruggs may have touched Manes only while gesturing and that the impact could not have been enough to cause an injury.

Manes, however, said a black and blue bruise appeared on her arm that evening. Manes also said that she was later prescribed Xanax for panic attacks, according to court documents. On May 8, 2010, Manes was admitted to St. John Medical Center after “the combination of panic attacks and a reaction to the Xanax medication caused (her) to have a mental breakdown,” according to Manes’ lawsuit.

Manes, who was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder resulting from the incident, sued Aspen Dental for medical expenses, lost wages and “general damages,” court documents said.

Manes’ attorney, David Nelson of Longview, declined to disclose the terms of the settlement. Aspen Dental’s attorney, Douglas Parker of the firm Littler Mendelson in Portland, did not return a phone call Wednesday.

Aspen Dental is a national chain of dental offices with 340 branches in 22 states, according to the company’s public relations department.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What’s Moodys got to say about Aspen Dental?

"Aspen affiliates with its dentists through two models: the staffing model and the practice ownership program ("POP"). Under the staffing model (~55% of offices), dentists are at-will employees of affiliated PCs, where the PCs own the medical records, patient lists, and operating records. Under the POP model (~45% of offices), dentists purchase the medical records from the PC to essentially own their own practice. The company's audited financials do not consolidate the POP practices. Audited revenues for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009 approximated $260 million. The consolidated (unaudited) revenues for all Aspen branded dental offices, including POP offices, approximated $322 million over the same period."

Note: Moodys reports approx 55% of Aspen Dental offices have dentists as employees ("staffing model"). Moodys reports approx 45% operate under the POP model, where dentists purchase the "medical records". Although these doctors "essentially own their own practice", they can't freely sell this practice, nor dismiss Aspen Dental as a DMO, as might a true owner. There exists a serious difference between "essential ownership", versus true & valid ownership.

When Leonard Green purchased Aspen Dental they utilized GE Capital.

The same GE Capital which runs CareCredit, which operates the consumer 3rd party payment system for Aspen Dental. This seems like a pretty tight relationship, & something which may merit further investigation?

From Aspen Dental corporate marketing on POP:’s-practice-ownership-program-pop-has-dr-timothy-owczarzak-in-a-“perfect-situation”/

An Aspen Dental President & "owner" of 2 Aspen Dental clinics, Dr Owczarak comments, "...Owning your own practice is a totally different animal. When you’re in private practice it seems like it’s 20% dentistry and 80% business. I simply became tired of it.”.

He later goes on to say about his POP position w/ Aspen Dental, "This has been a winning situation all the way around. I own a practice...". In reality, he doesn't own a practice.  Dr Owczarak may own a practice under the definition of ownership of Aspen Dental, but not true & valid ownership, under the legal definition of ownership. This misrepresentation proffered to dentists in this Aspen Dental marketing effort isn't very subtle nor sophisticated.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

WFTV’s 9 Investigates - Undercover investigation of Aspen Dental scam in Lake County = Aspen Dental Fail


WFTV Website


Monday November 6, 2012

A Lake County woman claims a major dental chain wanted to collect a few thousand dollars for some treatments she didn't need.

Action 9's Todd Ulrich found many other consumers have claimed the company's offer for a free exam can really end up costing them.

Cheryl Gifford had a cracked tooth and expected to pay something at the Aspen Dental clinic in Mt. Dora.

Gifford said she was blown away when the dentist handed her a $3,700 treatment plan to fix her tooth and treat gum disease. She claims the clinic wanted to get her signed up that day.

"And then it was like, 'You really need to get this done now,'" Gifford said.

Gifford said she questioned all the periodontal work since she routinely had her teeth cleaned. After insurance, she would have owed $1,800 and told the clinic she couldn't afford it.

According to Gifford, the clinic said it could all be financed.

"They had a finance program they could put me into and I could get signed up right now," she said.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Class Action Filed Against Aspen Dental–They operate illegally.

Aspen Dental Class Action Complaint 3:12-CV-1565

Brian S. Cohen, Esq. 

2 Greenwich Office Park - Suite 300
Greenwich, CT 06831
Phone: 203-485-7525
Fax: 203-485-7526

10 East 40th Street - 46th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-967-2879

Fax: 646-349-2567

Aspen is not alone, most, if not all of these are operating illegally as well:

Affordable Care, Inc – American Capital
Allied Dental Practices
American Dental Partners
Aspen Dental Management, Inc
Children’s Dental Group
ClearChoice Dental Associates
Dental Care Alliance
DentalOne Partners, Inc . – MSD Capital – Michael Dell
Dentistry For Children
Gentle Dental Group / Northwestern Management Services – Linden Capital
Gentle Dental of New England/Gentle Dental Associates
Gentle Dental/InterDent, Inc
Great Expressions Dental Centers
Heartland Dental Care – Code Hennessy & Simmons, LLC
ImmediaDent - James Ferrell – Samson Capital
Kool Smiles – FFL Partners
Lumino The Dentists
Midwest Dental – FFL Partners
Mountain Dental
Ocean Dental
Pacific Dental Services, Inc – Scott A Beck and Jeff Butler
Perfect Teeth – Birner Dental Management
ReachOut Healthcare America – Morgan Stanley
Refresh Dental
ImmediaDent – James Ferrell – Samson Capital
Small Smiles – Garrison Investment
Smile Brands, Inc – Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe
TownCare Dental Partnership, Inc - FL. State Representative Michael Bileca
West Coast Dental Services, Inc
Western Dental Centers

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

ADA Mass Email Today Promoting Private Equity Corporate Owned Dentistry.

Just in case you were unsure where the ADA stood on private equity and corporate owned illegal dental chains, you don’t need to be. 



Sunday, July 01, 2012

Aspen Dental Defrauding the poor and elderly esposed


$2,540 for 2 fillings? Poor hit by high fees at chain

By David Heath

The Center for Public Integrity

updated 7/1/2012 2:41:00 PM ET

Surviving on a meager $1,300 a month, 87-year-old Theresa Ferritto fretted about the cost when her dentist told her she needed two teeth pulled.

She figured an oral surgeon would be too expensive. So she decided to try out a dental chain that promoted steep discounts in its advertisements. She went to an Aspen Dental office just outside Cleveland.

Ferritto said Aspen Dental wouldn’t just pull the teeth but insisted on a complete exam. She was bewildered when they finally handed her a treatment planfour pages long. Total price: $7,835.

Ferritto could not afford it, but Aspen Dental signed her up for a special credit card, with monthly payments of $186 for five years. She blames herself for signing the papers.

“I made a big mistake going there,” she says. “I should have known better.”

After a day of cleanings and two fillings, Ferritto asked her son for help. He called Aspen Dental to complain but said he got nowhere. So they turned to the state Attorney General.

Aspen Dental took all charges off her credit card for treatments she hadn’t yet received. But said the $2,540 she was charged for two fillings and cleanings was appropriate.

Read the rest at

Academy of General Dentistry and American Dental Association Responces to “Dollars and Dentists” Program on PBS

Considering the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and the American Dental Association (ADA) are in the same building in downtown Chicago, my mouth actually fell open when I read this statement from the AGD.

Academy of General Dentistry Responds to “Dollars and Dentists” Program on PBS

AGDChicago (June 27, 2012)—On Tuesday, June 26, the PBS “Frontline” documentary series aired “Dollars and Dentists,” a special program that investigated what it referred to as the “broken nature of the dental care system” in the U.S. According to the PBS piece, more than 100 million Americans currently do not have dental insurance and cannot afford treatment. “Dollars and Dentists” attributed this lack of patient care to the Medicaid system, stating that it did not provide enough of a profit margin to dentists treating children at Medicaid rates. The segment implied that there are very few solutions available to solve this access to care problem. However, extensive analysis conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and other dental organizations has found that this is not the case.

“Dollars and Dentists” showcased the plusses and minuses of high-production dental franchises, which many claim will help to decrease the cost of care for Medicaid rates. The AGD shares the concerns voiced by “Frontline” that, as a business model, dental franchises that focus on quantity before quality may not be in the public’s best interest.

“I am concerned by business models that emphasize production quotas and do not individualize treatment for every patient,” says AGD President Jeffrey M. Cole, DDS, MBA, FAGD. “The focus becomes the company’s revenue rather than personalized care. Each patient deserves the type of time and attention provided by the traditional dental team business model, which promotes better oral health.”

In the “Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Barriers and Solutions to Accessing Care” white paper, the AGD renews its call for proven dental care solutions and quality care, which were originally outlined in its 2008 “White Paper on Increasing Access to and Utilization of Oral Health Services.” The AGD calls for an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates, greater efforts to improve oral health literacy and education, expansion of water fluoridation, and the creation of loan forgiveness programs for dentists working in underserved areas, among numerous other solutions that preserve the focus of providing quality care to each individual patient.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

PR pushback supposedly “after” FRONTLINE aired

Twenty five minutes after FRONTLINE’s “Dollars and Dentists” aired at 10PM Eastern Time, a link to a “rebuttal” landed in my inbox. Amazingly, June Thomas, it’s author, doesn’t know night from day. She watched the FRONTLINE “Dollars and Dentists” tonight, at 12:32PM.  Just saying… 


Hurricane of reports - Private Equity Dentistry in the news– Week of June 25, 2012

Not a good week for criminal dentistry.
drbiscupidlogo Texas dental Medicaid scandal far from overMonday June 25, 2012


Dental Abuse of U.S. Poor Dodges Ejection from MedicaidTuesday June 26, 2012

March 13, 2012 – Letter from OIG to Sheila Sawyer and Lorri Steiner of Small Smiles Dental
May 15, 2012 – Agreement with OIG Re: Manassas Clinic to Sheila Sawyer and Lorri Steinerof Small Smiles Dental
                                                               Collection of Documents

frontline[6]Dollars and Dentists – FRONTLINE Tuesday June 26, 2012
Check your local listing for air time
Live Chat Wednesday June 27, 2012 @ 2:30 Eastern Time with Miles O'Brien, and Center for Public Integrity reporter David Heath. You can submit questions right now by visiting here.

                                                                  Collection of Documents

iwatchnewsPatients, Pressure and Profits at Aspen DentalTuesday June 26, 2012

Truth is a far cry from the reported wonderful benefits of working at Aspen printed last Friday on Dr. Bicuspid, quoting Dr. John Notarianni, DDS 

Complaints About Kids Care Follow Kool SmilesTuesday June 26, 2012

Kool Smiles Response fails to address concerns.


Attorney General files lawsuits related to WFAA dental investigations - Tuesday June 26, 2012

Texas AG lawsuits spurred by WFAA dental investigationJune 26, 2012

Corporate dental chains see profitable market treating poor kids and adults Tuesday June 26, 2012

nightlinelogoAnesthesia deathsNightline Wednesday June 27, 2012Check your local listing for time
         CANCELED (again)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Confused about the “Dental Crisis” here in the U.S.

There is little doubt I am completely confused as to the so called “Dental Crisis” here is the U.S. 

I am not understanding why the Pew Institute or any other “institute” wastes time and money on access to care and certainly no one is wasting their time on studying access to quality care.

For the primary teeth we are lucky enough to be born with, corporations want to “drill ‘em, fill ‘em, cap ‘em and bill ‘em. They stress the importance of early treatment of caries and developing good hygiene habits so you can keep your natural teeth for the rest of your life.  Hell, the AAPD is now recommending you get your infant to the dentist at age 6 months or when the first tooth erupts, even if in-utero I suppose.


The clinics down the street, such as Aspen, Affordable Dentures and the like, what to pull every last tooth in your head and slap in some cheap ass dentures.

What’s the whole point?

It’s not about proper medical treatment, it’s about Sales!

See – The below is from Aspen Dental.













As you can see about, it’s about the “prize”, it’s about highest possible sale comes first, it’s about “hey, office manager, even if the patient says they are not interested in the “treatment” plan, get the doctor or hygienist first so they can “re-stress” the sale, it’s not about medical care.

Below you’ll see a note.  These notes are attached to each file reviewed (audited)by regional operations managers at Aspen clinics. Read this carefully, Aspen was NOT concerned about the medical care the patient needed, only the commitment to a sale.