Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg
1K views
30 comments

I am a former patient of this dental office. In this review I am exposing all the scare techniques and cheating strategies the management of this office uses to fool patients into accepting dental treatments for the profit of the owner doctors. I came to know about this after my initial visit because my friend is a dental assistant and former employee of this office. My friend’s job as a dental assistant offered her a first hand experience of the unbelievable system of deceiving patients that stands behind the operation of Affinity Dental in Fresno. What’s amazing is that everything she actually told me, proved to be exactly true.

In spite of this office portraying itself as an outstanding cosmetic dental office, this is primarily an HMO office that accepts patients insured by low cost dental plans. Because of the low level of patient education on the dental insurance matter and due to the high cost of running such a huge operation, the solution implemented by the owner doctors and management is simple: deal with high volumes, push dental upgrades and unnecessary treatments, collect as much up-front, send the work to the cheapest possible dental laboratory and wish to never see the patient back.

It all starts with the new patient exam. Patients are initially sized-up by a treatment coordinator. Questions like what’s your occupation, do you like your smile, when was the last time you were at the dentist and many other questions are asked in the friendliest manner. You wouldn’t know that you’re actually embarking on a nasty and expensive ride. There is probably a scheme and specific pathway to follow depending on each possible answer. After this interview is done, the treatment coordinator talks to the dentist who will be doing the exam behind closed doors. I don't know what’s exactly said in there, but after this conversation the dentist doing the exam will use any of the following techniques in determining the patient to accept expensive and often times unneeded treatment: convince and scare the patient that without deep cleaning and antibiotic treatments he/she will get heart disease and teeth will start falling out; embarass the patient about the looks of his/her smile then promise an expensive cosmetic dental solution; diagnose non-existent cavities; overlook dental treatments needed for kids because of the low reimbursement fees; plan unneeded gum cutting procedures; propose unneeded material upgrades. After the whole speech and scare of what it would happen if these issues are not addressed immediately, patient is handed over to the treatment coordinator. Here the “sale” takes place, because in the end it’s all about the money in this dental office. These people are paid like used car dealers a bonus on the amount collected. The more is collected and work done with less expense, the more money they will make. So it follows that all kind of sale techniques are employed here including high interest credit cards where the whole amount is charged out even before the treatment starts, in order to avoid patients have second thoughts or change their mind once they left the office. If you would like to be taken for this nasty ride, you definitely should pay this office a visit. If none of these bother you, it will probably bother you that at the end you will get a bad result. That is because they work with the cheapest dental laboratories in the country. Dentists employed by this office as well as the dentist owner are very rude with zero bedside manners, most likely the cheapest to employ they can find and they keep changing very often. If you think of taking your complaint to the office manager, as related by my friend, dealing with her is a nightmare. Managers and dentists know what’s happening but they are ruthless for an extra dollar earned for themselves and this almighty multi-location California dental corporation. As a patient you don’t have a dentist, you will get the dentist based on his ability to perform the most tricks for the least cost. The work goes to the Philippines and Belize dental laboratories and the end product looks nothing like human teeth. Get a grip on reality, do yourself a favor and look elsewhere. This corporation has offices in San Diego, Fresno, Ventura, Los Angeles and many other locations probably coming up running by the same business model.

Monetary Loss: $1000.

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Anonymous
#935654

I am a new employee of this dental office. I looked at the website and accidentally got to this report page.

I am not sure if this is the way it's done everywhere since I am a new grad. But all the lies and BS theory taken to perfection, as a tool to extort patients into paying money to the office are pretty scary. I don't want to end up in prison, what should I do. Btw, all the talks behind closed doors are true.

All staff know about this website and advised me to ask for an opinion here. HELP us put an end to this nightmare for employees and patients. Somebody needs to go check out this place and shut it down.

Rosemary told me that she registered a complaint website and that she is planning to let owners know that she will release the name if paid $100,000. She's the office clerk up front, SICK!

Anonymous
Roseville, California, United States #923501

I was visiting family in Clovis this summer and needed a dentist for some emergency treatment. Affinity did great at collecting money in advance for everything else BUT the problem I had.

What I got was just a promise. When I took my issue to office manager Rosemary Brokks (let's just call her Mrs. B****), she almost laughed. B told me the the office had a change in management, that Dr.

Michels sold it and is no longer responsible for the past patients. She said that the new owner is a multi-location company that does business across several states and doctors cannot deliver because they are out of school and are paid low wages. I was pretty amazed to hear all that, later Mrs. B denied saying any of it.

So, I said fine, let me have my money back and I will go elsewhere. One of the Drs I saw, Dr. Cave, he was the oldest and nicest had told me that he could treat me at his dental office in Visalia, so I was planning to do just that. He said so, because he liked me and said that I won't be taken care of well at Affinity.

Mrs B (Rosemary) did not give me my money back, she said that she was now the boss. She said that because she is paid bonus on the income of the office, the money is all gone and that I was out of luck. I could go and try to sue but that's a long shot. Basically, I am $5,000 in the hole and still with no dental treatment.

I am not sure what can be done to protect future patients, except this posting.

The new dental office is now called Gentle Dental. A search for gentledentalfresno dot com and fresnogentledental dot com leads to this complaint page.

I am happy to see that and hope that this dental office will either go out of business or fire Mrs. B and get their business practices straight.

Anonymous
#719701

I went to Affinity Dental thinking they were excellent dentists based on their website. I had no idea what I was in for when I was a patient there.

One of my back teeth was giving me problems (toothaches). For this problem tooth, I was given a root canal, but that was botched up resulting in an infection that had to be treated with antibiotics. Meantime, I had my gums irrigated and a couple of crowns by this office. It seems like they worked on everything but my problem tooth.

I had to take antibiotics for my problem tooth 3 times, because I kept getting infections--my problem tooth was being ignored! This problem tooth was falling apart--eventually, this tooth started breaking off; it once broke off while I was eating something. At one point, this office referred me to an endodontist--who recommended that this problem tooth be extracted--no way can it be saved--even though Affinity Dental said "We want to save this tooth". When my tooth broke off some more, when I got another infection, when I developed a fever from the infection and had to stay home from work--Affinity Dental had no choice but to extract this problem tooth.

Why didn't they deal with my problem tooth BEFORE it started breaking off?? It's bad enough they messed up my root canal--they could have at least corrected THAT! On top of that, Affinity Dental convinced me to sign up for a dental credit card, which I did. I was charged nearly five thousand dollars--IN FULL and for work NOT YET DONE.

My mom was with me for my last appointment at Affinity Dental--she got the impression that they are dishonest. She's right! Reading the other reviews for Affinity Dental here, I can see that I'm not alone in feeling like I've been ripped off. They gave me crowns and worked on my gums, but they did NOT TREAT MY PROBLEM TOOTH!

They were going to finally extract this tooth, but my mom got in touch with the endodontist that I saw earlier. The endodontist recommended that an oral surgeon extract this problem tooth, instead of Affinity Dental doing the extraction. So we went to the oral surgeon, and he extracted my tooth (he did a good job). Affinity Dental reimbursed me for work not done on my teeth, but I am NOT GOING BACK to them--EVER!

Thanks, you other posters, for sharing your experiences with Affinity Dental.

I'm not the only one who feels like I've been ripped off. My mom says they (Affinity Dental) are a bunch of crooks--she's right!

Anonymous
to anonymous #727035

Let me say I am glad I found this review website.

Having gone through a similar situation with them, and after talking to several lawyers, I got the following advice, which actually I will implement soon in my own case; you should probably do the same:

- complain to the California Dental Board

- complain to the Better Business Bureau

- complain to your dental insurance carrier, if you have dental insurance

- complain to the credit card company that you were charged for services not rendered to you; most likely that is CareCredit

- most importantly: spread the word through all of your friends and family, let them know about this horrific dental office and that this review page exists

This place should be shutdown. Nobody will do that, but if enough people complain here, they will be forced to shutdown on their own.

Btw, if you want to understand the meaning of "b***h" try asking their office manager for your money back. She will be like :grin and you will be more like :cry

Anonymous
Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany #672266

Manager's advice to saving tons of money:

DON'T GET ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

porcelain margins

artificial bones

gum antibiotics

upgraded materials for crowns, fillings or dentures

dental implants :upset

:upset :eek :upset :eek :upset :eek

Anonymous
#669209

The lie is so highly perfected, it's hard to see that it is in fact a big lie. Everything from the patient calling on the phone, initial consultation and delivery of the treatment is geared towards making a higher profit at all cost, which is always a low quality of care.

The system perfected by Dr. Alan Michels is strictly enforced in all of their offices. I used to work in their San Diego office and when I tried to bring to their attention this matter of evident deceit towards the patients, I was basically explained that I have 2 options: shut up and do it, or leave and wouldn't have to do it. I choose to leave because I think that what they are doing is highly illegal and should be prosecuted, I did not want any involvement in it.

Also Dr.

Michels has not practiced dentistry for over 20 years, the only practice and specialty that he has is lying to the patient, some other dentist does the work. Go in as a patient, experience it first hand and then you will hopefully believe it!

Anonymous
to XE #671064

Dr Michels is a star. He has perfected his cheating techniques on dental insurance matters and lectures nationwide on this hot topic. Please stop this thread!

Anonymous
to Anonymous Calabasas, California, United States #671104

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Anonymous
to Anonymous #672256

:grin :grin :grin this is wrong...

Anonymous
to XE Phoenix, Arizona, United States #684154

Not knowing about this review, I went in as a new patient; after almost 1 hour of waiting, I felt like at a used car dealer. The doctor owners seem :grin *** :grin there are life size posters on the side of the building of them hugging.

I don't care and don't discriminate, good for them, it's just an observation.

But as a patient, I wouldn't let them anywhere near my family. :zzz

Anonymous
#666559

I have been permanently injured by the surgeon doctor that works in this office. My nerves were damaged to the point where I have permanently lost sensation to half of my face.

I was denied emergency visits for returning to their office after their faulty treatment. I would advise anyone interested not to go to this office. You have other better options, I went to Smile. I will sue them but it will not heal my injury.

I am disfigured since I cannot smile and cannot talk well due to my tongue being numb.

Dealing with office manager Rosemary has been another (financial) nightmare. :cry :cry :cry

Anonymous
#664696

For an increased profitability one needs to charge more (as in charging for fake services such as gum cutting procedures) and pay less to the dental shops that make the teeth (as with out of the country shops). The result is low quality of care at a hugely expensive price.

The work is very poor, has no warranty and is irreversible. They will however make you sign all kind of papers for their own protection. Want it better and cheaper?

You should go to Bullard Dental across the street, that's what I did! :upset :upset :upset :upset :upset :upset

Anonymous
#661151

I am so grateful to have found this information while looking for their website before my visit. :grin :grin :grin

With such practices, my money will be better spent at Home Depot than at this dental office :x

Anonymous
#647521

:eek Here is how I got free services under HMO; you will have to be selective in accept some thing but not others:

DON’T accept irrigative solutions

DON’T accept ARESTID antibiotics treatments

DON’T accept crown longening

DON’T accept any dental material upgrades for filing cavities or crowns.

DONT accep anything else than basic dentures with standard teeth

They probably will not want to do give it to you under these conditions. Say you will complaint to the local dental association, to the consumer board and to the department of corporations. You will file a grievance if they don’t accep to do it or if the results are poor, you have pain, etc. That should settle the matter and you will get free treatments.

More than anything else enjoy your visit, they are very nice people.

:grin :grin :grin :grin :grin

Anonymous
to James Dean Cerritos, California, United States #921926

Today's dentistry is changed so much. If you don't get porcelain margin, you will have a metal color showing around the gum.

If you just want silver filling, then just get the silver filling. I would not want silver filling in my teeth... you know it is not all silver...mixture of copper, tin, mercury and silver; if you want dentures your insurances cover at 100%, then just get that...the material is mostly from China or from 3rd world country...... if you don't want to get the crown lengtening, then don't get it...you will get gum swelling all the time after the crown is placed; if you don't want to get Arestin, then don't get it...COME ON...

if you just want to get dentistry that was done in 50 years ago... then just get it...

this is so ridiculous... IF YOU GET A BETTER INSURANCE, THEN YOU DON'T HAVE GO THRU THIS TYPE OF ***...JUST GET BETTER INSURANCE or PAY OUT OF YOUR POCKET IF YOU WANT BETTER SERVICE.

Anonymous
Paris, Ile-De-France, France #646535

I find these on google.fr it is sad to see how is dentistry in America. Very good reading thanks to the contributing writers.

Anonymous
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium #644813

Sorry to see this kind of complaints here; per doctor Michaelis, this is the way to deal with low fee insurances. My head is spinning :zzz this convoluted lie is office policy at Affinity Dental.

As manager I will try to make it right for the patients.

I like Dr a lot, but so I like my liberty and time out of jail. Insurance fraud is no easy thing in the US, that;s why I moved to Brussels..

Anonymous
#644683

I will post on this board the advice that I got from a lawyer friend of mine specialized in medical malpractice claims. A wise patient would do just that, it makes perfect sense. Know your insurance coverage in and out well in advance of your dental visit. I asked my insurance company for the details and they faxed it to me. I had it at my visit and I compared it to the services that were offered to me. I looked carefully at the items listed on their to do list and compared it with the list and fees provided by my insurance company. I agreed to do everything that they priposed. In my case, I have HMO insurance plan so I asked to get the work done at the HMO insurance fees, most of the prices on my plan are zero, in other words covered in full.

This is the part they didn’t like: I said I want everything but at the zero HMO insurance rate. I pay for my insurance so why not benefit of it and be tricked into some expensive treatments? I said I didn’t want antibiotics injections in the gums and bone graphing with the extractions (I didn’t even know what that was, nobody explained me). If they say no, it cant be done without this and that additional procedure and added cost, here’s what my lawyer taught me to say: have the guts to say to the dentist that they are liable for the quality of work that they do. The trick is that they are also liable for the things that they dont do, either due to the incompetence of having a proper diagnosis or due to not doing it because of no financial benefit. The choice of materials doesn’t matter, all the materials are approved to use on patients or otherwise it will not be legal for insurance to offer them. They will not want to do the treatments on which they don’t make any money. Paying out any additional amount, unfortunately doesnt make any economic sense to me, I feel that it’s not my fault that they are contracted with my HMO insurance company, I assume that the insurance will pay for them services. With this approach I had treatment done by Dr. Lopez absolutely FREE.

I was amazed to read this thread and it prompted me to write this. I also find it very interesting that this is their main affinitydentalfresno dot com internet page, that is how I find this discussion in the first place. :eek

Anonymous
#644349

I have been very pleased with their prices and dental work that I have received. One partial denture was only $199.95, you just can't beat that price!

Other dentists wanted to charge me at least 7-8 times that. Thank you very much Affinity Dental!

Anonymous
#643925

In spite of all the negative comments posted here, I am a very happy patient :grin . I have received the following professional services from this office: exam free, cleaning and antibiotic treatment of the gums free, white fillings $29.99 per filling, porcelain tooth $99.99 per tooth; implant tooth $299.99 - price for the implant root plus the white crown.

I found these fees to be very affordable.

The doctors and staff are great.

I have my meals at the Poverello house and will make sure to refer all those in need to Affinity Dental. Thank you for your contributions to the poor communities in Fresno and Clovis.

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