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Got Fired Today
September 28th, 2009 by Mike

Apparently, I really offended my dentist, Dr. Adam Still, (or his operations manager, Stacy Markle), of Laurel Manor Dental. Offended enough that they no longer want me (or Mrs. Major) as a patient. Here’s what happened:

About a year and a half ago, Dr. Still recommended that I replace the crowns on teeth 18 and 19 as they were beginning to “leak” and I would begin to get cavities underneath them soon. He gave me a treatment plan for the two crowns at $2200. 1Actually $910 per crown and $195 each for buildups…so it’s really $2210. I have this minimalist dental insurance 2It’s The Retiree Dental Program for retired military which we pay for. It doesn’t cover all the costs and for crowns there is a max per crown that is very low. They only pay 50% with a max of $350 per crown. that was already maxed out for last fiscal year, so I tried to negotiate with the doctor on the price. He pretty much laughed me off.

I waited until the beginning of this fiscal year and attempted to renegotiate a better price for the two crowns. He refused. When my perodontist also recommended that I get the crowns replaced, I began to shop around to see if a local dentist would do them for less. The good folks at Royal Dental concurred with Laurel Manor Dental’s diagnosis and agreed to replace the crowns for $699 each. I requested that Laurel Manor Dental send my x-rays to Royal Dental so that they could do the work. Which they did for the agreed upon price. They did a great job, too.

A week or so later, I got a letter from Stacy Markle stating that Laurel Manor Dental was sorry to see me leave and was wishing me the “very best in your future dental care.” I called Ms. Markle several times but was unsuccessful. The last time I left her a message on her voicemail stating that I was not changing dentists. I just wanted to save $800 on my crowns. Other than the price for the crowns, I was completely satisfied with Laurel Manor Dental.

Yesterday, I received a “Dear John” letter from Ms. Markle. I quote it here:

As referenced in my letter to you dated July 20th 2009 it is my understanding that you have chosen to seek dental care elsewhere. You indicated such to us when you requested your radiographs be forwarded to another office in order to have your treatment performed there. As a practice policy, we do not assume responsibility for treatment received outside of this office when we have diagnosed treatment and established a relationship with our patient. Therefore, as stated in my letter, we regret your decision, however, wish you the very best in your future dental care. 3I can’t help it. The punctuation in the first sentence is amiss. And one doesn’t diagnose a treatment; one prescribes a treatment.

A nice, friendly letter making it seem like I had abandoned our relationship. Figuring that a business manager would be loath to loose two valued customers in these tough economic times, I called Ms. Markle. I was astounded that, indeed, I was fired as a patient. They had cancelled my appointment for a cleaning for Wednesday.

I guess we’ll have to find another dentist.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Actually $910 per crown and $195 each for buildups…so it’s really $2210.
2. It’s The Retiree Dental Program for retired military which we pay for. It doesn’t cover all the costs and for crowns there is a max per crown that is very low. They only pay 50% with a max of $350 per crown.
3. I can’t help it. The punctuation in the first sentence is amiss. And one doesn’t diagnose a treatment; one prescribes a treatment.

7 Responses  
  • Bonnie writes:
    September 28th, 200917:59at

    Must be nice to have enough business you can boot patients.

    I didn’t get such a nice letter when I requested records be sent to my new dentist, though he also does work at previous dentist office.

    Come to think of it, how dumb the dentist is. They didn’t refuse you the first time you came in and they couldn’t gurantee the first dentist work surely.

  • Karen writes:
    September 28th, 200919:32at

    I love dealing with stupid people!

  • Mandy Leech writes:
    September 28th, 200920:32at

    Heinous.

  • georgette writes:
    September 28th, 200920:49at

    Its probably an insurance thing, don’t you think?
    Did you press her for and answer or did she just say “you and your teeth have been fired”, maybe she thinks she is the Donald. đŸ˜¯

  • Scoop writes:
    September 29th, 200900:32at

    They were stupid. Medical professionals aren’t used to competitive pricing. I think they need to get used to it. Good for you for taking control of your dental health needs and financing!

  • Pam Bache writes:
    September 29th, 200905:56at

    Very interesting and very stupid. I know from our friend Dr. Adams that the dental business is indeed very competitive and not doing well right now…..sure hope Dr. Still does well once he “weeds out” his patients.

  • Carey Wilson writes:
    September 29th, 200906:59at

    Dave Ramsey would be very proud!


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