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. I have this minimalist dental insurance 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.
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.
© 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.
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