When PBS’s Frontline turned its focus to corporate dental chain Aspen Dental, it should come as no surprise that they found major potential problems with the way the practices were being run. One of the major concerns about corporate dentistry is that they recommend unnecessary tooth extractions just because it’s a good way to maximize profits. We see it in patients who leave for insurance reasons and then come back because they received an enormous amount of treatment planning at an in-network corporate dental practice.
According to one dentist on Frontline, “They spend most of their time trying to talk people out of their teeth.” Generally, when we are asked for a second opinion we find a lot of unnecessary treatment proposed.
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman launched an investigation of the chain in 2013 after an investigative report by FRONTLINE. The news report found that Aspen Dental, which targets low-income patients, pressured dentists to increase revenue by using high-pressure sales techniques. Many patients complained of being overcharged or given unnecessary treatments.
The attorney general investigation reached the same conclusions and fined Aspen Dental $450,000.00. One internal Aspen Dental document released by the attorney general showed the company complaining that hygienists were falling short of their revenue targets and instructing them to sell more products and services to patients.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD
Hanna Orland, DMD
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Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328