NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Going to the dentist always made Deena Robinson cringe, especially after a visit that she claims left her with a broken smile and a hole in her wallet.
“The suffering. The embarrassment. The constant emails back and forth. I mean, at one point I felt like I was defeated,” Robinson said.
In 2018, Robinson went to Taylor Made Smiles in Franklin to replace four crowns and get two partial dentures. After a few months, Robinson said her top partial started giving her problems and wouldn’t fit properly.
“Things didn’t really start really come to my attention until she made this crown and cemented it into my mouth and she was forcing my partial to fit over it and it wouldn’t,” Robinson said.
Robinson said she paid over $8,000 for the work. She figured it shouldn’t be a problem for them to repair her tooth.
“I already told them you knew this partial wouldn’t fit, and you should replace them. And she’s like no, if you want your teeth and you want to get another one, then you have to pay for it,” Robinson said.
Robinson reached out to her insurance company Delta Dental. Robinson said Delta Dental had an independent dentist examine her work. According to the Delta Dental documents, they found the work done on her mouth was “unacceptable” and “unsatisfactory.” It also suggested that she request a refund, but told Robinson that it could not make the dentist company pay her back.
Taylor Made Smiles replied back in a dispute letter, saying their work was done properly and declined to refund her any money she wanted. The company added that the patient told them she was satisfied with her own work and that her own actions led to her problems.
News4 reached out to Taylor Made Smiles for comment and an on camera interview. They stated the following:
“Taylor Made Smiles respects the privacy of all patients. In order to protect their privacy and remain consistent with the privacy laws, we cannot disclose any patient protected health information.”
Robinson eventually found a new dentist and is happy with her smile now, but she still wants Taylor Made Smiles to pay up.
“She should just do the right thing. She's been informed by everybody!" Robinson said.
The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office has provided consumer tips on what you need to know before and after a dental procedure.
- Conduct thorough research:
- Check with the State Board of Dentistry for verification of a dentist’s licensure and a review of potential disciplinary action.
- Check with friends and family for recommendations of providers they use and trust.
- Search online reviews including those posted with your local Better Business Bureau.
- Consider a consultation before the procedure to gather and clarify information and to ensure the office/provider meets your needs.
- If you believe that a health practitioner’s performance or behavior is not acceptable, you may file a complaint through the Tennessee Department of Health’s Health Related Boards, Office of Investigations. Additionally, the Tennessee Dental Association may offer a peer review mediation process.
- If the issue involves denial of claim or nonpayment by a dental insurance company, consider filing a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s Consumer Insurance Services Division.
- If you have a billing dispute (amounts charged for services, overcharges, etc.), consider filing a complaint with the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, last year there were 247 total complaints opened by their investigative office against dentists.