Emergency Dental Care USA Treats Nearly 100 Former Allcare Dental Patients

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Emergency Dental Care USA in Des Moines has treated nearly 100 former patients of Allcare Dental and Denture. Patients say they are "very pleased" with the quality of care they have received.

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As of March 1, the value of the work we've performed for these patients is more than $65,000

Emergency Dental Care USA in Des Moines has treated nearly 100 former patients of Allcare Dental and Denture since Allcare closed its Des Moines office on Dec. 31, 2010.

Emergency Dental Care took over the records of more than 3,000 Allcare patients after the closing. It also offered to complete all unfinished dental work at no additional cost to Des Moines Allcare patients who could provide proof they had prepaid for the work.

"As of March 1, the value of the work we've performed for these patients is more than $65,000," said Michael Obeng, DDS, owner of Emergency Dental Care USA. "We still anticipate seeing up to 20 more Allcare patients in the next month."

After records were transferred and treatment began, Emergency Dental Care staff discovered that some patients' lab work was not as complete as they expected it to be, said Dr. Obeng. In light of this, about a dozen of the 97 Allcare patients were asked to pay a lab fee to help cover costs.

"Average lab fees range from $175 to $500, depending on the work involved," said Dr. Obeng. "However, if these patients went to another dental practice to get a new set of dentures, they'd have to start the process over and pay more than $3,000."

Dr. Obeng said he appreciated the assistance from Des Moines Dental Prosthetics, which has offered discounts on lab work to reduce costs.

Two former Allcare Dental patients, Virginia Spracher and Bruce Stenger went to Emergency Dental Care USA to complete the fitting and adjustment process for their dentures. Both said they were very pleased with the quality of care they received from Emergency Dental dentists and staff, and they didn't mind paying a lab fee to get the work done.

Ms. Spracher began her treatment at Allcare nearly a year ago. All of her teeth were pulled on March 22 so she could be fitted with dentures. She made several trips to Des Moines from her home in Minburn, 25 miles away, and spent more than $8,000 on office visits, fittings and adjustments to the temporary dentures she received.

She called Allcare's corporate office on Dec. 30 to voice her concerns about her ongoing pain and lack of permanent dentures. They scheduled an appointment for her for 6:20 p.m. January 4.

When she arrived for her appointment, she saw the sign on the door saying that the office was closed, and she needed to contact Emergency Dental Care for further treatment. "They stepped right up to help us," she said.

Trevor Clemons, DDS, the dentist who treated her, discovered that her upper denture was too big for her mouth and didn't go back far enough. After taking several measurements and making even more checks, Ms. Spracher was fitted for a new top denture.

"Dr. Clemons was so gentle, and so caring," said Ms. Spracher. "And now I'm not afraid of the dentist anymore! I am so happy right now."

Ms. Spracher said she had no problem with being asked to pay the lab fee for her new dentures.

"Emergency Dental Care didn't have to step up and help us," She said. "If I'd had to go to another dentist, I would have had to start the process all over again and pay the entire fee.

"I am very grateful that Emergency Dental stepped up and offered their help," Ms. Spracher added. "I will continue to go there, and I hope they will be there a long time. I've had nothing but a wonderful experience with the office in Des Moines."

Like Ms. Spracher, Brian Stenger started the denture-fitting process in March 2010. He had chosen Allcare Dental because it was covered by his insurance, and was conveniently located near his home and office in Des Moines.

The first denture made for him was too large and didn't fit correctly, Stenger said. Allcare was in the process of making another denture when the company closed.

He'd seen a TV news story about the office closing, and learned about Emergency Dental Care from the sign in the office, he said.

Stenger went to Emergency Dental Care to get his second set of dentures. "They said, 'Let's get you in right away'," he recalled.

A couple of appointments later, Stenger received his new dentures on Valentine's Day. And a sweet treat it was.

"They look like my natural teeth, and they fit a lot better," Stenger said. "After a year without teeth, I'm able to eat normally again. I can smile again, and I'm happy again -- all the soreness is gone."

Emergency Dental Care made Stenger smile so much, he made another appointment to get his teeth cleaned and checked "so I can show my appreciation," he said.

Stenger also was asked to pay a lab fee of $300 for his dentures. His insurance had paid Allcare $3,000, and he paid them another $1,000 of his own money for the first set of dentures.

"I didn't think twice about paying the lab fee," Stenger said. "I was happy to do it. Emergency Dental stepped in and offered to help at a time when they didn't have to. They didn't charge me for their time, and they were helping me get my new dentures and get on with my life."

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Michael Obeng, DDS
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