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Ruth Corsover V DentFirst, Inc.

Plaintiff
DENTFIRST P.C.
Richard Musicer, C.E.O.
1650 Oakbridge Drive Ste. 440 Norcross, GA

February 5, 2016

On or about August 2011 Ruth L. Corsover was seen by Dentfirst P.C., [a corporation organized pursuant to the Georgia Business Corporation Code and governed by the provisions of the Georgia Professional Corporations Act and granted as such in 1994 by the Office of the Secretary of State of Georgia.

1. The Patient has been seen continuously at various intervals at the Corporation’s Perimeter Dunwoody office until August 2015.

2. The Patient was first assigned by a Corporation employee to a general dentist for repair of a single tooth. After a complete examination it was determined because of several broken fillings and loose teeth the only feasible correction could be made by a complete set of dentures. Since finances were a major concern, two sets of estimates were presented to the Patient. One estimate was for conventional dentures and one with implants in the lower gum to provide more stability and comfort. The Assist. Practice Manager, using her implied expertise in dental procedures and outcomes, convinced the Patient that the implants, while more expensive, would be the best procedure. The use of implants would provide a significantly better and more comfortable fit. Dr. Adams, a General Dentist, agreed to take the case and assured the Patient that his thirteen years as a dentist with Dentfirst P.C. provided him with the experience and skill to handle this simple case.

3. An appointment was made with the Oral Surgeon to remove the back teeth first to allow sufficient time for healing. The Surgeon left the practice several days after the procedure and there was no follow-up care provided to the Patient!

4. After what was assumed to be a sufficient time for healing. Dr. Adams began the procedure to extract the front teeth. An examination of the back gums reveled numerous fragments of teeth still embed in the gums and Dr. Adams needed to extract them as well. This caused additional pain to the Patient and required more than twice the additional time before the next step could be started.

5. The Corporation assigned the insertion of the implants to Dr. Conway. After the procedure was completed, the Patient was told it was Dr. Conway’s last day and was leaving the practice. Again the Patient was not provided with a specialist to provide any follow-up care. It must be noted that the Patient did not have any prior knowledge of the Periodontist leaving nor was the Patient given a choice to have another specialist provide follow-up care. As part of this phase of treatment
Dr. Adams needed to have the lab fabricate a temporary set of dentures so that the patient would not have to remain toothless until the implants healed. He, and the lab he used, failed to fabricate a set of dentures that could be used. The dentures were much too large to fit in the Patients mouth and were unacceptable. Dr. Adams stated that the dentures made the lips and cheeks of the Patient look as if she was wearing a mouth guard used by professional boxers. In a fit of anger, Dr. Adams threw the non fitting dentures into the garbage leaving the Patient with no teeth for the next six months. The psychological torment of the way she looked caused the Patient to be confined to her house, ashamed to be seen in public.

6. Approximately six months latter when the implants had healed, the process of fitting the dentures began. The first set proved to be a failure as well. Dr. Adams could not get the bottom teeth to fit with out falling out regardless of the amount of denture adhesive used. After repeated phone consultations and office visits the bottom denture was sent back to the lab to be relined. The patient had to pay an additional fee directly to Dr. Adams. This fee was set by the Doctor and no invoice from the lab was ever shown to the Patient. Without seeing an invoice the Patient was not sure if the Dentist kept the money and attempted to do the relining himself. In any event the relining procedure was also ineffective in producing a workable set of lower dentures. An alternative procedure requiring the use of screws and removal and reinsertion of the dentures every four months was suggested but the Doctor said he needed additional time to correctly formulate the procedure. After numerous weekly phone calls, which were never returned; the patient still remained without teeth. The Patient decided to go to another Dental practice for a second opinion.

7. The consultation by the second Doctor, using basic x-rays found the implants were improbably placed, they were uneven, too shallow, and not parallel. It was recommenced the implants be removed new implants inserted and a new set of dentures be made. The cost of this procedure was unaffordable so the Patient had to contact Dentfirst’s Practice Manger at Perimeter Dunwoody to relay what had transpired. The Practice Manger stated she would need to contact corporate headquarters since she had no personal knowledge of what had transpired and Dr. Adams had just passed away. She said she would make the call the next day due to her overwhelming grief. The Dentist in charge at Corporate stated that he needed to go over all the records and would get back the Practice Manger with a resolution to the problem. The Patient informed the Practice Manager that she had never witnessed Dr. Adams making any notations either by hand or with the computer and had no idea what if any documentation the records would contain. Dentfirst Corporation supposedly reviewed what ever was in the records and came to the decision that a Senior Dentist in the practice would be willing to take on the case and do what ever needed to be done to make a new set of usable dentures at no additional cost to the patient. Ronald Wand, D.D.S. was assigned to the case
8. At the first examination by Dr. Wand confirmed the implants were in fact placed incorrectly. When asked if the lower implants should be removed and reinserted properly the Doctor stated that he could work around the defect with his lab. He performed a procedure on the dentures to increase the suction of the uppers and the comfort of the lowers. However, the procedure caused the denture adhesive to fail to hold the bottom denture and therefore they could only be used for cosmetics and not for eating. The patient was continuously told the there was no need to worry about the uppers and the lab reworked the lowers to a point were they were able to be retained in the patients mouth. Because of the wrong placement of the implants the lower dentures caused the Patient a great deal of pain and damage to the lower gums. Unfortunately the top gums continued to receded to a point were no amount of adjustments to the dentures would hold them in place. With all do credit to Dr. Wand he made several impressions with different materials to get the upper dentures to hold. At this point Dr. Wand was totally frustrated and stated that he wished he has been able to start work three years ago ( somewhere around August 2011) It was then decided that the only way to get them to hold would be with upper implants. After almost four years this was the first time that upper implants had been considered.

9. An appointment was made by the new Practice Manger for the Patient to be examined by Dr. Chong the Perimeter Dunwoody office’s Periodontist. A three dimensional C.T. of the maxillary area was ordered. The Patient complied with this by having the C.T. done that day and paying for it herself. When the C.T. was completed the Patient called the practice and left a message with the receptionist to inform both Dr. Wand and Dr. Chong the C.T. had been completed and they would receive the results within five to seven days. The Patient needed to call the Practice Manger several times before she was finally told Dr. Chong would be unable to do the procedure because he was not competent to do the complicated bone grafts . When the Patient inquired what she was to do the Practice Manger said that he would get back to her with the name of an outside Periodontist because this procedure was too difficult for Dentfirst P.C. to handle. Having lost all confidence in the Corporation’s professional employees the Patient also had no confidence in any referral made by Dentfirst. To this date no one at Dentfirst P.C. has followed up with the Patient as to the outcome of the referral. In essence Dentfirst P.C. abandoned the Patient and showed no regard in resolving the problems or mitigating the damages they caused to the Patient.

10. Do to the agreement that was made with Dentfirst P.C. when Dr. Wand first took over the case the Patient inquired as to who would pay the additional cost and was told the only person who could make a decision as to payments would not be available until after September 11, 2015. This response was totally unacceptable and since this fiasco had involved five different doctors associated with Dentfirst P.C. over a four year period the Patient, no longer having any confidence in Dentfirst due the fundamental inability of it’s employees to perform even the most rudimentary dental procedures, decided to use the services of Clear Choice Dental. It must be noted that the Dentist at Clear Choice found
there was no need fo any bone grafts and even though there was bone loss it would not be a complicated procedure.

11. The Patient living on a fixed income from social security has completely maxed out credit cards and was forced to withdraw all of her savings to make a partial payment to the new dentist to get stated with the preliminary procedures.
vs.
Richard Musicer, C.E.O.

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    • [-][+]My resolution
    • 13 Points
    • 3 years ago
    Jim W. (Neutral)
    Compensate this patient
    Hi, I'm making a suggestion below for how this should be resolved. First I'd like to summarize my understanding of this long, complex, and unpleasant situation.

    The plaintiff' originally sought repair of one tooth at DentFirst's Dunwoody clinic in Atlanta, Georgia. Her visit led to a four-year patient relationship which, on advice of DentFirst staff and professionals, involved a series of dental procedures that left her with substantial debt, considerable suffering and inconvenience – and no teeth. The plaintiff, whose only income is Social Security, has exhausted her savings and maxed out her credit cards trying to pay for the services performed.

    Significant events:

    - DentFirst doctor 1 (general dentist) makes examination, finds several loose teeth and broken fillings, recommends upper/lower dentures. A second option, upper dentures lower implants (a more costly procedure) is also presented.

    - DentFirst staff persuades plaintiff the second option is best.

    - DentFirst doctor 2 (oral surgeon) removes plaintiff's back teeth days before ending employement at DentFirst.

    - DentFirst doctor 1 removes plaintiff's front teeth, finds tooth fragments remaining in back gums, which he extracts.

    - DentFirst doctor 3 (periodontist) inserts plaintiff's lower implants (his final day of employment at DentFirst).

    - DentFirst lab fabricates temporary dentures.

    - DentFirst doctor 1 attempts to install temporary dentures, finds them faulty and throws them away in anger.

    - Six months later, when plaintiff's gums have healed, Doctor 1 attempts to install permanent dentures. The bottom denture does not fit and he orders it to be relined; requiring patient to pay him direct for the relining. The relined dentures also fail. An option involving screws for attachment (with ongoing reattachment at 4-month intervals) is discussed with plaintiff, a decision pending doctor 1's further assessment.

    - Plaintiff seeks 2nd opinion from doctor 4 (outside DentFirst system). Opinion: implants not placed correctly, with recommendation to remove them. Cost is unaffordable to plaintiff, who returns to DentFirst.

    - DentFirst Dunwoody practice manager refers case to DentFirst corporate office.

    - DentFirst doctor 1 dies.

    - DentFirst corporate office advises that another Dunwoody practitioner (doctor 5) will take the case, complete the work at no further cost to plaintiff.

    - New DentFirst doctor (5th doctor, 4th DentFirst doctor) makes several attempts to make the dentures fit (including additonal lab work and different adhesives). Ultimately the top denture does not fit; the bottom denture causes pain because of the implants. Doctor 5 now recommends implants for the upper gums too.

    - DentFirst practice manager arranges appointment for plaintiff with Doctor 6 (DentFirst periodontist). A 3D CT scan is ordered. Following delivery of scan results, DentFirst practice manager says complicated bone grafts are necessary, and Dr 6 is not qualified to do the work. DentFirst offers to refer plaintiff to another practitioner outside the DentFirst system, which plaintiff declines.

    - Plaintiff finds another provider, and is told that bone grafts are not necessary, and getting her a working set of dentures is not complicated.

    NOTE: In a separate claim filed at PeopleClaim.com, the plaintiff has requested compensation from DentFirst of a $12.5K refund for dentures that did not fit; $40K for new dentures; and $125K in punitive damages.

    DentFirst management has responded by rejecting these claim demands, expressing sympathy, and inviting further discussion with the plaintiff.

    RECOMMENDATION. If the facts of the case are as described by the plaintiff, she would appear to be a victim of professional incompetence (and unprofessional behavior) resulting in monetary expense, loss of her teeth, and considerable suffering and inconvenience over a four-year period. DentFirst should reimburse her for all out-of-pocket expense incurred at DentFirst, and any further expense outside DentFirst for remedial dental work. It seems to me DentFirst owes her additional damages as well, though it's hard to say what a fair amount would be. DentFirst says it is open to discussion, and the plaintiff should certainly take them up on this to find out what they have in mind before she pursues more serious action.
      • [-][+]My resolution – Plaintiff
      • 3 years ago
      Ruth C. (Plaintiff-unverified)
      We need you help. Is this a case of Breach of Contract, Dental Malpractice, Corporate Malfeasance, Civil Tort, Product Liability, Respondent Superior, or what.
      Start a timeline for this case

      Suggest an event.

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