Smile No More: Aspen Dental Class Action Filed
A class action law suit has been filed against one of the nation’s largest corporate dental chains, Aspen Dental. The class action accuses Aspen of illegally operating dental practices in violation of state licensure laws and predatory practices, such as luring patients in with “free exams and X-rays,” and then aggressively selling expensive treatments. Aspen markets their 358 clinics to low-income patients.
The class action was filed on the heels of a PBS Frontline special report, which detailed Aspen’s practice of giving low-income patients, who normally cannot afford going to the dentist, free initial services such as cleanings or X-rays. Aspen allegedly would then convince patients to sign up for expensive treatments on credit, locking them into debts that many could not afford to pay. Some patients also accuse Aspen of overcharging for various procedures or Aspen dentists recommending or performing unnecessary procedures. Aspen is also accused of violating laws in 22 states that require owners of dental clinics be a licensed dentist actively practicing at the facility.
The Plaintiffs also accuse Aspen of training their dentists to provide more care than necessary, having “production goals” that are set for dentists at each clinic that focus on generating revenue rather than accurately treating patients’ needs, and illegally practicing medicine.
If the lawsuit is approved for class action status, it could potentially cover the tens of thousands of low-income patients that have visited the various Aspen dental clinics throughout the country.
This is not the first lawsuit against Aspen clinics. A settlement was reached in a lawsuit by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office in 2010, and Aspen agreed to pay $175,000 to resolve accusations of providing misleading information about discounts, consultations, financing, and other promotions.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of misleading or overly aggressive sales tactics, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential evaluation of your rights.