I went to Dr. Scott Cohen of Trumbull Smiles to have a crown on my tooth replaced. I usually utilize reviews to choose restaurants, doctors etc. and I was encouraged that his seemed positive. Unfortunately, I learned that a sampling of reviews does not tell the full story on an individual and his level of compassion and sensitivity to patients. The first visit was rather uneventful although I thought it was odd that he had framed pictures of himself around the room and “treated” me to a slideshow of personal pictures of himself and his family.
He also shared personal stories about himself and how he met his wife etc. I was wondering when the focus was going to be on me, the patient, and felt lucky that I wasn’t in extreme pain during this vanity display. I came back to the office for my second appointment to have the crown put in and was told by Tami, the patient coordinator, that my insurance denied my claim since they were unsure if my original crown was more than 10 years old.
I was told I would be responsible for the full amount. I was incredulous and asked why I wasn’t notified about this before my appointment. I could have called the insurance company and tried to resolve the issue. I was visibly upset since I didn’t know how I was going to afford the full price of a crown. I called and left a message for my husband to call me back since he is the primary on our insurance. Chris, the dental assistant, came out to get me and asked how I was doing.
I honestly replied “Not good.” As I was sitting in the chair, my husband called me back and asked to speak to the office manager. I got up from the chair, at which time the Dentist was standing in the doorway. He asked how I was and again I said, “Not good” and I headed to the front of the office. My husband spoke to Tami and I went back to the dental chair. When Dr. Cohen came in the room, he accused me of wagging my finger in his face when I had left the room.
This didn’t happen since I had my purse in one hand and my phone in the other when I left the room. He also said that he told me about the 10 year clause on crowns during my first visit. I didn’t recall this either since if I had known I would have had an opportunity to check with my insurance company and I would not have been surprised over this development. I told him what I did recall but he wouldn’t let it go. He had to be right and was pushing the issue. I finally said to him let’s agree to disagree since I wanted to move on from the topic.
I asked him about payment plans since I was worried that I would owe him the full amount on the crown. He replied that he expects payment in 30 days and added “this is a business and I have a family to feed.” He also said “if you want a cheaper price, you can find another dentist.” Dr. Cohen stated that he thought I was upset over a trivial and insignificant issue and there are more important things to worry about. Maybe money isn’t an issue for him but unfortunately most people don’t have hundreds of dollars to throw around.
I also felt he trivialized my feelings. He mentioned that he only wants to have happy patients in his practice. I am sure all people do but good dentists with sensitivity and compassion know how to deal with an unhappy or stressed patient, not just the happy ones. There were other comments made during the visit that reflected his annoyance with me and were delivered in a matter of fact tone devoid of any empathy.
After my experience, I reflected on what happened and decided I wanted to call the office and speak to Dr. Cohen directly about the way I was treated. I left a message and received a call back from Tami telling me that Dr. Cohen would prefer me to email him. I sent him an email detailing how his treatment of me made me feel in the hopes he would apologize and never treat another patient like that again. Instead, I received a tersely worded email telling me to find another dentist and not to bother responding to his message since he wouldn’t receive it.
It was ironic since I was told via Tami to send him an email in lieu of a phone conversation and I had no intention of returning to his office after that second visit. I encourage those reading this review to draw their own conclusions based on the events that transpired above and how you expect to be treated by medical professionals. Despite what happened with Dr. Cohen, I felt that both Tami and Chris were kind, compassionate and treated me well. I really hope Dr. Cohen reads this review, reflects on his behavior towards me and makes some changes so no other patient feels the way I did after a visit with him.