Monarch Dental — a chain of more than 300 dental offices in 18 states — has offered a $29 new patient special for adults that includes a complete exam, x-rays, a cleaning and a protective rinse. But is there a catch? Simply put, yes.
While the company claims more than 2.5 million patients, I’ll never be one of them.
The problem with the Monarch Dental $29 new patient special is that the company may not take much effort to respect your time. And if you want a cleaning, you can’t reasonably expect it to happen on the first appointment.
Here’s some information about my personal experience with Monarch Dental.
Monarch Dental Review: I Didn’t Even Get There
The first time I called Monarch Dental, the person who answered the phone at their toll-free number hung up on me while transferring me. I should have realized that was a bad sign. But when I called back, I was transferred to a friendly scheduler who said I could get in for my appointment the same day. I told her the cleaning was what I was most interested in, and she said they would have to provide the complete exam as well as the cleaning. That’s fine, I told her, because I want the exam too.
She made a point of telling me that they strive to complete the exam, x-rays and cleaning on the same day if possible, but that would depend on the schedule of the hygienists. That seemed a strange thing to say since I hadn’t asked for an immediate appointment, but I thought it might be a standard disclaimer. Why would they schedule me an immediate appointment when I was having no pain nor any other kind of emergency situation if they couldn’t complete the work at the time of the appointment? But I went ahead and set up the appointment for that afternoon.
After thinking a bit, I called directly to the local office where I had my appointment to confirm that all services would be completed on the same day. No, they told me, I was scheduled for an exam only. I wasn’t even scheduled for a cleaning and I would be asked to come back for that. I asked them if they could do it all the same day in order to keep my business. They said no, and I canceled the appointment.
There’s No Way This Is Good
Since I wasn’t in a rush when I called, why would they schedule me on the same day if they didn’t have time for me? I think this is Monarch Dental’s way of making sure I don’t go somewhere else in the meantime. And why not go ahead and do the cleaning and get it all over with anyway? I suspect they were going to try to say that I needed additional services that would invalidate the special. Or perhaps they were going to do the cleaning when I came back for the fillings they recommended.
As it happens, I do need two old fillings replaced and would have agreed to have those done on the same day of the cleaning if they had been willing. If the company hadn’t refused to complete their $29 new patient special on the same day, I would have gladly spent several hundred dollars with them that day or on a future appointment. But their tactic of scheduling me for something they couldn’t do efficiently has caused me to look elsewhere for a dentist.
You see, my time is important to me, and this experience has really turned me off. The Monarch Dental $29 new patient special isn’t for me, and it isn’t for you either if you value your time and want the services promised performed when you ask for them to be.
It’s enough to make me want to try to clean my own teeth. I looked around, and there’s actually a book on the subject called Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye: A Do-It-Yourself Mouth Care System for Healthy, Clean Gums and Teeth — available from Amazon. Maybe you can’t always manage without a dentist, but maybe you don’t need to visit one every six months.
It’s just a thought, of course, but it’s something worth exploring. I’m certainly not going to the dentist any more often than necessary if they’re all like my experience with Monarch.