Dentist suddenly closes the doors in Austin


Editor’s Note: The location where the former business operated, and then shut down in 2014, is now under new ownership, and has been renamed.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Patients of an Austin dentist are not smiling tonight after the office suddenly closed its doors. A viewer contacted KXAN about Austin Cosmetic Dentistry on Barton Creek Boulevard in West Austin after showing up and finding the doors locked. Some customers say they paid thousands and now they don’t know what to do. Closed for at least three days, KXAN was there as the landlord for Austin Cosmetic Dentistry put a letter on the door terminating the lease.

One client who didn’t want to be identified says he was on his way to his appointment Tuesday when he received a phone call telling him not to come. “And she informed me my appointment was canceled and doors would be closing as of that day.”

The client says he paid tens of thousands of dollars on veneers for a new smile. It’s just one of many high dollar procedures done in the office. He was there just last week and had a follow up appointment Tuesday to make sure everything was okay.

“It concerns me that a major procedure was done and there’s been no follow up, no way to get questions answered and I don’t know who I’m going to see in the future,” he said. “And to just lock the doors and not give any kind of reason or referral is negligent at best.”

Some former employees told KXAN they were let go recently without any explanation. Several phone calls we made to the business have not yet been returned.

“I’ve been in healthcare for 38 years,” the former patient explained, “I’ve never seen a situation where a healthcare producer just abandons the office and its patients. I’ve never heard of that.”

Austin Cosmetic Dentistry has a grade of an A plus with the Better Business Bureau. It also has positive reviews on websites like Yelp. The website for Austin Cosmetic Dentistry, which was working earlier Friday, now appears to have been taken down.

The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners regulates dental offices in the state. Under state law, a dentist must give at least 30 days written notice of his or her intent to close. Those notices must be either hand delivered or mailed to patients in the middle of treatment.

The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners was not aware of the situation when we called. They cannot open an investigation until clients come forward and file an official complaint. If you think you were involved, click here to file a formal complaint.

UPDATE: The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners said they can not confirm when an open investigation is taking place since that information is confidential until after the investigation is completed. Several past employees have told KXAN the business was sold last September to a corporation and that was followed by a large number of firings in June of 2014.

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