Core Dental offices locked to patients, staff
Published Wednesday, December 19, 2018 6:36PM MST Last Updated Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:34PM MST
A previous version of this article stated a Terwillegar Core Dental location had shut down, when it should have stated that the location is on 23 Avenue (2318 24 Street), in the city’s southeast. We apologize for the error.
A string of dental offices have suddenly shut down after falling behind on rent, leaving staff without pay and patients frustrated.
When Katie Burns arrived at the Core Dental Group Brintnell office on Monday, she found the clinic closed.
“I was very panicked as to, who do I call, what do I do, how do I get my Invisalign,” she recalled.
Hours later, a notice from the landlord would appear on the door. It says the business owes over $64,000 in rent and has had its lease terminated.
“I mean one thing to have money issues and to close, but to give no notice, no information to your patients about what to do in the meantime?” said Burns. “I can't be the only one in the middle of treatment.”
She is in the process of realigning her teeth.
“With my Invisalign treatment, I needed to get my next set of trays right away. Otherwise—because I’m in the middle of it—my teeth could shift back.”
She, and the office’s other patients, are unable to access their dental records.
Kristal Lamara, a Core Dental Group office manager, told CTV News staff have been locked out.
“We haven’t been able to get in there to inform the patients or anything,” she said.
“If they’re requesting somewhere else to go, we have no access to anything to send their x-rays to other clinics.”
The Brintnell office isn’t the only Core Dental Group branch that has closed suddenly. The company’s offices at 2318 24 Street and Greisbach are also locked, and a notice at the Secord clinic quotes another $37,000 in overdue rent.
In a statement, the Alberta Dental Association and College said the clinics were not closed because of a regulatory matter.
Core Dental Group owner, Amarjit Seehra, told CTV News “everybody’s working hard to make sure the patients’ needs are taken care of. That’s our primary concern.”
He continues to practice at a clinic in Ellerslie that is not part of Core Dental Group.
Seehra said there will soon be a customer assistance line for patients to call.
Although Burns has already found a new dentist: “Most likely it sounds like I am going to have to start over.”
Four clinics that used to be a part of Core Dental Group and are now independently owned have been unaffected: Heritage Valley, Rabbit Hill, Whitemud Meadows and Jasper Avenue. According to a staff member, all four locations are accepting new patients.
With files from Jeremy Thompson