Father uses guitar to protest Western Dental

A man recently protested outside of a Western Dental office in Merced, Calif., in response to the service he and his son received, Fox 26 News reported March 17.

Layne Barton told the news station he became frustrated with problems he and his family have experienced at the office that have lasted for months. He said past appointments have been delayed by as much as two hours or canceled entirely without notice. 

Mr. Barton also said he visited the office for his 14-year-old son's braces. An orthodontist reportedly told Mr. Barton his son needed to have a tooth pulled, but after his son got the surgery, Barton said the orthodontist said a second tooth would also need to be pulled. Barton then took his son back to the surgeon and a second orthodontist, who both said the second tooth did not need to be pulled.

Barton said he contacted Western Dental for records but did not receive a response. He then decided to play his guitar loudly outside of the office while holding a sign that said "Western Dental sucks." 

A video of the protest reached more than 4 million views. Mr. Barton said the office got back to him after the video went viral and offered him a refund for his son's service. 

Orange, Calif.-based Western Dental & Orthodontics has 354 locations across California, Texas, Arizona, Alabama and Nevada. 

A spokesperson for the DSO sent the news station a statement in response to the incident.

"Coming out of the pandemic in which we have all operated with limited staff and facilities, we are doing all we can to achieve the kind of speedy and responsive experiences that our patients expect and deserve while holding firm to the highest standards of clinical care and innovation. We remain committed to continuous improvement each day and are continuing to pursue a dialogue with this patient’s father to move towards a resolution," the statement said. 

Becker's contacted Western Dental for comment and will update this story as information becomes available. 

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