TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Fear of dental work haunted Barbara Schulte for most of her life, but last year, she beat the phobia and went forward with a tooth implant procedure.
Schulte’s records indicate she paid $5,040 for two new molars. The devices known as posts were implanted on May 14 of last year, according to Schulte.
The teeth were scheduled to be installed by dentist Herman Goh last September, but that appointment was canceled.
“They said his father was sick and I felt horrible about that,” Schulte said. “Of course. Reschedule. But then it just became excuse after excuse.”
Dr. Goh worked at Modern Dental in Tampa at the time, but at some point, he moved to an office in Spring Hill.
Schulte and other patients who also claim their procedures with Dr. Goh at Modern Dental were not finished said they were not notified Goh was leaving the practice.
Goh denied he abandoned his patients.
“I had given a 45-day notice of resignation and was coming in twice a month thereafter to see patients for two months,” Goh said.
According to the patients, Modern Dental Office Manager Melanie Deloye said it was up to Goh to complete the dental work. They said Goh told them it was Modern Dental’s responsibility.
“They did string me along for over a year,” Schulte said.
During that time, there was occasional shooting pain where the teeth were supposed to be.
“If you eat chips, and one goes [in the hole where the devices are],” Schulte said, shaking her head. “I’ll be in pain for a couple of days. I avoid chips.”
Deloye declined a request for comment.
“We have no comment, as we are no longer affiliated with Dr. Goh,” Deloye said in an email. “These offices are privately held.”
A civil lawsuit filed last year against Goh by Peter Lehr was settled after Goh agreed to finish the work following mediation.
The filing alleged Lehr was “abandoned by Dr. Goh along with at least 18 other patients” who paid in full.
Goh denied he abandoned the patients and said at his current practice he has finished several implant procedures that started at Modern Dental.
“I feel bad about the delays, but we have done the work on 21 of these [Modern Dental] patients,” Goh said.
He offered to finish Schulte’s implants but said he could not give her a refund.
“I won’t refund the money because I don’t have the money,” Goh said. “Modern Dental has the money.”
Lehr’s lawsuit stated Modern Dental’s Deloye “claimed Dr. Goh had been paid in full.”
Schulte, who is in the process of filing a lawsuit to seek a full refund, said she would not back to go to Goh to finish the job.
“No, I would not. I’ve lost all faith in him,” Schulte said. “I’ve lost a lot of sleep. I’m just sick to my stomach over this.”
A Clearwater woman filed a lawsuit against Goh last Friday, claiming the third of three implants she paid for has not been installed.