82-year-old woman says disappearing dentist never fixed dentures she paid $3300 for
UPDATE: Dr. Tyler Lasseigne with Esthetic Associates, LLC returned to work on Monday, February 6, after he said he had a minor surgical procedure.
Lasseigne says all treatment rendered at his practice has and will be completed especially if the treatment has been paid for.
“We have never taken money from patients without completing their treatment. Instead, we provide treatment for limited-income patients for a reduced fee. I apologize for the miss or lack of communication. Next time we will be more diligent in our efforts to notify the public,” said Dr. Lasseigne.
RELATED: Dentist office that abruptly shut down for numerous weeks re-opens; Doctor says he was recovering from surgery
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Even more people are coming forward saying they want their money back after WAFB’s story first aired Thursday night, February 3, about a dentist that has seemingly disappeared in Baton Rouge.
82-year-old Betty Stewart is a former patient of Dr. Tyler Lasseigne, and says she paid about $3300 upfront for new dentures, but they never fit properly in her mouth.
“It’s been a terrible time. I missed Thanksgiving, I missed Christmas, all the goodies. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t eat turkey or anything, I only eat soft stuff,” said Stewart, who was a patient of Dr. Lasseigne.
Stewart says, she started going to Esthetic Associates and Dr. Tyler Lasseigne last May to get new dentures, because the office accepted her insurance.
But after multiple procedures there, the new dentures never really fit or worked out completely, forcing her to schedule the repair.
“I have a lot of doctors and I trust all of them. That’s all you can do as you get older you have to trust somebody you know,” said Lasseigne.
For the past few months, she’s only had her top dentures. Stewart says when she tried to schedule another appointment at the end of December with Dr. Lasseigne’s office, she heard nothing.
“But no one ever called you back. So, when my daughter went over there, Rachel went over there, she said mom that the office is closed. She said, I think they’re no longer in business,” said Stewart.
Betty says she put down about $3300 at first of her own money to fix the dentures.
But now that the work is still not complete, she feels blindsided by the sudden closure and lack of information from the dental office.
“It just makes me feel terrible. I feel like I didn’t really matter to him at all. He was doing it for the money, and he took my money, which I couldn’t afford to lose. I am a widow, I am a handicapped widow, and the only income I have is my retirement,” said Stewart.
On Thursday, WAFB reported that the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry is even looking into the situation of the disappearing dentist and why the officer suddenly closed. They gave WAFB a statement saying, “The Executive Director of the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry is currently looking into the situation but could not comment on any disciplinary matters.”
Many people now want their money back.
WAFB’s Lester Duhe’ tried contacting Dr. Lasseigne on Friday, but he did not answer his text or calls.
Legal analyst Franz Borghardt says it will be up to law enforcement to decide how to handle the case.
“Now look, life does happen and because life that does happens sometimes means that people are not always able to live up to all their obligations. Does that necessarily mean a criminal case? Well again, it depends on why the life is happening and what’s going on. And that being said the lesson here for any business owners is communicate with your customers,” said Borghardt.
Betty is nervous she will not get her money back from Dr. Lasseigne but says she is weighing all her options.
Some good news though, Betty has found a new dentist and has her appointment scheduled for Monday, February 6.
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