A North Las Vegas pastor says it has been difficult living the past two years without an “essential” part of his life, his smile.
“I can't eat certain foods. I have to eat soft foods because I have no bottom teeth to actually chew," Phil Allen said.
Police chaplain Phil Allen says he had his teeth removed at a Half Dental office in Las Vegas in March of 2015.
Allen says he paid $15,000 to have the teeth removed and replaced with implants after being diagnosed with periodontal disease.
The pastor says after having the teeth removed and being given a temporary top denture in March, he was eager to get the implants when he went back to the office.
"Went back April 19th and low and behold there was a sign on the door that said this office is no longer open," Allen said.
The Half Dental office permanently closed.
Documents from the Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners identified 29 people who said they ran into similar
The issues led to a dentist with the practice, Richard Blanchard, voluntarily agreeing to have his license suspended until he repays the money owed to patients like Allen.
The pastor, who is owed $10,200 according to the Dental Board, doesn’t ever expect to see that money.
The dental board documents say Blanchard is living off social security at this point.
Allen has now turned his attention to getting the work completed, which he says is now going to cost him a lot more than Half Dental’s original estimate.
"He said, here's the thing you are looking at almost $30,000 worth of work," Allen said.
The pastor is saying that after a lifetime offering charity to others, he is forced to ask for some himself.
"I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy," Allen said.
Allen set up a Go Fund Me account in hopes of raising the money necessary to complete the work two years in the making.
"Nothing would make me happier than to flash a beautiful smile," Allen said,
Experts say you can learn something from Allen’s experience.
For one, they say you should never pay the full cost of an ongoing dental treatment up front. The dental board and Better Business Bureau both said about 20 percent down is a good rule of thumb.
The dental board also recommended checking the license status of a dentist before getting any work done to make sure they are in good standing with the state.