SF Dental is a dental practice at 800 Santiago St Suite B, San Francisco, CA 94116. It owned by Dr. Kim. This is a thorough SF Dental review based on the experience of three individuals.
Dental practices had a very difficult time during the heart of COVID-19 in 2020. Many patients refused to see a dentist because they would have to be unmasked. With blood and saliva all over the place, going to the dentist is the last thing you’d want to do, unless you had a dental emergency.
Only until the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were available start in December 2020 did dental practices slowly recover. And it was only until about March 2021 when dental practices like SF Dental began to see a profitable amount of patients.
As a small business owner, I empathize with running a small business during COVID-19. That said, based on my experience at SF Dental, I felt I needed to share this negative review.
SF Dental Review At 800 Santiago Street, San Francisco
After 18 months of not seeing the dentist, I decided to try a new dentist at SF Dental at 800 Santiago Street.
Unfortunately, I had two disappointing experiences. I would do not recommend SF Dental at all. With so many other great dental practices hungry for business, I recommend going elsewhere.
Visit #1: Felt Like I Was Wasting Their Time
You would think as a new referral patient, Dr. Kim would treat me with respect. Instead, Dr. Kim was dismissive of my questions when I asked about the difference between a crown and a filling and why I would need one. I had never gotten a crown before. Therefore, I wanted to get as educated before going through an uncomfortable and expensive experience.
A crown is between 4-5X more expensive than a filling. We’re talking$1,500 – $2,000 for a crown versus $300 – $500 for a filling.
Then, when I asked her to point out the cavity on the x-ray, she was very dismissive. She responded, “Can’t you see that obvious big hole?” No I could not. I was not a dentist or trained in viewing x-rays.
I guess if you go to SF Dental, you need to be a trained x-ray viewer. Further, you should not ask too many questions about your dental health before they go to work on your teeth.
Perhaps I just caught Dr. Stella Kim on a bad day because I was her last or second to last patient. Her reviews on Yelp are good. It’s just disappointing she treated me so poorly.
As consumer advocate, it is your right to ask as many questions as possible until you feel comfortable proceeding. Don’t let doctors make you feel less than worthy or make you feel like you are wasting their time.
Visit #2: A Bait And Switch?
When I returned to get my tooth done, I was under the impression that it was for a filling. However, when I met the dentist, it was a new dentist named Dr. Caitlin Desmet, instead of Dr. Kim. Dr. Desmet said she just joined in October 2020 after her previous practice downtown shut down.
Dr. Desmet said she’d be doing a crown. And I said wait a minute, because that wasn’t my understanding based on my meeting with Dr. Kim.
Dr. Kim had indicated we would be doing a filling. It was as if Dr. Kim purposefully put the new dentist on me to try and confuse me into accepting doing more lucrative crown work.
Dr. Desmet acquiesced to my concerns by saying that she’d first clear the old filling first and then decide on whether to do a filling or a crown. After she had got done removing the old filling, she said, she would do a filling instead.
During the process, Dr Desmet, who is white, treated the dental assistant, who is Hispanic, in a very impatient and passive aggressive manner. It was like the dental assistant was beneath her.
You can tell a person’s character by the way they treat their colleagues and assistants. And the way Dr. Desmet treated the assistant made it seem like she grew up rich and entitled. As a minority, it was an uncomfortable experience that I have experienced many times in my life.
I wish I spoke up and told Dr. Desmet to be kinder to the assistant. But I was in a vulnerable position with holes in my tooth. Therefore, I’m speaking up now.
Perhaps Dr. Desmet was also extra tired from a long day at work. But I hope she does treat future patients and her coworkers with more respect. At the end of the day, Dr. Desmet did a good job with my filling.
Avoid SF Dental In The Inner Sunset
It is a shame that good manners is lacking at SF Dental. As dental patients after COVID-19, we are already a little on edge about coming in and catching the virus. To then add on an uncomfortable dental procedure, a potentially large bill after insurance, and dismissive attitudes by a couple dentists is unfortunate.
I’m definitely not going to return to SF Dental and neither is the other patient who referred me after hearing about my experience. To build a great business, you need to build trust. And SF Dental failed in this regard.
Please go to a dental practice who treats their patients with respect and kindness. There are so many competing dentists around. Also go to a dental practice that treats its assistance with respect and kindness too.
And to Dr Desmet and other young dentists, if you are just starting out, work on building good client rapport. You might not own a dental practice yet, but you some day will. Good rapport and a solid reputation are everything when it comes to building a dental practice visit.