MISHAWAKA — A national dental office with a branch in Mishawaka did not open its doors Monday morning, leaving many patients wondering why.
Allcare Dental and Dentures, located off Main Street in Mishawaka, was supposed to reopen after the holidays.
A sign on its door said it would be back in business Monday, but at 10 a.m. the office was empty and the doors were locked.
An Allcare employee told WSBT that workers were notified on New Year's Day that the office was closed for good. Apparently, at least some patients were not notified.
Several people showed up for their scheduled appointments Monday morning.
"I haven't heard anything about the office closing," said one man.
"I had an appointment today. I didn't know nothing about that," said another.
WSBT called several of Allcare's listed telephone numbers, but was not immediately able to reach anyone.
A statement was posted on the Allcare website Monday afternoon, indicating that other offices around the country apparently were closed and that there were no plans to reopen any of them.
The statement added that "... we were not able to contact you by phone to notify you of the situation, but our companywide phone system and patient information computer network was abruptly shut down by our outside network provider. Allcare's system remains completely shut down with no knowledge of when it will be back on, but we are working to find a resolution to the issue.
"The reason for the closing is because the business became severely cash constrained and had no way to continue to operate going forward."
The statement further said, "... Allcare is working to transfer patient records and unfinished dental work to dentists with offices located as close as possible to the Allcare offices that are now closed."
Here is the statement posted on their website Monday afternoon:
"POSTED JANUARY 3rd, 2011
We are very sorry to inform you that Allcare Dental has closed down operations. There are no plans at this time to reopen the offices. We want to assure you that this sudden closing situation was not our intent; it was due to circumstances beyond our control that arose very quickly. We understand that you must be very upset and frustrated about this situation, but please allow us to begin to explain the circumstances to some extent here on this site below. Please read this entire message, including the bolded information below regarding what Allcare is doing to maintain the continuity of your dental care.
We apologize that we were not able to contact you by phone to notify you of the situation, but our companywide phone system and patient information computer network was abruptly shut down by our outside network provider. Allcare’s system remains completely shut down with no knowledge of when it will be back on but we are working to find a resolution to the issue. So at this time, this website is the only way we can keep you informed and up to date with your offices situation and status.
The reason for the closing is because the business became severely cash constrained and had no way to continue to operate going forward. Allcare was confident in their financial plan to avoid this situation. The plan was to wind down underperforming offices while at the same time raising capital from an equity group. However, the projected closing date for that equity deal was missed and the company did not have the time it needed to get to a closing with the capital group. Bridge financing was attempted to fill the financial gap but there was no success with obtaining that.
At this time, Allcare is working hard to transfer patient records and unfinished dental work to dentists with offices located as close as possible to the Allcare offices that are now closed. Within the past 24 hours, we have already begun transitioning patients in certain areas to new dental offices. Those offices will be listed soon. Our efforts will continue and updates will be posted to this site informing you of where your dental records will be transferred and where you may want to go to continue and/or complete your dental treatment. The State Dental Boards are being notified of the situation today. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time. Please know that we will do everything we can to quickly transition you and your dental records to a new dentist.
In the meantime, if you are experiencing a dental emergency, you will need to locate another dentist in your area at your cost, go to the emergency room or call 911. You can locate other dentists by referencing your local Yellow Pages or by contacting your county dental society.
UNLESS THERE ARE ANY NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MEANTIME, A NEW UPDATE TO THIS SITE WILL BE COMPLETED ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 4TH. CHECK BACK REGULARLY FOR ANY NEW UPDATES ON YOUR OFFICE ‘S STATUS AND NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS CONCERNING YOUR RECORDS AND WHERE/HOW THEY CAN BE OBTAINED
Again, Allcare very sorry for the situation that has come about. Please accept our deepest and most sincere apologies and please know that the company did all it could have done to prevent this situation and will do all it can to get your care transferred to a new provider as soon as possible."