BOSTON (WWLP) – Aspen Dental Management, Inc. (Aspen Dental) has agreed to settle with Massachusetts over a complaint regarding false advertising claims.

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office says the company consented to a $3.5 million settlement to resolve allegations that the dental chain cheated thousands of Massachusetts consumers through a series of bait-and-switch advertising campaigns. Up to $750,000 will be returned to patients who paid for new patient examinations, x-rays and oral cancer screenings at Massachusetts Aspen Dental-branded offices.

The consent judgment, entered in Suffolk Superior Court today, settles a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Maura Healey in December 2021 alleging that Aspen Dental violated the state Consumer Protection Law and the assurances Aspen Dental made to the AG’s Office in a 2014 settlement addressing similar conduct.

According to the AG’s lawsuit, Aspen Dental engaged in numerous deceptive advertising and marketing practices, including charging patients for services it advertised as “free,” as well as advertising that it worked with “all” insurance when it did not accept MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program that includes dental coverage.

The settlement also prohibits the company from using advertisements that misleadingly offer “free” services, state that Aspen Dental works with “all” insurance, reference guarantees or denture prices, or indicate that Aspen Dental offices have “no hidden fees,” and restrictions related to communications concerning oral cancer screenings and debt collection.