'Western Dental Sucks': Man Protests Dental Office With Guitar Solo Outside

A man in California got so fed up with his dental office that he decided to protest by shredding an electric guitar outside the establishment while holding up a sign that said, "Western Dental Sucks."

A passerby shared a video of the aggrieved customer on Twitter, where it has been viewed 4.2 million times since it was posted on March 12. It showed the man rocking his guitar solo through an amplifier in front of Western Dental and Orthodontics in Merced, California.

"Wtf Western Dental do to this man," the caption wondered.

Fortunately, the viral video found its way to the guitarist, Layne Barton, who could answer that question.

"Hi everybody this is me," Barton wrote below the clip. "This place has been an absolute nightmare for my son and I."

Barton told Newsweek that his frustration with the office had been mounting for months before the musical protest.

He had chosen Western Dental for his 14-year-old son Landen, who needed braces. After their first appointment, the orthodontist was one to three hours late for every meeting. One appointment was canceled without notice, as Barton and his son realized only after they had taken the time to travel there.

But Barton said the last straw came when Western Dental called for unnecessary surgery. An orthodontist initially ordered surgery for Landen to correct a crooked tooth. The family traveled to Fresno for that surgery, but when they returned to Merced, their orthodontist at Western Dental said the procedure had been done incorrectly and Landen needed yet another surgery.

They drove 60 miles to Fresno again, but the surgeon there said that Landen was fine with the procedure he had received. Barton sought a second opinion from another orthodontist, who agreed that no further surgery was needed. When Barton tried to get answers from the staff at Western Dental, he claimed his calls went unanswered for over a month.

That was when he decided to whip out the electric guitar.

"I said you know what, I'm just going to protest their business, this will get their attention," Barton told Newsweek.

Man Protests Dental Office With Guitar
An investigation by USA Today and Newsy in 2020 found that the pressure on dental offices to meet revenue targets could lead to overtreatment. The report focused on North American Dental Group, interviewing patients who said they were misdiagnosed and employees who said they saw surgery performed on perfectly healthy teeth. Ernesto Ruscio / Contributor/Getty Images Europe

An investigation by USA Today and Newsy in 2020 found that the pressure on dental offices to meet revenue targets could lead to overtreatment. The report focused on North American Dental Group, interviewing patients who said they were misdiagnosed and employees who said they saw surgery performed on perfectly healthy teeth.

Fortunately for Barton, after the video of his performance went viral, Western Dental finally got back to him and issued a refund for his son's braces.

A spokesperson from Western Dental told Newsweek in a statement, "We remain committed to continuous improvement each day and are continuing to pursue a dialogue with this patient's father to move towards a resolution."

It's not the first time Barton has had success with this method of demonstration. When a former boss allegedly paid him less than his full due on his last check, he played an acoustic guitar outside the employer's building. It worked then, too—Barton ultimately got his money.

Updated 03/25/2022, 3:20 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with comments from a Western Dental and Orthodontics spokesperson.