Monday, January 21, 2008

Mothers Comments RE:Smiles High Clinic, Kool Smiles

"OnTipToe" from Colorado reported the following story:
January 2008

If you are relying on medicaid coverage and seeking dental care for your child, who is insured, watch out for this! One company, called "Small Smiles" and in our city they were called "Smile High" has been known to have this type of BAD practice!
(blogger note: Smile High's Lead Dentist was Dr. Tu Tran, the founder of Kool Smiles in Georgia.)

I took my twin daughters there for their first visit to the dentist when they were 18 months old. Main reason for going there was it's close proximity to my home. We are in a poor part of central Denver.
Strangely, and for the sake of my girls, I was involved in CNA clinicals at a local hospital at this time. The very day, I spent several hours in a class at the hospital discussing the federal laws governing restraint of patients in hospitals and LTC facilities. So, I was educated on this and it's ethical and moral issues.
When I got to the dentist, the first thing I had to do was read and sign a consent form for treatment which listed the 10 ways that the dentist might restrain my child for treatment. This threw me, given the class I'd just had. I was very surprised, this being my first experience taking kids to dentist, that this was a regular part of their practice. When the clinician came out to call one of my daughters back, I got up and started gathering everyone up. She said, "You can't go back." I was aghast! What do you mean? Don't you see this is just a baby? I will go with her, as well as her twin! Well, none of the dentists will treat the child with the parent present, I was told. I couldn't believe it!
So, I asked for the records that I filled out and signed, as well as that restrain form. I left. Not before hearing a young dentist tell me that ALL pediatric dentists were trained in this practice of restraint and disallowing parents into exams. He warned me that I would not another dentist in this city who would allow me to accompany my child into the exam. I told him that my child would just not have dental care then!
Next day, I took that form into class for my instructor to see. She told me that EVERY form listed there was patently illegal practice with ANY patient in the US, by FEDERAL law. So, my advice: if you or your child is subjected to this practice when going to the dentist, call them on it. Tell them you'll report them to the Dental licensing board for illegally using restraint.
Thankfully, we have found a great pediatric practice here in Denver which has wonderful doctors and staff. They always allow me to be present for exams and NEVER use restraint or scare tactics for treatment. They are clean, bright and have a great attitude. And all my children, the twins are 9 now, son 6 and daughter 3, enjoy their visits to the dentist without fear. It's called Primary Dental and they are located in Wheatridge, CO.
I have heard some horrible news reports about children subjected to numerous root canals on their baby teeth in one visit. These are primarily done on children who have medicaid coverage. And it's been found that these dental practices are using any way they can to overbill medicaid. Some ex employees interviewed told of promotions and expectations of employees to add services to pad the bills to the government. Adult practices won't even do more than two at a time! Another report about a 6 yr old boy who was so severely restrained that the dentist broke his leg! So, please, you owe it to your children to find another practice, if this is happening to them. LISTEN to them about their fears if they are distressed about visiting the dentist!
Good luck and take care.

Jen in Fairmount, GA says this about Kool Smiles
August 2007

I don't know the reason, but I am so happy to know no one else who has Wellcare will be fooled into going to Kool Smiles again! I wish they had pulled them a month ago so we would not have taken my grandson. I hope they do go out of business!!! I don't know what kind of dentists they are (we weren't allowed to know) but they did provide one of the most traumatic events of my daughter, grandson, and my lives. We had no plans to ever go back, anyway, but I wish it had not been an option in the first place!

Frm Kool Smiles Employee, Virginia Beach, VA
August 2007

I believe your news station may want to look into this matter on a deeper level. I resigned my employment with Kool Smiles due to the type of care the children were receiving and the way in which the corporate leaders were managing/reporting the billing of such dental care to Peachtree/Medicaid.
Several months ago Medicaid entered many of the Kool Smiles offices, unannounced, and seized dental records - including x-rays. It is clear now what the audit revealed. The children's dental needs are the most important issue here and by Peachtree/Medicaid pulling their contract the results of the care the children were truly receiving had to have been clear in the records/x-rays.

Whib101, Roswell, GA.
August 2007

You folks do not have a clue.. I am very familer with the corp ops of Kool Smiles. They operate a medicaid mill. Those poor kids have multiple dental procedures performed at one visit. How may adults out ther get a extraction, root canal and crown work done at one sitting. For Dr Strange to say these 71,000 kids would be without a dental home is a joke. There is no continuity of care in this operation the kids do not even see the same dentist on follow-up visits. The dentists practicing at these locations are not even board certified pediatric dentists.
Its no wonder they only serve govt funded patients... private insured patients would not tolerate the substandard practices this operation conducts
Thank God those two managed care providers through clinical audits recognized what these profit maximizers were doing !
Sharon, Gainsville, GA
August 2007

I personally took my children to a Kool Smiles office where they were given a total of 6 crowns that their current dentist has now said were completely unnecessary. Also, I filed a lawsuit against Kool Smiles for damage and injuries that my the 3 year old daughter received during her treatment. In my opinion, no responsible parent should ever settle for the lack of care received at Kool Smiles. Many private offices accept Wellcare and provide much more personalized, quality service.

This blogger could just go on and on with these type of complaints, opinions and thoughts. This is just an example of the type of complaints out there about Kool Smiles, Smiles High, Small Smiles and the like.

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