The Reported Facts:
It’s two for two so far for deaths after dental procedures in 2011. Another routine dental procedure ends with a dead child. On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 17 year old, Christopher Schutzius died, of what the Medical Examiner reported as sepsis, a severe blood infection. Also referred to as blood poisoning, sepsis is very often life threatening, it causes the blood pressure to drop, the patient goes into shock, major systems shut down, such as kidneys, liver, lungs and central nervous system and then death.
On February 1, 2011 Christopher went to Dental Dreams, a corporate dental chain located in the Chicago suburb of Blue Island, Illinois. This Dental Dreams was the one located at 12200 Western Avenue. Christopher went there alone to simply have a filling refilled after he lost the previous one while eating a caramel apple. Instead of replacing the filling, the dentist gave Christopher a root canal and sent him home with no antibiotics or pain medication.
Christopher was a senior at Eisenhower High and had entered the foster case system in 2008.
Dr. Christopher Wenckus of the University of Illinois said it was very rare to die from sepsis after a root canal, going on to say it maybe happens once every 50 years. Dr. Wenckus said he would love to see the x-rays taken before the surgery.
Laying the ground work for some other problem or fault beside negligence on the part of the treating dentist and Dental Dreams, journalist Steve Metsch reports that Dr. Wenckus questioned, “Was that tooth infected prior to the root canal? If it’s a live tooth, with a functioning nerve, there’s no way in hell this takes place. Surgery can’t cause it. There’s got to be an underlying condition.”
“If someone has an infected tooth, (their face) is swollen and bad and nasty. That’s the time you use an antibiotic. How do they know the sepsis came from an infected tooth?”
According to Metsch, Dr. Wenckus went on to say if it was infection from a bad tooth there would have been warning signs such as swelling and soreness in the mouth.
“If someone has an infected tooth, …
…(their face) is swollen and bad and nasty. That’s the time you use an antibiotic. How do they know the sepsis came from an infected tooth?” Wenckus said.
Dr. Wenckus said if a filling falls out it’s usually because there is decay under the filling. “It’s possible there could have been decay under there. Maybe the practitioner decided that there may not have been enough tooth to put a filling back in and did the surgery to save the tooth, “ Wenckus said.
Wenckus suspected tooth decay may have caused the filling to come loose and prompted the decision to do a root canal. “If a filling falls out, it usually falls out because there’s decay under the filling,” Wenckus said.
According to the Southtown Star reporter, Steve Metsch, Dr. Sameera Hussain who owns Dental Dreams said she did not perform the procedure and refused to name the dentist who did.
Behind the facts
Field of Dreams Dental Management, LLC (entity number – 01095625)
430 W ERIE STE 200
CHICAGO, IL 60654
Khurram Hussain (2208 Skylane Drive, Naperville, IL 60564)
Dental Experts, LLC d/b/a Dental Dreams, LLC (entity number – 01192876)
430 W ERIE STE 200
CHICAGO, IL 60654
Sameera Hussain, DDS
For further information you can search the Illinois Secretary of State site
Dentists at Dental Dreams, as with many, if not all of the corporate dental companies are paid or receive bonuses based on billable/collectable production.
A root canal paid the dentist much more for his/her time than refilling a tooth.
Dr. Sameera isn’t exactly the only owner. The other owner is Mr. Khurram Hussain, Dr. Sameera Hussain’s husband. In most states clinics must be dentist owned, as such, Dr. Sameera Hussain is listed as the owner of the clinics and Mr. Khurram Hussain is owner of Field of Dreams Dental Management, which calls all the shots as to the operation and production requirement of the clinics.
Dental Dreams is the “trade name” used by the Corporate entity Dental Experts, LLC. Dental Experts also has clinics operating under the name Bradley Dental in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
Dental Dreams has clinics in Illinois, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Connecticut with more than 150 dentists and over 500 employees. Dental Dreams operates through locally-licensed dentists at each of its clinics much like the other dental mills, basically renting the employee dentist’s licenses in order to skirt state laws and regulations.
Dental Dreams Lawsuit
Dermersropian v Dental Experts, LLC – MA 3:09-cv-30087
Dental Dreams Lawsuit Complaint Exhibit A – Independent Contractor Agreement
Dental Experts Corporate Disclosure
Dental Dreams Lawsuit Order Regarding Defendant’s Motion To Dismiss
Dental Dreams Lawsuit Proposed Protective Order- it was granted
Dental Dreams Discovery Stipulation Non Professional Testimony Due by April 1 2011
Dental Dreams Lawsuit Docket Report
Dr. Dermesropian and Natalie Secrest (billing department) reported fraud and other wrong doing by Dental Dream dentist Dr. Tiberius Oancea to Dr. Khoushan Azad. When no actions were taking, Dr. Dermesropian reported to Dr. Azad’s superior, David Wolle. No action was taken by David Wolle to correct or take actions to ensure this would stop, in fact, it’s stated in the complaint that Mr. Wolle asked Ms. Secrest to keep quiet.
In addition, Dr. Dermesropian alleged Dr. Oancea tried to bribe office personnel to assign him the most desirable patients in order to increase his “production compensation”. Among many other things it’s alleged Dental Dreams is an enterprise defined under 18 USC 1961 and violates laws against Racketeering.
There were allegations of using other dentists DEA numbers and other billing information because new hires had not received all their licensing and credentialing accreditations. This sounds very familiar.
DentaQuest-Delta Dental-Dental Dreams Illinois
It appears DentaQuest a/k/a Doral Dental manages the Illinois Medicaid Dental Program. Or at least it did. Currently the DentaQuest site offers no search for a dental provider for Illinois Medicaid patients. There is a related story about this below. Also there is no information available at insurekidsnow.gov, where children under state CHIP programs can search for a provider.
The only dentist listed at the Illinois State Dental Society who’s address is the same as that of Dental Dream in Blue Island, IL is Dr. JungAh Ko, Illinois licenses number 129028215. According to the Illinois Division of Professional Licenses, Dr. Ko has never been disciplined.
Delta Dental’s Dentist Directory for Illinois dated January 2011 lists the following 64 dentists as providing dental care at Dental Dreams 12200 South Western Avenue # 108, Blue Island, IL 60406
|Funmi M. Adeleke |
Jorelle R. Alexander
Wesley J. Arbuckle
Marci V. Barnes
Michelle M. Barrera
Nicholas A. Dallas
Sami M. Diab
Nicole L. Graves
Gina L. Grosse
Colin M. Haley
Aminah, K. Harris
Perkins, S. Jones, Jr.
Christine S. Juhn
Kevin M. Lane
|Kenneth R. Marriott |
Eric A. McLean
Patrick K. Miyamasu
Bic T. Nguyen
Reem M. Obaisi
Olaitan M. Okediji
Sandhya G. Pallam
Hetal B. Patel
Brandon R. Prusa
Kais K. Rabadi
Gina M. Savani
Joellen R. Schnieder
Natosha L. Scott
Sulaiman A. Shaltoni
Dipa G. Sharma
Sam H. Shin
Alison c. Slanina
Paul J. Stec
Bryon J. Thompson
Dwight E. Thompson
Ameet Y. Trivedi
Cameron G. Walker
Gerald T. Ward
Lawrence A. White
Jeffery R. Winterich
Jessica L. Worthington
Of course 64 dentists do not work at the Dental Dreams in Blue Island, Illinois. This list demonstrates just one small problem with Corporate Dentistry. They move from clinic to clinic and as Ms. Gump would tell you “you never know what you are going to get”.
These dental mills have a turnover rate of between 40-50% so keeping any kind of list current is impossible. It’s also nearly impossible to see the same dentist twice in a row. Yet, there is the push for children to have a “dental home”. How is that possible. Is the “home” the address or the “dentist”? With my hairdresser it’s not the address! What about you?
My thoughts on this
The state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation investigates any medical procedure that results in an "adverse outcome," said agency spokeswoman Susan Hofer. The Department of Children and Family Services is conducting a neglect investigation, which is routine when a foster child dies.
The above quote. from the Chicago Tribune, bothers me. I see this statement as I do Dr. W above, it’s all being set up to blame the parents. (foster parents in this case). Maybe it was the way in which it was written, I’m just saying none of the stories I’ve read (most are boilerplate copies) are showing the facts that in the past 14 months 7 children have died during or after “routine” dental procedures. So just how “routine” is “routine”
I feel Christopher was taken advantage of since he was there alone and was not given the opportunity to consult his foster parents. He followed the advice of the “professionals” and that seems to be a common thread in a whole lot of these stories. I urge everyone to “Question With Boldness”; white coat and letters after their name or not. That goes for the opinions of the “professionals” when they are asked and quoted. Check what their agenda might be, most have one.
Dental Dreams saw Christopher as low hanging fruit and an opportunity to meet the days production goal.
Instead of replacing the filling, as a normal procedure, the production junkie of Dental Dreams found the opportunity to over-treat and up-code to a, likely unnecessarily, aggressive treatment.
No one I know who has ever had a problem with a tooth bad enough to call for a root canal is usually put on antibiotics for a few days prior to treatment. I’m not saying it’s standard, I’m saying it’s my experience.
As I’ve heard from victims and employees over the years, cleanliness and sanitation is NOT a top priority in the dental mills. I have no reason to believe Dental Dreams is any different.
Children in foster care automatically enter the Medicaid medical system and are all but forced to enter one of these Medicaid dental mills every 6 months.
Hoping the “real” dentists soon step up and revolt against these thugs, much like we saw in Egypt this past week. It’s time.
- It’s NOT a Field of Dreams
- Dental experts: Teen Death Extremely Rare
- DentaQuest Contract With Illinois Questioned – March 2010
Illinois pays DentaQuest (Doral) $255 million a year to manag the Medicaid Dental Program. DentaQuest keeps 6% or about $11 million. However the cheaper they can pay to a provider they more they get to keep.
- Dr. Christopher Wenckus’s own words, on 10 Questions to ask your dentist about root canals.
- Dr. Wenckus’ comments on the death of woman in 2008 while she was having a root canal.
A Study 2007 by Dr. Wenckus, Dr. Brandford Johnson, Dr. Ellen BeGole and Dr. Bridgitte Bigras
A survey instrument with 5 patient scenarios was mailed to 1,250 randomly selected dentists, 250 in each group noted above. The participants were asked to choose from different treatment options and to assess the difficulty of making their choice. The answers were analyzed to identify differences in clinical decision making between groups.
A total of 293 surveys were returned, for an overall response rate of 23.4%. Significant differences in treatment planning decisions between the 5 groups were found. Practitioners expressed more difficulty and more variation in making treatment recommendations in cases involving previously endodontically treated teeth than initial treatment scenarios.
Dental specialty status has a significant influence on a clinician's recommendation to perform root canal therapy or extract a tooth.
12200 South Western Avenue # 108
Blue Island, IL 60406