Monday, April 30, 2012
Church Street Health Management/Small Smiles Dental; See from where the money flows and to where it goes.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Why did Church Street Health Management/Small Smiles Dental pay Little Darlings Dental/General Dentistry 4 Kids - Arizona $25,000.00
General Dentistry 4 Kids is who sued Kool Smiles in AZ for copyright infringement and unfair business practices, General Dentistry 4 Kids lost in a Summary Judgment for the Defendant – Kool Smiles. General Dentistry 4 Kids v. Kool Smiles
An even better question is why they gave Waller law group $250,000.00 on that same Friday. In fact they gave Waller over $673,000.00 over a period of 60 days. Hmmm
Little Darlings Dentist, PLLC
2102 N. Country Club Ste A
Tucson, AZ 85716
Waller, Lansden, Dortch and Davis
2-17-12 $250,000.00 $676,700.64
Church Street Health Management Statement of Financial Affairs – start on page 12. Little Darlings Dental payment on page 39, Waller law payments on page 50.
“I hereby authorize treatment and use of nitrous oxide, anesthesia, oral sedation and/or other medications necessary for dental treatment.”Wow!
For some kids a trip to the dentist can be a traumatic experience. But just imagine what it might be like strapped into a cocoon-like restraining device called a papoose board that is sometimes used to immobilize children at the dentist's office.
They're smiling today, but eight children say they were strapped into a papoose board while visiting the same dentist for routine work.
They're all patients of Dr. Edward Dove. Dr. Dove has a huge pediatric dentistry practice in Southern California and his commercials are specifically targeted to kids like a friendly Saturday cartoon show. But these kids' parents say their experience was nothing to smile about.
"He hit me on the head and said, ‘You better shut your mouth,' four-year-old Abigail Webb told INSIDE EDITION's Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero.
"He strapped me down on a papoose board and I started crying and he kept slapping my cheeks," said six-year-old Tyler Catalfamo, another patient of Dr. Dove.
Dr. Dove says he uses the papoose board properly, after sedating the youngsters.
When there is news about dentistry in the media, the American Dental Association issues a Red Alert. Here is the ADA Red Alert issued after the “Inside Edition” story about the use of papoose boards aired April 26,2012. And the ABC Chris Como report about Florida’s children access to dental care; It’s in a “crisis”. Link to ADA Red Alert
Inside Edition and ABC World News Media Stories
"Inside Edition" airs segment on the use of papoose boards
"Inside Edition," a nationally-syndicated newsmagazine show aired a story April 26 about dentists' use of papoose boards during dental treatment. As a result of this rather sensational segment, parents of young children under your care may ask if you use a papoose board in your practice.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Creditors Checking the Validity of Actual Property and Liens of Church Street Health Management’s held by its Collateral Agents - SSO FUNDING CORP.; SSH FUNDING CORP.;CIT HEALTHCARE LLC; AMERICAN CAPITAL, LTD.
Church Street Health Management Unsecured Creditors
SSO Funding Corp. is a special purpose entity acting as a conduit for the
provision of financing between Debtors and the entities providing financing to the Debtors and may be served in care of Global Securitization Services, LLC, 68 South Service Road, Suite 120, Melville, New York, 11747.
SSH Funding Corp. is a special purpose entity acting as a conduit for the
provision of financing between Debtors and the entities providing financing to the Debtors and may be served in care of Global Securitization Services, LLC, 68 South Service Road, Suite 120, Melville, New York, 11747
CIT Healthcare LLC, is the Collateral Agent and Administrative Agent for
the Prepetition First Lien Facility Lenders and the Prepetition Second Lien Facility Lenders. CIT Healthcare, LLC, may be served at 11 West 42nd Street, Floor 7, New York, New York, 10036.
American Capital Ltd. is the Collateral Agent under the Subordinated
Murabaha Facility Agreement and maybe served at 505 Fifth Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, New York, 10017.
Bids for Small Smiles centers in by May 4, 2012, auction set for May 11, 2012, hearing for court to approve sale (if any) on May 22, 2012–trying to settle malpractice cases in the mean time.
I think these so called Management Service Agreements these corporations claim they have with fake owners dentists like the Small Smiles clinics should also be used in other places to skirt laws and social practices.
What’s your thoughts?
Maybe they should replace marriage licenses. What about drivers license? I just manage the car, take care of the upkeep, fuel, taxes, etc.
Even in Church Street Health Managements latest filings on Tuesday of this week, they still contend they don’t own them, just manage them. I beg to differ.
Small Smiles Owner Doctors - A. Smith
Small Smiles ownership program – A. Smith
Fraud at Small Smiles? – The employees say yes.
After what you’ve just heard, don’t you everyone who has filed all the legal document, that are subject to perjury needs some serious jail time for each offense.
Phoenix dental mill Kidz Connextion expanding, connections to the God Father of dental mill, Eddie DeRose.
Dr. Lee Harding, another Colorado DeRose family associate and buddy of Dr. Tran of Kool Smiles has opened up two clinics in Phoenix called Kidz Connextion. He’s now set to take over the old Small Smiles clinic that shut down recently. In fact he’s put a large sign in the window of Small Smiles asking patients to come on down to his Kidz Connextion office on 75th Avenue.
I’m told a new cooperate office is up and running and he’s hiring specialist including the orthodontist across the street, while he gets his new 7th Street Kidz Connextion up and running.
I’m told he was the original owner of the Phoenix Small Smiles back in the day.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
CBS Atlanta News is breaking an exclusive investigation into what caused three Georgia boys to lose their lives following what should have been routine medical procedures.
All three boys, ages 14 to 21, died within a month of each other in a string of tragic and bizarre deaths. They all had their wisdom teeth extracted 16 to 72 hours before they died.
"You take your kids to doctors and dentists, and you don't expect this. You don't expect to lose them," said Bobbie Ellis, the father of Ben Ellis, one of the victims.
The grieving families are speaking out for the first time, only to CBS Atlanta Chief Investigative Reporter Wendy Saltzman. They're sharing their emotional stories as a warning to other parents.
"He was the baby, I miss him terribly," Karan Ellis said about the loss of Ben.
The pain is still extremely raw for the Bobbie and Karan Ellis and the other families, who all lost their sons just four months ago.
"A family should be informed that there is a possibility that your child may not wake up," Lisa Robinson said.
The Robinsons and the Ellis family agreed to speak with CBS Atlanta News to warn others of the dangers they say they were never told about.
"You don't want to go through what we've went through. There are too many kids dying out there. Something needs to be done," Bobbie Ellis said.
The Ellis' son was just 14 years old when they say their oral surgeon recommended that he have all four of his wisdom teeth removed.
"That's my baby, and his beautiful smile" Karan Ellis said. "That's all I've got now is his pictures."
"We have pictures, but we don't have our son," Bobbie Ellis cried.
Ben's wisdom teeth were removed on Dec. 7, 2011.
Byron Harris was in Washington for the hearing on Medicaid fraud. You don’t want to miss his report.
Posted on April 25, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Updated today at 7:36 AM
WASHINGTON — "It took a reporter to unlock the mystery that Texas is spending more on braces than the rest of the country put together?"
That was the half-humorous question Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) asked his fellow members of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee in Washington on Wednesday.
Looking at Medicaid fraud, the committee talked to whistle-blowers and lawyers from Minnesota and New York, all of whom discussed scandals in their home states.
But the witness at the heart of this hearing was from Texas.
Dr. Christine Ellis, a North Texas orthodontist, credited News 8 with revealing a "flagrancy of fraud that is truly unbelievable."
News 8 spent thousands of dollars to acquire Medicaid records from the State of Texas and discovered that the state paid out $424 million to put braces on poor kids' teeth from 2008 to 2010.
News 8 also obtained spending totals on orthodontics from other states individually, after the federal government said it did not compile them.
"As they say, everything is bigger in Texas," Dr. Ellis told the panel. "Thanks to the investigative reporting of WFAA's Byron Harris, we now know that orthodontic Medicaid fraud is no exception."
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
American Dental Association asks Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to back off the audits. Seriously! While, upstairs, the Academy of General Dentistry wants more taxpayer funding. Seriously!
The American Dental Association sent this letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid:
American Dental Association,211 East Chicago Ave.,Chicago, IL 60611-2678
Then ABC ran this, by Chris Como, (his brother is NY Governor Andrew Como who said a month or so ago Medicaid audits were just way to hard on corporations.)
April 24, 2012
With more than 16 million low-income U.S. children on Medicaid not receiving dental care -- or even a routine exam -- in 2009, according to the Pew Center on the States, dentists and ERs say they are treating very young patients with teeth blackened from decay and bacteria and multiple cavities.
"I see it in their eyes before they tell me it's that way," Dr. Gregory Folse told ABC News. "We are able to intervene and take the pain away from their teeth and it brings the spark back. And that's my goal."
Folse's Outreach Dentistry mobile clinic travels to schools around Louisiana, filling cavities and teaching children and parents about the importance of oral hygiene.
In 2007, Congress held a hearing on the issue of children's dental health after Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old Maryland boy, died when a tooth infection spread to his brain. His mother, Alyce Driver, had been unable to find a dentist to treat him on Medicaid and could not afford to pay out of pocket.
At the time, Leslie Norwalk, then-acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, called his death "a failure on many levels."
A dentist and a vet want their corporate dental clinics- Pacific Dental-to have more access to the teeth of New Mexico citizens and taxpayer coffers.
By “vet” I don’t mean “veteran” of the military, I mean “veterinarian”!!!
Pacific Dental-Smile Care-Coast Dental-InterDent, wants to open more than just the current 2 clinic limit in New Mexico. They want in there in a bad way, and Derek and Adam Diasti are willing to go to the mat to get that access. Brother, Derek is the veterinarian.
Best known as Pacific Dental, it seems to be financed by Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) or at least Coast Dental was before the merger.
Below is a letter sent to the New Mexico Dental Board, dated March, 2012. In it, they actually say it would be unconstitutional to refuse to allow the company to violate the state Dental Practice Act. Yep! Pure madness!
And unless there is a real and serious pushback, the state laws are likely to be changed to allow them in. New Mexico citizens are sitting at home right now, not knowing the danger to their public health that is taking place. Scary!
Of course corporate dentistry is being pushed throughout the land. As we learned last week at the Texas hearings, the states say have they no authority over the entities. It’s the Wild West! Unchecked and unregulated, or should I say,not regulated.Pacific Dental Services, Inc
Live Feed Here:
There are a whole lot of questions from just about everyone on this Oversight Committee hearing wanting to know why no one is in jail, be it individual dentist or corporate executive.
Here Dr. Chrisinte Ellis, DDS was asked if she had been contacted by the Federal AG office in Texas about her findings of fraud with the orthodontics program. Her answer was no.
Representative Michael Burgess of Texas is outraged at that no one from the state, to CSM, to OIG had a clue that Texas paid more for orthodontics than the rest of the entire country or that no one investigated why there were advertising billboards for “Free Braces”. Representative Burgess also said that this would have the full attention of his office.
Commissioner Jesson can’t seem to explain why UCare, a corporation, would donate $30 Million dollars to the state of Minnesota and why it was characterized as a donation when in reality it was a refund for being overpayment. By it being a donation, the state would get to keep it all, if it were a repayment from over payment, some would be returned to the Federal Government.
This was one bang up 3.5 hour long hearing!
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Of course it’s simply a matter of time before Dr. Edward Dove puts another child on the “Killed by the Dentist” list. We also know he does this to just about every patient he touches. But, he’s pissed off another dad who has decided to tell his story. Dr. Dove is a public health hazard! The California Dental Board is fully aware Dr. Dove and they too should be held responsible! His colleagues should be all over him over this.
After going through a few days of regret, anger and tears over Bella’s recent experience at the dentist office, Gia and I felt that we simply could not let the experience go, and have to share with whoever might listen.
My sole motivation for sharing is that prospective clients of pediatric dentist Edward Dove of Fresno (and Chatsworth, Bakersfield, and Lancaster) might read this and simply pass on his services — so that no other child has to endure what my daughter did this week. please read this whole post.
Bella was referred to dr. Edward dove of Fresno through her health insurance with Kaiser. she took x-rays a few weeks ago, which according to the dentist, showed she needed fairly extensive dental work (several crowns and “baby” root canals). The dr recommended “oral conscious sedation,” which involves taking medicine that supposedly makes the child VERY drowsy and loopy — enough to where they “don’t care” that dental work is being done. We had this work done once before at USC school of dentistry, and they were fantastic, so although we asked many of the same questions, we felt like a dr. who “specializes in pediatric dentistry” and has done this for a long time should be the expert. We followed his plan. In our conversations, Dr. Dove made me feel like a complete idiot for asking certain questions — as if he was an excellent dentist, this was completely routine, and the questions were virtually worthless to even ask.
We arrived at the 11 am appointment at least 30 minutes early, and Bella was given her medicine around 10:45. We immediately noticed LOUD music from the back and wondered why in the world the dentist would play music like this (more on this below). It took a while for the medicine to seem to work, but Bella began to be very drowsy and loopy. Around 11:20, a big, burly nurse came in and virtually ripped Bella from my arms — saying nothing to me. I began to follow her into the room, when Dr. Dove stepped in front of me, firmly placed his hand on my shoulder, clearly wanting me to stop — I said, I’ going in there to comfort my daughter and say goodbye to her.” Dove said flatly, “what’s that going to help?” Then looked at my mom and said, “she’ll be right back” in a demeaning tone — as if i was a complete moron to want to comfort my daughter.
Ayman Risha–not a dentist, but neither is Midwest Dental Corporation, but it appears that’s not an issue
St. Cloud dental clinic owner denied license
- Updated: April 21, 2012 - 5:16 PM
In 2009, the board received a complaint about Ayman Risha, who holds a foreign-issued Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree.
In addition to finding Risha unlicensed as a clinic owner and a practitioner, a board investigation determined that he had "engaged in fraud or deception ... by providing diagnoses and preparing treatment plans that were not warranted," the order stated. Risha directed staff to follow the plans, falsify periodontal probing numbers and take unnecessary X-rays, as well as scratching expiration dates off products and changing billing codes to justify procedures, the order said.
The investigation also determined that Risha's clinic lacked adequate infection control procedures, including a disposal program and a plan to handle exposure to infection.
In March 2010 the board ordered Risha to cease his unlicensed activities. Two months later, he applied for a license by examination.
After a board committee recommended in 2010 that he be denied a license, Risha contested the decision but lost by default when he missed a 2011 hearing, the order stated.
The board ordered Risha to pay $8,794 in costs, including expenses for an administrative law judge.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Let’s say Debbie Hagan decided to open a Dental Management company. In my “service agreement” with a dental clinic I agreed to order and pay for all dental supplies for the dental clinic.
What laws would I be breaking?
Thursday, April 19, 2012
ROTFL–Aspen Dental propaganda quoting the group who promotes illegal practice of dentistry; The DGPA
A recent online article1 based on the results of an August 2011 survey of 1,500 dentists asked participants to rank what they consider to be their highest concerns as practitioners and small business owners. They identified “Growth and Influence of Corporate Dentistry Companies that Hire Dentists” as a high priority challenge to their success. The respondents ranked this “frustration” about the current state of the profession the third highest category in the Priority 1 section of the survey, right behind “Third-Party Dictation of Treatment Plans and Setting Fees” and mid-level or expanded-function dental practitioners, and right above “Overpopulation of Dentists and Hygienists.” The author notes that “some of these firms have moved into geographic areas already saturated with dentists.”1 This situation is understandably concerning to private practitioners, who are essentially entrepreneurs trying to establish a territory and stable patient base. It is, however, a well-known fact that dental school does not teach graduates how to successfully find the ideal location for, or run, a private practice.
Small Smiles Dental - Church Street Health Management Auction Postponed Until May 11-May 22 Hearing to Approve Any Offers.
Church Street Health Management LLC will auction the business on May 11, rather than April 20. The provider of management services for 67 dental practices in 22 states reported a $2.1 million net loss in March on total revenue of $11.6 million.
Unless outbid, existing first-lien lenders are to buy the business in exchange for $25 million in debt. Other bids are now due May 4, rather than April 16. The hearing to approve the sale will take place May 22.
Isn’t this a nice way of saying it’s being “repo’d”?
The official creditors’ committee was given the right by the bankruptcy judge to require the company to turn over copies of insurance policies. The committee says that the largest unsecured claims are held by patients who say they were given services unnecessarily. Seeing the policies will help, the committee says, in deciding if the insurance company was entitled to deny coverage of the claims.
Church Street said in a monthly operating report filed with bankruptcy court that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in March were $867,000. Depreciation in the month was $986,000 and interest expense was $120,000.
Church Street specializes in providing dental care to children whose medical expenses are covered by government- sponsored programs. Bankruptcy resulted from a $24 million settlement in January 2010 with state and federal authorities that led to negative publicity and lawsuits.
The company’s debt is structured in compliance with Islamic Shariah financing regulations. There is about $131.5 million owing on first-lien obligations, plus a $25.6 million second- lien. There is an additional $152 million on three subordinated debts.
It’s only Shariah compliant because they created several companies between it and the First Islamic Bank a/k/a Arcapita.
Assets are on the books for $895 million, with debt totaling $303 million, a court filing says.
The case is In re Church Street Health Management LLC, 12- 01573, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville).
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Texas State Board of Dental Examiners General Counsel Admitted–“If you own a clinic you are practicing dentistry in the state”
There is such a HUGE GI-NORMOUS difference in the way North Carolina’s Dental Board understands the responsibilities given to them and the way the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners understand theirs. It’s truly mind blogging, yes I mean “blogging”.
North Carolina’s dental board hopped all over one dentist trying to skirt the laws and has now taken it to the legislature to make sure the laws against corporations coming between the dentist and the patient are clear.
After 5 years of work and 3 years of jumping through hoops, some Texas citizens finally got a hearing with the state legislature. Three years, now! Three years! Expect at least another 3 or more to clean up the damn mess down there. One good thing, Sherri Meeks, the former Executive Director, resigned just days before the hearing, and on more than one occasion it was highly suggested to the board that they now have the opportunity to hire someone who can and will do the job they are paid to do. I guess Texans will just have to wait and see.
At the hearing held on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 by the Texas Legislature Public Health Committee I heard some of the most outrageous statements I think I have ever heard come from members of any governing body, well, other than Nancy Pelosi saying they would have to pass a the Affordable Healthcare Act to see what was in it. That was huge.
Dr. Tammy Gough, the presiding officer of the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, told the committee they were researching corporate dentistry laws and wanted to “act as advisors to stakeholders and elected officials on the topic because we feel it will probably be addressed in the future with legislation.”
Joy Sparks, general counsel, said this was a “relatively new” issue. And all they do with people who are suspected of the corporate practice of dentistry is turn them over to the local or state prosecutors. She also, indicated they don’t even follow-up on that useless action.
I bet if someone asked the local and state prosecutors how many cases the dental board has ever turned over to them, I could count them on one hand. If I remember, someone on the committee did ask that question. The dental board was also asked they had ever asked for guidance as to what they laws said hat their duties were. Want to guess what that answer was?
Glenn Parker, acting Executive Director, who has been Director of Administration and Licensing since September 1, 2011 said: “I think everybody knows The Board of Dental Examiners is the agency that regulates the practice of dentistry in Texas.”
“We do that by regulating individual practitioners. We have no authority to regulate clinics or clinic owners.”
“We strictly license individual people”
“We report fraud to the HHSC, OIG the AG and recently we’ve been reporting it to the FBI.
When Glenn Parker was asked about why there was a big jump in Medicaid Fraud, Joy Sparks answered for him by saying, “My guess, Representative is that the reimbursement rates increased by Medicaid.”
Representative Carol Alvarado asked if the clinics committing most of the fraud were Corporate owned clinics , franchises or clinics owned by individual dentists or independent.
Joy Sparks stammered, “Representative, I’m not comfortable saying that. We are seeing both. We are seeing individual and we are seeing individual practitioners who are, we have dealt with and we are seeing…uh uh….clinics, who have done it also. I’m not sure what the % would be.”
Rep. Charles Schwertner asked Lisa Jones – TSBDE Director of Enforcement-if there were the same safeguard against the corporate practice of dentistry as there were corporate practice medicine.
Her answered, “Honestly, I don’t know if I can answer that question, we don’t regulate the clinics in any way. We have no jurisdiction over them whatsoever. We don’t keep statistics on how many clinics there are in Texas or how they operate.”
She stumbled and stammered several times trying to not say “corporate” and just use the word, “clinic”. That part was fun.
Glenn Parker then added, “The Dental Practice Act requires the dentist to make all the decisions regarding the treatment of a patient. The dentist who is in charge of…stutter…according to the law …stutter…stutter… of the dentistry decisions”
He then tells what the dental board has “heard” about what is happening. He says they have heard some corporations are requiring their dentists to bill $1000 if the child in 10 or younger, if they are 10 or older, or bill them $1,500 worth of work.
Could possibly the dental board have “heard” these in a Complaint!!!!!???
He then went on to say, “To the degree on which that happens we don’t really know.”
To the amazement of the legislative committee he added, “Can we prove that yet, no, we can’t. But I think that is what’s happening to a degree. We do not know how many clinics there are in Texas, dental clinics. We don’t know where they are. We don’t know who the legal own of them is, cause none of that is in the Dental Practice Act to require it.”
Dr. Tammy Gough, the presiding officer followed with, ”we regulate the licensed dentist who is performing the care in these clinics” .Their not running “willy nilly” as far as the actual patient care.” The license dentist is held responsible for maintaining records..and there can be no patient abandonment…”
Representative Carol Alvarado asked, “If you guys have been concerned about this, what have you all done?”
Of course there was a lot of testimony on horror stories that would curl your toes. After all the hearing did last for 4 hours, 21 minutes and 21 seconds.
The big admission on the part of the dental board came with Joy Sparks, their general counsel admitted, “We do regulate dentistry.” “If you own a clinic you are practicing dentistry in the state. The problem is ..our remedy is we sanction a license. So if someone is practicing dentistry under a corporate clinic or private equity they are not licensed so we refer those cases, if we think, their … ya know what I’m saying.. we refer those cases to the Attorney General’s office…cause we don’t regulate…….when we asked if they own the clinic they say “I do”.
Then there was this, “They are practicing dentistry without a license. We don’t do anything with people who are practicing dentistry without a license.”
Well, there ya go.
You can continue reading or stop here.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Yes, this is a repost but last time I didn’t have time to comment, today I made time. The people of North Carolina need our support to pass HB 655, this is my part.
Updated: April 13
One commercial warns that "out-of-state special interests" are going to put your local dentist out of business. Another 30-second spot says viewers should be concerned about "powerful lobbyists" pushing a bill that will close your local dental practice.
Given the similar style and claims, viewers might think the same group is behind both ads. But the 30-second spots actually come from different groups of dentists battling over how North Carolina regulates their profession. A legislative proposal likely to be heard this May would restrict contacts dentists can forge with dental service organizations.
The legislature of North Carolina has the opportunity to cure this cancer before it metastasizes and before they end up in the exact situation Texas has now found it’s self-which is run over by corporate dental clinics. Many of which are stealing every penny they can from the not only the taxpayers of Texas, but yours as well. I’m talking about the Medicaid system – 1/2 paid for from state funds and 1/2 paid for by federal funds. You want a good look at North Carolina's future, see the Recent Hearings in Texas dated April 11, 2012. Or read this from the hearing: Texas Dental Board Accused of Ineptitude
"The North Carolina Dental Board has denied my patients what I feel is the best dental care," said Dr. Gary Cameron, an Asheboro dentist who faced state sanctions after affiliating with an Illinois company. His case helped spark the push for the new law.
Dr. Gary Cameron is either stupid, brainwashed, or being paid very handsomely by Private Equity firms for him to say such things, in my opinion. They only thing being denied is poor care, dental care based on corporate bottom lines not treatment needed, and his personal bank account. Ask yourself why Dr. Cameron was sanctioned. It was because he and Heartland Dental tried to skirt the laws already on the books in North Carolina. The laws are clear! Check them here.
Friday, April 13, 2012
This is Ashton. It’s been a year today since this child almost lost his life from carelessness and overdosing by a dentist. When I watched this video, I realized that I was watching a child being euthanized, it’s just didn’t take.
Here Aston’s is story:
It was April 13, 2011... We took our 6 year old son Ashton to see Dr. Zhu (pediatric dentist) in Troy, Michigan to have fillings and a baby root canal done. What I thought would be an ordinary day turned out to be every parents worse nightmare.
Ashton was ignored, neglected, overdosed on sedation medicine and sent home unresponsive and unconscious. Dr. Zhu told us to take Ashton home and "put him to bed". Dr. Zhu clearly did not value Ashton's life and because his office was operating like an assembly line, he had to turn my son over as quickly as possible. As of this month which would mark one year, he has continued his practice and has not faced a consequence.
Jason carried Ashton out of the dental office like a rag doll. As he was driving Ashton home he heard a scary sound that later was determined to be the sound that occurs when a person's airway is blocked. At this point, he knew something was wrong and took him to the hospital to seek medical attention. If we would have chosen not to respond, Ashton could have died at home in his bed.
My son didn't die despite this negligence. There are many people that are "surprised" at his outcome and many other children who's outcome was catastrophic.
I can't help but want to warn other parents who hand their children over to medical professionals. I am not saying they are all like Dr. Zhu but there are some. ALWAYS trust your instincts and don't EVER be afraid to ask questions or walk away from any situation you are not comfortable in. I knew something was wrong here and I should have walked away.
If you want to know more about Ashton's story or you have a similar one, please let me know.
Thanks for listening!
Just a wild guess, but I’m thinking the ADA and the DGPA are none too happy about the hearings on Corporate Dentistry in Texas
Yes, the ADA is a different group and as we know the ADA rules, since they have the gold. But honestly, they might as well be the one and the same. If you dig deep enough everyone with the DGPA is with the ADA, right?
Just two short days before the Texas Hearings on April 11, 2012, the ADA issued this:
ADA explores growth of large group practices
By Karen Fox, ADA News staff
April 09, 2012
The ADA is taking steps to increase dialogue with large group practices and gather information regarding this rapidly expanding career option.
This sector of the dental workforce has experienced significant growth in a relatively short period of time. According to the ADA Health Policy Resources Center, in just two years the number of large dental group practices has risen 25 percent.
For now, it’s still a small piece of the overall dental delivery system pie. In a 2008 sampling frame, the Health Policy Resources Center concluded that solo dentist practices account for 92 percent of all dental practices, and very large group practices with 20 or more dentists make up only 3 percent.
However, in analyzing its data on individual dentists, the HPRC has concluded that the rate of solo practitioners is falling. In 2010, 69 percent of dentists were solo practitioners compared to 76 percent in 2006.
Well, it appears Wednesday-April 11, 2012-was an eventful day in Texas, at least when it comes to Corporate Dentistry practices that has invaded the state. The Texas state legislature is finally asking question why these places are in business and who is in charge of letting them do as much damage to the children as Mad Cow does to cattle.
The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners says it’s not them, just like the Georgia Dental Board. Below there are three articles from around the web on the happenings yesterday.
I just have so much to say about this, but I don’t have time today.
Wednesday April 11, 2012
Watchdog group, others doubt effectiveness of dental board
By Mary Ann Roser -AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Published: 9:19 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Patients, dentists and lawyers told a Texas legislative committee Wednesday that the state agency that regulates dentists does a weak job of protecting the public from bad care.
But board officials said the Legislature hasn't provided enough money to better regulate 60,000 licensees in Texas.
The problems go beyond that, said members of Texans for Dental Reform, a Houston-based group that monitors the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners and has long sought to air its grievances before the House Public Health Committee.
The group, and other members of the public, came to the committee Wednesday with recommendations and complaints. Among them: The board protects dentists and lacks a standardized way of disciplining them; it defines standards of care on a case-by-case basis, rather than following established care guidelines when investigating dentists; and it allows dentists who have been in serious trouble to get a new license number, making it exceedingly difficult for the public to connect the dots to previous disciplinary actions.
They also said that board members should never act as expert witnesses in lawsuits involving dentists and asked for action against unregulated dental clinics that "overtreat" children to take advantage of increased payments from Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor.
"Over the past three years, we have found the board resistant, abusive and arrogant towards the public and unwilling to make the changes needed to protect public safety and health," said Gwen Mitchell, president of Texans for Dental Reform.
Dr. Tammy Gough of McKinney, presiding officer of the 15-member dental board since December 2010, said the board has strengthened various rules and is developing a standard way to review complaints and discipline violators. She said she has no problems with a law banning board members from acting as expert witnesses because none do.
But the volunteer board is hamstrung in its work by too little staff, not enough money and a lack of authority over corporate-owned dental clinics accused of exploiting Medicaid, said Glenn Parker, acting executive director of the agency.
Medicaid fraud complaints are turned over to the attorney general, inspector general and law enforcement officials, Parker said.
"We understand there is room for improvement," said Gough, who won praise from various members of the public for her openness to change.
The board could do better if the Legislature allowed it to keep more of the $9.6 million it collects in license fees and other work, Parker said. Instead, its current budget is just $2.7 million, and although it is authorized to employ 36 people, it employs just 29 because it can't afford more, he said.
Board officials also said some changes Texans for Dental Reform and others are pressing for would require legislation.
Houston lawyer Jim Moriarty disagreed that the board lacks authority to go after the corporate-owned clinics that are abusing Medicaid. He has filed suits in New York and Colorado against a network of clinics with operations in Texas and said the board should discipline the dentists in those practices, he said.
Lawyer Charlie Gustin of Houston has sued the Smile Center in San Antonio and told the committee of one case involving a 5-year-old boy who received 20 "baby" root canals and 20 steel crowns in 48 minutes. The boy left the clinic with cement in his mouth, and 14 of the crowns have since popped off, Gustin said.
Smile Center spokeswoman Debbie Clarke said the owner of the practice was unavailable to comment Wednesday "due to his professional responsibilities."
At the hearing, committee Chairwoman Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, said that she wasn't interested in revisiting past problems but that the panel recognizes that the board needs lawmakers' help to get the tools it needs to do a better job.
Dentist Douglas Terry, a Houston-area member of the reform group, said he was encouraged.
"Things are going to change," he said.
Contact Mary Ann Roser at 445-3619
The Texas Tribune
Texas Dental Board is Accused of Ineptitude
by Becca Aaronson April 12, 2012
Texas toddlers being held in restraints as dentists at corporate-run clinics performed unnecessary root canals were among the dental horror stories told Wednesday at a House Public Health Committee hearing at the state Capitol.
The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, which regulates dental licensing in Texas, was the subject of criticism by members of Texans for Dental Reform and unaffiliated residents, who called for legislative reform while levying accusations of ineptitude, a pattern of withholding or obscuring negative information about dentists, and failure to act against corporate-run dental clinics committing Medicaid fraud and harming patients.
But others came to the board’s defense, saying that the new leadership is trying to fix mistakes from the past and that the board lacks the resources to do its job well.
“We have an underfunded and understaffed state board that is not able to accomplish all that we’d like them to accomplish,” said Richard Black, the legislative chairman for the Texas Dental Association and an El Paso dentist. Although it is taking time, the leadership of the board has made “substantial progress,” he said.
Both Black and members of the dental board expressed concerns about the recent outcrop of corporate-run dental clinics — and the board’s limited ability to protect the public when unlicensed operators at such clinics interfere with patients’ treatment.
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The clinics in question often serve only Medicaid patients and pay one dentist to act as a prop by claiming ownership. The real owners of the clinics — usually private equity firms — are in the dental business for profit, and encourage overutilization of Medicaid services by dictating a “one-size-fits-all treatment plan” or setting quotas for the number of procedures that dentists should perform, said Black.
Dentists drilling for Medicaid gold is a national issue, as one Washington TV station documented, and more corporate-run dental clinics popped up in Texas after lawmakers raised reimbursement rates for dental procedures in 2009 to motivate dentists to accept Medicaid patients. Joyce Sparks, general counsel to the dental board, said the board has also seen an increase in complaints of dentists violating standards of care since then, which could be linked to the rise in reimbursement rates.
Jim Moriarty, a Houston lawyer, detailed reports of torturous procedures at corporate-run clinics, in which children as young as 2 are immobilized, sometimes with a restraining device called a papoose, while the dentist inserts multiple stainless steel caps or performs root canals rapidly.
“They won’t let the parents be present because the parents would be tempted in Texas to pistol-whip them if they knew what they were going to do,” Moriarty said. He’s currently suing one company that operates six dental clinics under various names in Texas and said the dentist who claims to operate those clinics — but actually works and treats patients in Oklahoma — bills Texas $12 million a year to treat Medicaid patients.
“We want to be part of the solution, but right now we have no tools with which to combat this,” said Glenn Parker, the dental board’s acting executive director. The board only has the authority to license and sanction individual practitioners, which inhibits its ability to monitor or regulate clinics owned by private equity firms or corporations. The only recourse for the dental board is to notify the Office of the Inspector General and other state and law enforcement agencies when they’ve received an accusation of Medicaid fraud.
Unless someone comes forward “willing to testify they’re a cover for the private equity fund, so sanction me because I’ve been defrauding you,” the board can’t do anything, Sparks said. “It just doesn’t happen.”
The board has identified the corporate practice of dentistry as an issue for lawmakers to address in the next legislative session, Parker said, adding that the board wants to get legal authority to regulate those clinics. The board also wants adequate funding to resolve the complaints it receives.
Unlike the Texas Medical Board, which pays consultants and doctors to investigate allegations of medical misconduct, the dental board relies on volunteers to investigate complaints. There are usually 15 to 20 active consultants — dentists who apply to the board, undergo background checks and training, and then receive approval from at least two board members — to review complaints about standard of care.
Parker estimates the dental board receives 500 to 600 standard-of-care complaints a year. At least two of the volunteer dentists must review a complaint and agree on whether a standard of care violation occurred before the case is closed.
Board members said they've opened communication with Texans for Dental Reform to address their complaints, but ultimately, the agency needs more investigators and staff. Parker admitted the volunteers often "cherry pick" the easier complaints. “When you have staff turning over, some people do what’s easiest to do, not what’s best to do."
The Dallas Morning News
Published: 11 April 2012 11:19 PM
AUSTIN — The agency that polices Texas dentists told lawmakers Wednesday that it doesn’t have enough resources or legal authority to crack down on careless and abusive dentists.
An advocacy group led the charge against the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, telling a legislative panel that the regulatory board doesn’t do enough to discipline bad dentists or alert the public which dentists have been sanctioned.
“We’ve found [the] board to be resistant, abusive, arrogant toward the public and unwilling to make changes needed to protect public safety and health,” said Gwen
Mitchell, president of Houston-based Texans for Dental Reform. “The consensus is that it only has one agenda, and that is to protect its own.”
The board, which oversees 15,000 dentists, 32,000 dental assistants and 12,000 hygienists, has long been dogged by complaints of shoddy oversight that leaves patients suffering and dentists unaccountable.
In response at the House Public Health Committee hearing, board leaders said the agency needs more funding and staff to keep up with the demands of approving licenses and reviewing the 500 to 600 cases it gets each year.
They can range from pulling the wrong teeth to injuring a patient, from abusing drugs to sexually assaulting a patient.
Mitchell’s group and others want the board to disclose all complaints filed against dentists and to get rid of those providing dental care without a license.
But board officials said the Legislature wrote the law so that it can’t disclose complaints lodged against dentists if they are dismissed.
They said they’ve been limited in enforcement tools and largely depend on the attorney general’s or inspector general’s office to pursue and remedy cases of fraud, especially in Medicaid.
“It’s not the charge of the board itself to be the lead agency in investigating Medicaid fraud,” said Glenn Parker, the acting executive director. He said that if disciplinary action is taken by the attorney general’s or inspector general’s office, the board takes action.
He said the dental board collects $9 million annually in fees, but the Legislature allots it about $2 million for its total budget. “We could use a lot more funding,” he said, although he did not give a specific figure.
Licensing actions The board’s sanctioning method is to revoke or suspend dentist licenses, so board leaders say that leaves them without a way to punish those practicing without a license to begin with.
Dr. Tamela Gough, presiding officer of the board, said the board regulates individual practitioners but has no authority over clinics or owners of clinics. “We regulate the licensed dentist who is performing dentistry in these clinics — they’re not running willy-nilly as far as patient care,” Gough said. “But in order for us to regulate the actual corporate entity, it would require legislation.”
Jim Moriarty, a Houston lawyer who prosecutes Medicaid fraud cases, argued that the board is taking the easy way out by saying it doesn’t have the power to punish private entities and those practicing without a license.
“I’m appalled when I hear the board say they have no control over these people. Texas has some of the best regulations in the country, but the law is just not being enforced,” Moriarty said. “The board sits like an ostrich with its head in the sand saying, ‘If they don’t have a license, we can’t do anything.’”
Charlie Gustin, a San Antonio lawyer who works with children on Medicaid, told lawmakers about a boy he represented who went in for dental work and ended up worse off than he started.
He was given double the amount of local anesthetic required for a child his body weight and received 20 baby root canals and 20 stainless steel crowns in less than
When he went to another dentist for remedial work, 14 of the 20 crowns popped out and the dentist noticed excess cement left in his mouth that can cause infection.
The dentist filed a complaint with the board and found that the first dentist’s license had been suspended in New York before he came to Texas.
“But the state board online lists no disciplinary actions,” Gustin said. “We need more disclosure to the public when you have a dentist that’s been kicked out of another state. But according to our state board of dental examiners, he’s clean. And that’s a problem.”
More fraud complaints
Joy Sparks, the board’s general counsel, said that over the last two years, Medicaid fraud complaints have increased, probably because reimbursement rates have gone up.
“The state increased the reimbursement rate to make it more lucrative for dentists to take Medicaid patients. … Once that occurred, there were those who took advantage of the system because it became more profitable to participate in Medicaid.”The House panel said it would consider efforts in the next legislative session to overhaul the dental regulations.
Yes, there is a war, but not sure this is the one that should be at the top of the list. However, I Thought this should be kept around for reference.
The War of the Dentists and their Competitors
A shout-out to Kansas Public Radio
By Trudy Lieberman
Campaign Desk — April 13, 2012 06:15 AM Every once in a while an interesting, well-done piece from public radio comes along that makes you think. This week came a story about a new war in the Great Plains region. You might call it The War of the Dentists and their Competitors. Kansas Public Radio health reporter Bryan Thompson examined a simmering dispute between traditional dentists—the ones who like to treat well-heeled patients in big city suburbs—and those professionals who want to become licensed as Registered Dental Practitioners (RDPs). These practitioners’ training places them somewhere between a regular dentist and a dental hygienist, and they would be able to fill cavities and perform simple extractions of children’s teeth.
SC sex offender dentist tries for full re-instatement
By JOHN MONK By John Monk - firstname.lastname@example.org
A Sumter dentist convicted of child molestation and found to have possessed child pornography 12 years ago is trying to regain the privilege he once enjoyed of practicing dentistry without restrictions or reduced restrictions, including treating children as patients.
The case of Russell Hurst Jr. is now playing out in the S.C. Court of Appeals, where his lawyer is arguing in a legal brief that Hurst has in effect been pronounced rehabilitated by a behavioral expert and should be free of all restrictions placed upon him by the S.C. Board of Dentistry – restrictions that currently allow him freedom to oversee a Sumter dental practice but only see adult patients.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Just a reminder today is the day of the big Texas Dental Board Meeting, the one where the Dental Board Executive Director didn’t want to attend, so she resigned.
I look forward to a report on the action.
Update on April 11, 2012 – the condensed version:
- Legislature wanted to talk “Corporate Dentistry”
- Dental Board claims not to have a clue nor the authority to have a clue.
- Riled up a well versed audience member or two
- Fire in the Hole!
I’m sure the reporters that were there will have more detail on this tomorrow, hopefully but it might take a day or two for them to get up to speed.
Here’s an idea, close down the illegal operations. Every treatment they deliver within their walls is illegal to do! Every x-ray taken, is being done so, illegally.
Since there seems to be confusion in the world of prosecution and regulation as to whether these corporate dental companies, such as Kool Smiles, Aspen, Heartland and now Wal-Mart, are legal or illegal there is a comprehensive review of all 50 states ready, just for the clicking. Go ahead, try it. CLICK HERE
Dental boards say they don’t regulate the corporate mills in any way, however, North Carolina is proving that not to be true. So far, it’s the only state taking the initiative but it’s unclear as to whether they are only targeting Heartland Dental or all, and I mean, ALL corporate dental practices. [I say this since I know there are some regional clinics operating at full speed down there with dollars headed directly to Colorado’s Michael DeRose’s pockets. By the way, he’s on the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities, where he’s not to profit from Medicaid in any way. But, heck, I know that’s small potatoes, right?]
Persecutors, on every level, from the local city or county prosecutors all the way to “The” Attorney General of the United States, seem to ignore the fact that the corporate dental mills are just flat out illegal operations. Every bill they send the US taxpayer is a fraudulent bill! Every one of them!! Every treatment they deliver within their walls is illegal to do! Every x-ray taken, is being done so, illegally. What is not to understand and what are they failing to “get”? Anything?
The corporations should not be ripping the taxpayer from stem to stern, using taxpayer dollars as toilet paper on their $10 million jets and authorities should be lined up outside these place with warrants and handcuffs.
This dragon has been slayed and quartered on this website, time after time, after time, after time, for well over 4 years now and Medicaid fraud is still a run away train when it comes to dentistry.
Since December there has been a noticed increase in individual dentists getting nailed for Medicaid fraud, with most of them getting some jail time along with their fine and repayment. Remember, the Medicaid fraud in dentistry is mostly treatment on children in case anyone has forgotten that!
So for any prosecutor with a set of balls out there, even if you have a teeny weeny set, that just might want actually bring criminals to justice-criminals who are not only stealing from the taxpayer, but physically hurting children-click here and check your state laws. It’s all laid out for you, it just cant’ get any easier, truly. Then get a warrant and shut these places down. If you need assistance, call me. Hell, I work for free!
If you need further assistance, click here on how the scam works. It’s been told every way I know to tell it. Honestly, it’s not that confusing.
I don’t know a thing about it, but thought this should be kept around for those “eat your words” moments that usually come up at a later date. lol
Yesterday the Kellogg Foundation issued a report about using mid-level providers for dental treatment and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry responded. Both are below. I’m not exactly sure what the issue is with “mid-level” providers. A whole heck of a lot of the Medicaid dentists are barely “mid-level” in training, so that can’t be the issue. (sorry, I couldn’t help myself)
Most comprehensive review of dental therapists worldwide shows they provide effective dental care to millions of children
Suggests greater role for mid-level dental providers in the United States
Apr 10, 2012
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – An extensive review of the literature documenting care provided by dental therapists and clinical outcomes worldwide indicates that they offer safe, effective dental care to children. Released today by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the study reviews more than 1,100 reports regarding dental therapists and their work in various countries.
The report documents evidence that dental therapists can effectively expand access to dental care, especially for children, and that the care they provide is technically competent, safe and effective. In addition, the review also showed that the public values the role of dental therapists and there is strong patient and parental support for their work.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Would you fill your child’s mouth with a mixture of embalming fluid and crude oil or photo developing fluid? What about adding some rat poison? Neither would I.
Disclaimer - I am no dentist. I am no Chemist. I am no Writer.
Yesterday there was a report about the direct relationship between low-level radiation exposure from dental x-rays and brain tumors. The article tried to reassure us that the tumor were “usually” benign, though, so don’t worry.
It’s starting to look like the children that can’t be maimed with brain tumors, may well be killed off with cancer.
What am I talking about?
“Formecresol”, sold under the brand name Formo Cresol.
I mention the rat poison because of the fluoride controversy, since rat poison is all but 100% fluoride, at least one state has out lawed it’s use in drinking water! More on Fluoride here. Hawaii addressed this back in 2003.
But back to the Formacresol. Formacresol is a mixture of Formaldehyde (embalming fluid) Cresole (used in Sharpie markers) and glycerin. (Formocresol: 48.5% formaldehyde, 48.5% cresol, 3% glycerin.) Buckley's Formocresol: 19% formaldehyde, 35% cresol, 17.5% glycerin. It is used as a “medicated dressing” within the tooth chamber after the pulp has been removed.
In 2011 Formaldehyde was listed as a “known human carcinogen- i.e. it’s known to cause cancer in humans.
The National Institute of Health says this drug has NOT been found to be safe and effective by the FDA, nor has it’s labeling been approved. Link here
In January 2010 the FDA issued a recall on several lots of Formo Cresol manufactured by DSHealthcare, Inc. d/b/a as Sultan Health Care, Hackensack, NJ. The lots were sold by Henry Schien and Super Dent.
There are other bactricides to use inside the tooth that do the exact same thing as formacresol, only safer and better, but guess what? Formacresol is cheaper! Guess what the dental mills who are supposedly saving the teeth of the poor children are using? Here is a search for substitutes.
Although Formacresol remains within the standard of care, it has been debated about its safety for years, and each year that passes, more and more are calling for its ban, kind of like the amalgam fillings thing.
There are a lot of issues that happen from formacresol, including “necrosis of the crestal bone, allergic reactions, and it causes sever burns on the skin, mouth and throat. Many times the pain a patient still suffers after a root canal could well be from formacresol! See here
During the recent media blitz on sedation dentistry for children, namely the one on March 12, 2012 on The Denver Channel. Dr. Mark Koch said he was about to treating 16 out of 20 baby teeth on a patient. Janine Consantini said that the day before they had a child who had something done to every tooth in his head.
I’m wondering if anyone is assessing or tracking the children who have been treated by the mass treating Medicaid dental mills and their patients increase in cancer? This formacresol is being place on an open blood source, via a soaked cotton pellet and left there, then a crown placed on top of it and there until the it’s absorbed into the child’s body and/or the tooth falls out. If no one is looking at this, I ask why not!
Is it the same reason no one is tracking these sedation deaths?
Journal of the Tennessee Dental Association 89-4 – Are You Still Using Formacresol? An Update.
Dental X-Rays causing tumors? Highly likely, but Medicaid Dental mills don’t care, it’s part of their bread and butter or it is?
I’m highly suspicious about articles like the one below or the latest sedation dentistry media blitz. I have to wonder if these are meant to drive home the request the ADA and the AAPD made to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid dated July 12, 2011 where they were crying and whining about the audits being “too aggressive”. Evidently they made a home run in NY since it was recently announced NY relaxing it’s audit.
- ADA letter to CMS whining about audits of children Medicaid programs.
- NY OIG forces out due to recovering too much of taxpayers money from fraud.
- New York eases Audits
- FDA Dental X-Ray Guide
Are Dental X-Rays Causing Brain Tumors?
(NEW YORK) -- “It’s time for your annual X-rays.” This is what millions of Americans are told when they visit the dentist. But new research out of Yale finds dental X-rays may be linked to increased rates of brain tumors.
Meningioma is the most common type of brain tumors that originate in the brain and spinal cord, making up one third of these. People who were diagnosed with meningioma were compared with healthy individuals. They were asked how often they had the most common type of dental X-ray, called a bitewing, which involves placing an X-ray film between the teeth and shooting the film from outside of your cheek. In those who reported having this type of X-ray once a year or more the risk for meningioma was 1.4-1.9 times increased depending on their age.
Another type of dental X-ray, called the Panorex, that rotates around your head taking a picture of all of your teeth from outside your mouth was associated with an almost five-fold increase in rates of meningioma when the X-ray was performed before age 10. For those older than 10 there was a 2.7 to 3 fold increased risk when this X-ray was performed once a year or more.
Current recommendations by the American Dental Association do admit that there is little use for dental X-rays in healthy people without any symptoms, but still recommends X-rays of healthy children be taken every 1-2 years and every 2-3 years for healthy adults. The authors think these guidelines may need to be reevaluated in the wake of their findings.
Reactions to the study have been mixed. For critics, the design of the study has some serious flaws. The main weakness is the failure of the researchers to obtain any of the patient’s dental records to verify that the number of X-rays they reported having was true, says Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' chief health and medical editor.
“People with cancer are more likely to remember having dental X-rays,” explains Besser. “They are searching for some cause of their cancer and may incorrectly attribute it to any number of factors.” Dr. Besser also points out that the study failed to find any connection between having braces and risk for meningioma. “When you have braces you remember that clearly, and people who have braces on average undergo more x-rays than people without braces,” says Besser.
Dr. Alan G. Lurie, a Ph.D. radiation biologist who specializes in cancer induction and is president of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, agrees with Dr. Besser that the study has a serious flaw.
“They’re asking people to remember (in some cases) a couple of radiographs they had 30 years earlier when they were kids. They’re not going to be able to tell you what kind of X-ray machine was used…what kind of film, were there any retakes?" Lurie says.
Other doctors see this as a strong study and think that it raises valid concerns. “The current study is well-done and confirms that even in the ‘modern era’ radiation exposure from repeated dental X-rays conveys an increased risk of these tumors,” says Dr. David Schiff of the Neuro-Oncology Center at the University of Virginia.
Overall, doctors are not surprised that dental X-rays could cause this type of tumor because the type of radiation that X-rays give off is known to be associated with brain tumors. “Ionizing radiation is the only well-accepted environmental risk factor for development of meningiomas," says Dr. Schiff.
However they warn that this study cannot prove that dental X-rays cause brain tumors. It can only reveal a possible association between dental X-rays and tumors.
Still, there are some important things people can do to minimize their exposure to dental X-rays. For example, patients can ask their doctors whether X-rays are completely necessary, or how much radiation will be delivered by the various options available.
“All health professionals should be thinking that for our patients, each exposure must be beneficial and we should be of a mindset to do the fewest exposures possible to obtain needed diagnostic information," explains Paul Casamassimo DDS, professor and chair of pediatric dentistry at the Ohio State University College of Dentistry and chief of dentistry at Nationwide Children's.
Overall, experts hope that as a result of this study the public gains new awareness of a potential risk and will take their concerns to their dentist.
Dr. Paul Casamassimo is on the Advisory board of one of the nations worst offenders- Small Smiles Dental Centers, owned and operated by the bankrupt Church Street Health Management. Dr. Casamassimo should heed his own warnings!
He should be asking his colleague, Dr. Steven Adair about the unnecessary x-rays taken at the Small Smiles Dental centers, and the fraud involved in said unnecessary x-rays, especially at the Denver dental centers with Dr. Minh Tia and his office manager! I believe that amounted to some $200k between June 2010 and June 2011! Just saying….
In an article about “Dental Therapist” dated April 10, 2012, it mentions Dr. Paul Casamassimo is the AAPD Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center Director.
Academy of General Dentistry Responds to Dental X-Ray Warning:
Thursday April 12, 2012
CHICAGO, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, April 10, 2012, in the journal Cancer, the American Cancer Society published an article entitled "Dental X-Rays and Risk of Meningioma," which summarized a study that sought to develop a correlation between dental radiographs and brain cancer.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), a professional association of more than 37,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health information to the public, the study's findings are not applicable to modern dentistry because the study was based upon an examination of outdated radiographic techniques, which produced considerably more radiation than patients would be exposed to today.
"Modern radiographic techniques and equipment provide the narrowest beam and shortest exposure, thereby limiting the area and time of exposure and reducing any possible risks while providing the highest level of diagnostic benefits," said AGD President Howard Gamble, DMD, FAGD. "Today, patient safety is always maintained with the recommended use of thyroid collars and aprons."
The article from the American Cancer Society, which received attention from many reputable news outlets, could cause the public to decide to limit or even refuse X-rays in an effort to keep their families safe.
"It is regrettable to think that an article based on outdated technology could scare the public and cause them to avoid needed treatment," said Dr. Gamble. "With the radiography techniques in use today, the amount of radiation exposure is reduced and more controlled than it was in years past."
The AGD supports radiographic guidelines provided by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and concurs with the ADA that dentists should order dental radiographs for patients only when necessary for diagnosis and treatment.
The AGD encourages patients to discuss their concerns with their dentists in order to determine what's best for them. The AGD also encourages dentists to communicate with their patients and address any unexpressed concerns of radiographic risks in order to reduce fear and promote a better understanding of the benefits and the risks associated with the specific needs of each patient.
"Neglecting one's oral health has serious oral and systemic risks," said Dr. Gamble. "Radiographs play an important role in improving the oral health of the public, and patients should not be deterred from seeking oral health care due to misperceptions from this study."
The Cancer study contained many inconsistencies and possibilities for error, including the fact that its findings were based upon a population-based case-control study. This means that it relied upon the patients themselves to recall and self-report past events, many of which were from decades earlier.
The AGD supports ongoing scientific research on any correlations between dental radiographs and incidents of disease in an effort to provide the most accurate information to the public and to correct any misperceptions created by the Cancer study.
About the Academy of General Dentistry
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 37,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public. AGD members stay up-to-date in their profession through a commitment to continuing education. Founded in 1952, the AGD is the second largest dental association in the United States, and it is the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management, and overall coordination of services related to patients' oral health needs. For more information about the AGD, visit www.agd.org.
SOURCE Academy of General Dentistry
All I have to say here is that the AGD or any other of the D’s are not to quick to come out against reports that are loaded to the brim with “old” and “outdated” studies if it could possibly generate revenue.
Rob Walton, and Wal-Mart version of “owner dentists”, Dr. Andre Bruini and Dr. Chris Comfort, should read these before they delve much further into the abyss and Land of Oz.
BTW, this Wal-Mart thing might get a bit “sticky” besides being “shady”. I’m seeing Stark Law issues-if they take Mediciad-Medicaid, or Anti-Kickback issues, IRS issues on “employee vs. contractor”. Lots of stuff on this to come.
Sunday, April 08, 2012
Catching up on Church Street and Small Smiles bankruptcy this Easter weekend finds whistleblowers still waiting on their good citizen reward.
I decided to read over some more of the thousands of pages filed on the Church Street Health Management/Small Smiles dental bankruptcy filings as we did our family travels this weekend. What caught my eye was a 140 page Affidavit of Service. The list was very interesting, and what,or should I say who, was on this listed was what really made an impression.
First, in my loose estimate there are some 800 to 1000 minor children who have lawsuits pending against this criminal enterprise for abuse, mistreatment or overtreatment and blatant malpractice.
Second, you know those whistleblowers who blew the lid off this particular criminal enterprise back in 2007 The one that finally reached a settlement in January 2010. Well, they are on the “notify” list, meaning they are to be “served” copies of all these documents, or most of them anyway.
Now, that means not only did Church Street Health Management and their host of Small Smiles dental centers fail to pay the fines (they call it a settlement) imposed by several states-some states have been paid more than others-but the whisleblowers have not received their full rewar$ for the hell they went through, filing lawsuits and turning these bastards into the Department of Justice.
There were two or three in the Virginia and DC area as well as Mr. Haney in South Carolina.
I think this issue on Whistleblowing needs some tweaking! One thing for sure, is criminals aren’t good credit risks.
Speaking of credit, Church Street Health Management and their Small Smiles centers sure have a lot of people to whom they owe a shit load of money. For a criminal enterprise to go belly up just over a year after the Feds begin keeping a much closer eye on their operations, by way of that Corporate Integrity Agreement, the CEO Michael Lindley signed, says a lot. A WHOLE LOT!
To me it says, unless we break the law, and commit malpractice on most of the children we profess to care so much about, to rip off Medicaid this business model is not for the profit minded.
I’ve not downloaded and read all the documents of the bankruptcy yet, but, I certainly will. I’ve not found their detailed list of Assets and Liabilities just yet. Last I read said basically they were working on it. I’m just guessing, but I bet this one has to be the one of the most creative “assets” lists the Federal Court system has ever seen.
I’m sure there will be some sort of “pecking” order to settle up these debts, whether there is some fool ass Wall Street firm or Private Equity scumbags to snatch up this hot mess company, which I doubt, by the way.
But the children they have abused and the ones still waiting out there to be compensated for their pain and suffering should be number one, the taxpayers number two and the whistleblowers number three and it would be a tie between, Al Smith, Michael Lindley or Steve Adair down there in Hilton Head last, and should be barred from any claim whatsoever!
Some other notables on the list are:
Ameris – Lindley’s other business and the one that owns the plane and the condo in Florida; and,
Jake and Jenna Kochenberger
Friday, April 06, 2012
On the one year anniversary of Jenny Olenick’s death, Medscape posted, what I refer to as “Anesthesia Media Blitz II”. Since early March, the AAPD and other associations have released various press releases promoting putting children to sleep to perform dental procedures. The Medscape article is the second round. Medscape could have posted a story on the hazards of such practices, but didn’t. I’m not saying it was on purposely, however, I’ve learned seldom are stories published without reason.
April 6, 2012 — Pediatric dentists cannot find enough dentist anesthesiologists to meet the needs of their patients, according to a survey of pediatric dentists published in the spring 2012 issue of Anesthesia Progress.
The survey responses differed somewhat by region, sex, and years in the specialty, with 20% to 40% of participants saying they currently use a dental anesthesiologist and 60% to 70% saying they would use one if one were available.
The demand for dentist anesthesiologists has been increasing in recent years in pediatric dentistry, according to a separate survey of dental anesthesiology program directors published in the same journal.
"The trend in the past has been that many dentists provided [both] anesthesia and dental care," coauthor James Jones, DDS, chair of pediatric dentistry at Indiana University in Indianapolis, told Medscape Medical News.
Now, many pediatric dentists would prefer to concentrate on the dentistry while someone else focuses on anesthesia, he said. "We're realizing that it's a safety issue."
Dr. Jones said researchers at the university had become aware of the need for anesthesia in their patients because they provide service to a lot of low-income patients who need extensive dental work of the type that often requires general anesthesia.
To see what other pedodontists were experiencing, they sent out emails to all 2586 active board-certified pediatric dentists who are members of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and who made their email addresses available, asking them to participate in an online survey.
The messages bounced back from 659 of these, leaving 1927, of whom 494 completed the survey.
Participants disclosed their sex, age, years in practice, region, number of years as a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, use of in-office sedation, and use of intravenous (IV) sedation. They also commented on their use of a dentist anesthesiologist.
The respondents differed in their use of anesthesiology by demographics. Thirty-nine percent of women answered "yes" to the question, "Do you use the services of a dentist anesthesiologist?" compared with 23% of men, which is a statistically significant difference (P < .01).
Only 12% of those in practice for longer than 21 years used IV sedation in their office, and only 25% of this group used dentist anesthesiologists (P < .01). Although only 53% of this group answered "yes" to the question, "Would you use the services of a dentist anesthesiologist, if available?" this percentage was not statistically significant compared with dentists who have been in practice for fewer years.
In contrast, 30% of those in practice for 5 years or fewer used in-office IV sedation, 38% used dentist anesthesiologists, and 74% would use dentist anesthesiologists if they could (P < .01).
Group practices were least likely to administer in-office sedation; solo practices were the most likely.
Practices in the Southwest were most likely to use in-office sedation. Westerners were most likely to administer in-office IV, employ dentist anesthesiologists, and use dentist anesthesiologists if they could.
Dental Anesthesiologists Address Many Needs
Dr. Jones said the finding points to a need for more training programs for dentist anesthesiologists. "I think the demand is going to increase over time," he said.
He pointed out that bringing an anesthesiologist into the office is half as expensive as taking the patient to a hospital or day-surgery center for anesthesia.
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Spokesman John Liu, DDS, agreed, noting that hospitals and surgery centers charge for the use of their facilities.
Dr. Liu, a clinical assistant professor of dentistry at the University of Washington in Seattle, told Medscape Medical News that pediatric dentists are in greater need of help from dentist anesthesiologists for several reasons.
First, more children are being diagnosed with behavior-related conditions such as autism and attention deficit disorder, he said.
Second, fewer parents are comfortable with having their children physically restrained through frightening and sometimes painful treatments. "The reality is that it's not an easy thing to sit through something like that," Dr. Liu, who has a private practice in Issaquah, Washington, told Medscape Medical News.
Dr. Liu also said that some state dental boards prohibit dentists from providing general anesthesia or deep sedation, even if they have completed residency programs in anesthesiology, and he thinks these regulations should be changed.
"I find it tremendously helpful to have a dental anesthesiologist, as opposed to an MD anesthesiologist, because he knows exactly what I'm doing and when I'm going to be done," said Dr. Liu. "I have used a dental anesthesiologist for more than 20 years, and I don't know how anybody manages without one."
Dr. Liu and Dr. Jones have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Anesth Prog. 2012;59:12-17. Full text