Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mom takes 6-year-old out of dental chair to protect him

These places are so corrupt they don’t even care to change their ways during the middle of massive lawsuits or Federal Investigations.

Mom takes 6-year-old out of dental chair to protect him

Jack Dennis

San Antonio Headlines Examiner

When  Karla Cardenas took her 6-year-old son Steven to a San Antonio dentist office on Friday, May 18, 2012, little did she know that she would have to take her son off the dental  chair and refuse the treatment to protect him.

“They wanted to put him in a straight jacket type papoose while he was still screaming in pain from the shots they were giving him in his gum,” Cardenas said. ”They were trying to rush it and they heavily sedated him.”

The single mother of four took her son to The Smile Center Family Dentistry on Blanco Road after getting the approval and direction from Medicaid.

“I had no choice but to take Steven to that center,” Cardenas said. “Medicaid required it.”

“I told them to stop, you are not going to do this while he is in this much pain,” Cardenas said as she grabbed her son out of the chair.

Cardenas now said she is glad she followed her instinct because she has since learned that this dental care chain has been under scrutiny by the news media.

Chantel Brewer said “they did the same thing to my daughter “but “she kept getting out of the papoose so they wanted to send us home with her teeth all shaved down without the caps on.”

It was so bad that “even the assistant had scratches all over her face from my daughter kicking her in the face, neck, arms and even kicked her in the eye because she was in that much pain.”

“How can the Medicaid office send us to that office when there is this much bad news about them,” Cardenas asks. “It looks like they are herding children in and out as fast as they can with little concern about the pain.”  

Earlier this year, Brian Collister of WOAI news issued several reports regarding similar concerns from other parents. According to WOAI, the dental chain has earned $23 million from Medicaid since 2007.

One San Antonio law firm, The Crosley Law Firm, P.C. is representing patients against this chain of dental centers who believe their children “have been victims of substandard dental care leading to injuries and requiring additional treatment.”

According to the Crosley Law Firm website, “many of these parents were approached in parking lots and lured into Smile Center with the promise of dental exams for their children at no out-of-pocket cost to them.”

“In most cases we have seen, the children were covered by Medicaid, and Smile Center would bill Medicaid directly,” the website stated. “ Often the dental care consisted of pulpotomies and the placement of stainless steel crowns.”

Crosley says that for some of their clients “the dental work may have been unnecessary, and resulted in a large bill to Medicaid” and in some cases “the injuries caused from the dental care necessitated visits to the emergency room and/or hospitalization.”

Cardenas, who has been a nursing student, indicated she “didn’t see any kind of resuscitation or life saving equipment or a ‘crash cart’ available” in the event of an emergency.

“This doesn’t mean they don’t have any (life saving equipment),” Cardenas explained. “I’m just saying I didn’t see any there.”