Showing posts with label KWCH TV Report. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KWCH TV Report. Show all posts

Friday, June 19, 2009

Small Smiles Receives 4 Million in Reimbursement in Wichita

(note that once again, the powers that be at FORBA, Al Green, Michael Lindley, Todd Cruse or any of the DeRose's are no where to be seen)

March 25, 2009
by Michael Schwanke (WICHITA, Kan)
Contact FactFinder 12 at or 316-831-6166

Small Smiles Dental Clinic is among the top three providers of Medicaid dental services in the state.

It received more than $4 million in the last two years. That's about six percent of all Medicaid reimbursements for dental services.

"It was money, money, money. It was not about the health or the welfare of the children, it was get as much money as you can," says a former Small Smiles employee who wanted to remain anonymous.

She worked for the clinic in 2005 and was fired after about year.

She called us after seeing our initial story.
We talked to three Wichita families told us about their experiences with Small Smiles. They accused the clinic of performing unnecessary dental work, not explaining procedures, and traumatizing their little girls.

The former employee says what the parents told us happened all the time. She also says the clinic had to meet quotas.

"Every single morning that's what our meeting was and how much we needed to produce that day."

But since 2005 Small Smiles says changes have been made. There are no longer quotas, and patient care has improved.

"As I did mention before we have changed policies. We're doing everything possible to make sure parents are involved in the care of their children allowing them to be in back with their children, creating an 800 number to get in touch with us and making sure dentists take the time to talk to parents about the treatment their children are going to receive at Small Smiles," says Small Smiles spokesperson Don Meyer.

Despite those changes, the story has caught the attention of the Kansas Health Policy Authority. That's the agency that oversees Medicaid.

It tells us it is aware of the concerns voiced by parents, and that every grievance reported to them is investigated.




The have not changed since 2005. In 2006 my daughter was there to get some cavities filled. She was 4 yrs old at the time. All they did is cap over the cavities without taking them out. 6-7 months later my 4 yr old had to have 12 teeth pulled out.... 1 every few weeks because her teeth that she got filled were absessing one by one. And they also never let me go back with her. I think it is horrible that just because i get healthcare from the state my daughter doesnt matter. Everyone says there is nothing I can do. My little girl had to suffer for almost a year. And there is no way for any lawyer or even small smiles themselves to make this right? She still has 2 spacers in her mouth from it. Small smiles needs to be closed down before they have a chance to hurt anymore children. Just because im not rich doesnt mean my child doesn't deserve better.


I have three young daughter, whom two have been attending small smiles dental clinic for the past 3 years. Both of my daughters have had several things done (7 yrs old and 5 yrs old). I have had my doubts for the past two years, but since I have medicaid for them i had no where else to turn to. I called a place here is town a pediatric dentist about a year ago and they did not take medicaid. I just happen to make that call again about a month ago and found out that they now take medicaid. I took in my daughter for a regular check up and I am very sad to say they have to REDO and put my child to sleep to fix the work small smiles has done to my daughter....this is not just one small thing she is going to get several things done....I am so MADDDDDDDDD. How could I let this happen to my child. I trusted them. One thing I can not understand is how could they bill for things they never did or have done things they should not have done??? where do you turn to? Who is going to listen? At this point I just want my child to get the care she needs. I think Medicaid people just get swept under the rug...because never the less we are getting Meidcal help with little or no we should just be thankful...that should not be the case. I think this place preyed on the Medicaid patients and it needs to stop.


hello i just saw your story on small smiles dental clinic and i have to tell you i have been takin my girls there since @ 2005.....and i have never had any trouble with girls have never been scared to go there and the staff has always been courteous and helpful..answering any questions i have had regarding the treatments and procedures on my children.they have also always welcomed me to come in the back and watch if i so desired....i live over 100 miles away and have no problem driving that far for the care my children receive....they are usually pretty accommodating if my children need additional services other than cleanings to get it done that day so i do not need to make additional trips....i believe as with any dentist there are going to be some patients who just do not care for the service they receive...children and adults are usually apprehensive about dentists i know i am....but i believe there as been no wrong treatment in the care of my children's dental needs...thank you...edie haskell

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kansas TV Station Looks Into Small Smiles

Families Concerned About Small Smiles

Posted: March 17, 2009 03:40 PM

Updated: March 17, 2009 09:30 PM

Jason and Naomi Pinkston called FactFinder Investigators shortly after taking their four-year-old daughter, Aerial, to the dentist. They say they knew right away something wasn't right.

"I feel they took advantage of my daughter to make a profit," says Naomi.

Jason says the family did research shortly after their experience at the clinic.

"All you have to do is Google these guys to get page after page of horror stories. It felt like a nightmare we couldn't wake up from," says Jason.

That nightmare, as Jason describes it, is the work Small Smiles performed on Aerial. The family showed us before and after pictures of Aerial's teeth. Her baby teeth were showing signs of decay so Small Smiles ground them down and put crowns on them. But the Pinkstons say their problems began before any work was performed.

"She didn't explain anything to me about why it would be important to Aerial to have crowns-whether we didn't do it what would happen or what a crown was. Absolutely nothing," says Naomi.

We don't know if the work was necessary; it's too late to get a second opinion because her teeth are gone. We can tell you four of Aerials front teeth that were crowned by Small Smiles will have to be pulled by another dentist.

We wanted to talk to Small Smiles about Aerial's dental work, but instead were referred to a company in Washington, D.C. Spokesperson Don Meyer tells us the clinic thinks Aerial's treatment plan was appropriate, but the execution was less than ideal. He says because of what happened, dentists in the Wichita clinic will seek continuing education.

"What we're finding is that some of our dentists may require some extra training on what's called a ‘New Smile Crown'," says Meyer.

Although Small Smiles markets exclusively to children, we were told none of the dentists at the clinic have pediatric qualifications. They are trained only in general dentistry.

We talked to pediatric dentists in the Wichita area. All of them told us many of their patients come from Small Smiles. Patients like Shelbi Meisch's daughter Amaya.

"She's terrified to see the dentist, still. Every time we go she's scared to go in," says Shelbi.

Like the Pinkstons, Shelbi doesn't feel her options were explained and Small Smiles ended up pulling six of Amaya's teeth.

"No they didn't tell me they were going to be pulling all those teeth. I was under the impression they were going to crown two back teeth and pull the front teeth," says Amaya.

Another dentist had to perform corrective work Amaya's case.

Then there is Stacy Luthy and daughter Emma. Stacy contacted us after learning we were working on the story.

"They informed me that they had a harness they put the kids in that restrains them. They made it sound routine and no big deal."

Stacy wasn't allowed to be in the room with her daughter when they went to Small Smiles about two years ago.

"About 20 or 30 minutes later they came out and said she had been throwing up. They brought her to me. She had been screaming. She was horrified. She was in tears," says Stacy.

Like Aerial and Amaya, Emma has also had corrective work performed. The teeth Small Smiles crowned fell out, leaving her with nothing until her permanent teeth come in.

The parents say all three girls now have to be sedated to even visit the dentist.

"She'll never not be afraid of a dentist, which is alone is horrible because it's such an important thing to do," says Naomi Pinkston.

That's why the Pinkstons came to us. To encourage other parents to ask the questions they didn't ask.

More Company Response:

Forba, the company that manages Small Smiles, tells us many changes were made in late 2007. They include some of the following:

  • Parents are now allowed back with their children during visits. Small Smiles made the change after receiving complaints from parents.
  • It conducted about 12,000 surveys seeking parental feedback.
  • Working to better communicate with parents.
  • Dentists have been retrained on the use of protective restraint
  • Created a toll-free number for parents to call with concerns or complaints (1-877-302-KIDS)
  • Kansas law requires dentists' offices to be locally owned. This is the company's response to corporate ownership concerns.

It is not uncommon for doctors and dentists to hire or outsource various professional and specialized services, including advertising, computer technical support, legal advice, and even human resource specialists to assist them in managing their practices. For example, the Kansas Medical Society created a practice management firm to provide a broad range of office management services to physician practices around the state. Such services are provided under a management services agreement, include a variety of services and are done for a negotiated fee, much like our agreement with Dr. Reza.

Click here for the transcript of the live chat that took place after the segment aired.


This blogger's Comments:

I don't care what kind of crap they say, Dr. Mohammad Reza Akbar doesn't own this clinic. At the Kansas Secretary of State's Office it says the mailing address is:

Linda Zoller
618 Church Street, Suit 520
Nashville, TN 37219
(FORBA Holding and FORBA Services Address, Linda Zoller is just the VP of the legal department and does most of the state business filings.

I don't even think Dr. Reza Akbar lives in Kansas but I could be wrong, he didn't used to.

As you noticed no one at FORBA would speak on camera, heck they don't speak off camera. They only send their PR guy, Don Meyer to appear, or write responses or start a blog to defend and promote the company. You would think Dr. Reza would want to defend his own clinic wouldn't you?

Don Meyer says a lot of changes took place in 2007. Well, evidently not near enough since I didn't start this until early 2008 and I've heard these horror stories for well over a year now, and they still keep coming in. All of their talk is nothing but Hogwash and they think people are actually going to be gullible to believe it.


Here is just one comment from the KWCH TV Website: (go to the bottom of the page and click on 'see all comments')


Thursday, March 19, 2009

To Jason, you are welcome and yes I am employed at Small Smiles. The guest brought up some good points...why am I still there? Partly because I do know what goes on and even if I can only save a couple of kids from being traumatized by the procedures and roughness that and unnecessary work I have done a little to stop some of it.

I know I can't stop it all but anything helps. Yes I will be out of a job but there will be a lot of kids that won't be put through this there. As for the dentist in Colorado....yes it is a different state but Small Smiles is nationwide and all of the training is done in Pueblo, CO for the dentists so you see...they have one way of training and we have had a number of dentists that were just as bad, maybe not taking drugs but doing terrible work or pulling permanent teeth when it should have been the baby tooth, or numbing the right side and then working on the left side and ignoring the child's screams of pain.

I know they have the same sub standard type of dentists across the nation. Maybe not ALL of them but a good portion of them are very substandard. The good dentists that we have had didn't last long. They left because they refused to work like that and didn't want to jeopardize their licenses. Trust me...when I first started working there I couldn't believe this type of care was actually going on in America. Maybe I will loose this battle and they will continue to operate but at least I tried and I know I have saved a few kids from the horror and pain along with the parents.


By Michael Schwanke (WICHITA, Kan)



Every year we see thousands of children who receive compassionate, high-quality dental care at our dental center. Through our parent surveys, comment line and direct interaction with caregivers, Wichita families regularly express high levels of satisfaction with our care.

However, based on the story aired by Channel 12, an internal review of standards, quality and compliance has been initiated at the Small Smiles Dental Clinic of Wichita.

We take seriously any parent who expresses concern with their child's care, and we are always looking for ways to improve. We strongly urge any parent who has concerns to contact our parent hotline at 1-877-302-KIDS.

Kansas Dental Board is asking that anyone with a complaint regarding Small Smiles contact their office.
You can file an offical complaint at or call 785-296-6400.

This blogger's comment:

1. The key word in that statement is the word "our". If Dr. Akbar owned that clinic wouldn't the term be "my" but no, they once again FORBA admits to owning these clinics.

2. I've heard this same statement over and over for 2 years! Why do you think that hotline number was set up in the first place?

3. The Kansas Dental Board has been alerted on several occasions about Small Smiles and their tactics and haven't done a darn thing so far. But I highly suggest you give it a go anyway.

4. I like to hear from those patients who were actually treated by Dr. Mohommad Reza Akbar himself.