Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Morning Drill: August 29, 2012

Good Wednesday morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Rockdale woman charged in illegal dentist practice

A Rockdale County woman has been arrested and charged with practicing dentistry without a license.

According to the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, Kessia Shauna Curtis, 34, of 2110 Fairway Court, Unit B, was arrested and charged on Aug. 22, after a complaint came in concerning several illegally parked vehicles and the allegation that an illegal dentist office was operating from that address.

In her incident report, a RCSO deputy said she went to Curtis' home and knocked on the door and Curtis answered the door wearing a surgical mask.

The deputy asked Curtis about the allegations and she said "she was just clipping someone's braces wire, that she was an orthodontic assistant and what she was doing was not illegal," the incident report states.

Though not invited inside, the deputy stated she observed "some type of machine that was plugged up on the left side of the residence and it was covered up with some type of cloth. There was also a table on the right side of the residence as well with different types of items on it."

CDA Cares delivers oral health services to 2,026 people

The California Dental Association Foundation’s free dental clinic, CDA Cares, provided more than $1.3 million in charitable dental services during a two-day event held here Aug. 24-25, 2012.

The California Dental Association Foundation and the California Dental Association was hoste for the clinic to provide oral health services and education to Californians who experience barriers to care.

Presenting sponsors Benco Dental and Carestream Dental--as well as premier sponsors Patterson Dental, Straine Dental Consulting, and Capital Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with many other supporters--provided supplies and materials to help assemble the event.

“The support we received from our partners has been outstanding,” said Don Rollofson, DMD, chair of the CDA Foundation. "Having their backing is vital to the success of these events, and we truly appreciate it. It shows how dedicated the dental community is to helping people in need of oral health care.”

More than 1,300 volunteers donated their time and services at the event, including more than 600 health professionals--dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, nurses and lab technicians--as well as hundreds of community volunteers who assisted with registration, translation, data entry and escorting patients.

As the final number of procedures provided at CDA Cares is being tallied, preliminary estimates indicate more than 2,000 tooth extractions were necessary.

Rotten teeth, after 11 years in braces, lead Oregon man to sue for $185,100

Devin Bost finally has straight teeth -- but after 11 years of wearing braces, many of them are rotten through.

That's according to a $185,100 lawsuit filed on behalf of the 22-year-old, who claims a Eugene orthodontist treated Bost's crooked teeth with braces from ages 7 to 18. Orthodontists usually treat patients with braces for about two years.

The lawsuit states that Bost has suffered serious tooth decay and periodontal disease from all of the years his teeth were covered.

"What I'm told by the experts is, 'You can't do this. You can't keep them on that long. It's just not done," said Bost's Portland attorney, David Hollander.

Some of Bost's teeth will need to be yanked out and replaced with implants, Hollander said, but that may not be possible in some areas of his mouth because the teeth have rotted through to the jaw. His client has racked up more than $35,000 in dental bills so far. He had to seek the expertise of one of the nation's top dentists in Boston because the damage is so extensive, Hollander said.

The suit, filed Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, faults Brad Chvatal,  who has been licensed with the Oregon Board of Dentistry since 1997.

NY dentists suffer setback in Small Smiles case

A New York judge has rejected attempts by the dental chain Small Smiles and its owners and some employees to dismiss lawsuits filed by parents of children who were treated at its clinics.

In 2010, Small Smiles, which is owned and operated by Church Street Health Management (formerly Forba Holdings), paid $24 million to settle allegations of Medicaid fraud brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. A total of $3.45 million of that went to the state of New York, where the company operates several clinics.

In 2011, lawsuits were filed by 10 families on behalf of 30 children in Onondaga, Monroe, and Schenectady counties, accusing Small Smiles and its dentists of "unnecessary, inappropriate, unsafe, and excessive dental procedures" performed on young children at various Small Smiles clinics between 2005 and 2009. Battery, false advertising, malpractice, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty also were alleged.

The parties named in those complaints -- which include more than a dozen Small Smiles dentists, the former and current owners and managers of Small Smiles, and the corporate entities under which the clinics operated -- subsequently asked the Onondaga County Supreme Court to dismiss some of the issues, including fraud and battery in the Onondaga lawsuit, claiming the lawsuits did not meet required legal standards.

Enjoy your morning!

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