What You Should Know About Dental Abuse
US departments of Justice and Health and Human Services made the announcement on January 21, 2010 that they had come to an agreement with Small Smiles Dental Centers that saw federal government start extensive investigations into Dental Abuse by the multi-state chain of clinics.
Investigation findings were that a lot of dental workers and clinic owners engaged in high pressure sales tactics to have low income families their customers and once involved; children underwent procedures that left them with severe physical pains and mental trauma. Often these children were physically restrained with sedatives while other procedures were performed on them. Procedures were done so hurriedly that fillings fall out with time giving room for infections meaning that clinic owners had huge paydays at the expense of their patients.
Small Smiles Dental Centers were required to revise their approaches and pay about $24 million plus interest which went to both the federal government and individual states that funded their work. It's normal to think that such a highly publicized case would daunt such practices by other clinics; dental clinics in Texas, Houston and San Antonio still use these sleazy schemes. Earlier this year WFAA station did some research on Dental Abuse and found out that some clinics hired recruiters who handed out pamphlets promising incentives to parents that brought their kids to these clinics for appointments which is gross violation of the Texas Dental Practices Act which outlaws use of sales strategies to get new clients.
The Texas population spends about $1.5 billion annually to provide dental care for thousands of young kids. According to Medicaid guidelines, parents with kids as young as six years are recommended to take their kids to a dentist. If properly done, these visits are a fantastic way to enhance public health and avoid any problems in future. Sadly, majority of dentists see this as easy ways to get taxpayer money without providing the best dental care to patients that need it most.
Below are signs to look out for in Dental Abuse practices:
€ Clinics hire salespeople to recruit patients.
€ They offer incentives to lure more clients.
€ Perform a lot of dental procedures on their patients all in one session.
€ Clinic waiting rooms are filled with Medicaid reliant parents and children.
€ Dentists work are done in a rush and mostly carelessly done.
€ After procedures are done complications arise with opportune dental infections setting in.