Why did Small Smiles dentists perform unnecessary treatment on kids? Why did they strap them down?
We believe the reason was so that they could steal money from the government and make a larger profit off of the kids.
Many parents had to take their kids to Small Smiles for dental treatment because there were no other dentists in the area that accepted Medicaid as a form of dental insurance. Little did the parents know that their family would be taken advantage of, simply for being disadvantaged and unable to afford private health insurance.
The Small Smiles model was to treat as many kids as they could in a day, in order to increase “production” and bill Medicaid for the services they performed.
So that the dentists could eliminate the time it took to calm down scared kids and get them to sit still during the treatments, the dentists resorted to strapping the kids down using a papoose, even when it was not necessary.
Small Smiles clinics were located all over the nation, with some cities having more than one clinic, and many of the dental centers had quotas and “production goals” for the dentists to meet. As long as the dentists were able to meet or exceed the number of kids they were required to, they would receive a monetary bonus. This bonus opportunity may have been part of the reason the dentists were so quick to perform certain treatments on perfectly healthy teeth.
Even though it is common knowledge that very few children ever need to have cavities filled or root canals performed, then dentists still went ahead and performed unnecessary treatments on Small Smiles patients such as:
– Pretending like kids had cavities, then drilling a healthy tooth and filling it in
– Digging out teeth down to the root; performing a “baby root canal”
– Adding caps to teeth after shaving them down. Many of the children left Small Smiles with a mouth full silver caps, even on their front teeth
– Adding to baby teeth crowns that were not needing, which also caused problems when adult teeth tried to grow in, since the crowns were preventing them from doing so.
It was not uncommon for children who were strapped down, or “papoosed”, to vomit or urinate on themselves because of the fear and stress they were experiencing.
Since many parents were completely unaware of the treatment their kids received as Small Smiles patients, it is imperative that any parent of a child who attended the dental center call a skilled attorney toll-free or order a free copy of our book, Small Smiles, Big Injuries today.