Inside Edition recently aired an investigative report on pediatric dentists who perform unnecessary, excessive, and expensive dental procedures on small children.
Alicea White took her four-year-old daughter, Savannah, to Happy Valley Pediatric Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ, for a routine dental appointment. The dentist, Dr. Karan Nett, diagnosed the girl with tooth decay (probably due to bottle rot) and four cavities.
But Alicea says instead of just filling the four cavities on Savannah, Dr. Nett filled the girl’s mouth with expensive silver caps.
“I was completely shocked,” said Alicea. “All that silver in her mouth. I was like, ‘Oh my God, what happened?’”
Savannah was in tears after the procedure. Alicea said, “It broke my heart. I was in tears right along with her.”
According to Inside Edition, Savannah was taunted by people who compared her new smile to the James Bond villain, Jaws.
Alicea believes Dr. Nett was drilling for dollars, otherwise known as providing unnecessary dental procedures for profit.
Inside Edition‘s Lisa Guerrero confronted Dr. Nett outside the dental office.
“I’d like to talk to you about a little girl whose mouth you filled with metal? Would you like to look at these pictures and explain these pictures?” Guerrero asked Dr. Nett as she walked to her car.
Dr. Nett denied any wrongdoing, saying the work was necessary due to Savannah’s significant tooth decay.
The reason the procedure was unnecessary is because the doctor capped all of Savannah’s deciduous teeth, also known as baby teeth, temporary teeth, or primary teeth. But the fact is that most, if not all, of Savannah’s baby teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced by her adult (permanent) teeth.
So capping all of Savannah’s teeth was completely unnecessary and emotionally traumatic for the child.
The images above show a child’s skull with all of its baby teeth intact. Above the baby teeth, in the jaw, are permanent teeth that will eventually move down and replace the baby teeth.
Many parents don’t know this. So they are easy targets for unscrupulous dentists.
Inside Edition interviewed other parents whose children were victims of doctors who were drilling for dollars.
“I’ll give you an example: a child comes in, complaining of no trouble, no problems with any of their teeth. Thirty minutes later, the child comes out with ten or fifteen root canals, ten or fifteen stainless steel crowns,” said attorney Tom Crosley who represents over 250 children making claims against the Smile Center, a dental chain in San Antonio, Texas.
The best prevention for unscrupulous dentists is to educate yourselves about your child’s stages of tooth development and dental procedures.