A group of 10 families in New York has filed a lawsuit against Small Smiles/Access Dentistry, a nationwide network of dental clinics that also has a presence in Georgia. The lawsuit alleges that dentists at Small Smiles in Schenectady performed unnecessary procedures on young children. The lawsuit also alleges that the children were physically restrained during these procedures. The company has been charged with fraud, dental malpractice, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and battery.
Some of the children mentioned in the lawsuit include
An eight-year-old girl who had six root canal surgeries and crowns, four dental extractions and three fillings during a single visit. During all these procedures, the girl was physically restrained in a chair.
A one-year-old boy who had four root canal surgeries and four dental extractions while being restrained in the chair.
A four-year-old girl who had a total of eight fillings, four dental extractions and two root canal surgeries during a single visit.
The children mentioned in the lawsuit are between one and eight years old. The Small Smiles facilities in these cases did not have the facilities to provide conscious sedation or general anesthesia for any of the longer procedures. According to the lawsuit, the patients were put to great emotional and physical terror while being physically restrained in their chairs, as the dentists went about performing root canals, extractions and fillings.
This isn’t the first time that Small Smiles has been the target of a lawsuit like this. In 2010, the company paid $5 million to settle a claim of fraud bought by the Department of Justice. The allegations made against the company were related to fraudulent claims.
Robert Fleming is an Atlanta dental malpractice attorney representing victims of dental malpractice in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.