Keller mom has questions for Fort Worth dentist

Print
Email
|

by BYRON HARRIS

Bio | Email

WFAA

Posted on August 10, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 12 at 3:02 PM

NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

Taking your child to the dentist can always be tricky. But what if you think a dentist is going do one thing to your child but then he does a lot more?

And what if your son comes out of the office black-and-blue and crying?

Hundreds of times a day, all across Texas, moms and dads take their kids into South Texas Dental to have their teeth worked on. It's a major corporation, employing dozens of dentists in four cities.

The company's long-term success indicates it is providing a valuable service.

But not for Nichole Villareal of Keller, who took her son to a South Texas Dental office in Fort Worth.

Anthony Martinez was left with a welt on his face.

"When I found out this was all done without my consent, and that he was in pain and he was hurt and he was bruised, I was furious," Villareal said. "I knew it was wrong because I work in a medical office, and I know."

The Fort Worth location of South Texas Dental is part of a chain of 23 clinics statewide. The company aims its practice at children.

Nichole Villareal took her son Anthony there because her husband was changing jobs. His company insurance hadn't kicked in yet, and she had to use a dentist who would accept CHIPS state insurance.

Anthony's previous dentist, Dr. Bridget McAnthony, said he did need treatment.

"When I saw him, he only had one cavity. It was on the outside surface of his tooth," McAnthony said.

The dentist at South Texas Dental, however, said the eight-year-old had two cavities and needed sealant on two more teeth.

Villareal signed a consent form for that work to be done. When she took Anthony in, the dentist would not permit her to be in the room with her son.

When he came out? "It looks like he got punched in the jaw," Villareal said. "He has a bruise on the outside of his face that wasn't even supposed to be done."

Anthony said he was held down in the chair. It turns out that four of his teeth had been drilled.

Villareal said that work was done without her consent.

"And they didn't numb Anthony for the bottom procedure, so two fillings were done on the bottom and he wasn't numbed," she said.

When Villareal went back to complain, the dentist wrote Anthony a prescription for pain medication.

Dr. Kapadia did not respond to three phone calls from News 8 seeking comment.

His notes indicate Anthony was "very uncooperative" in the chair. The child's mom took him back to Dr. McAnthony to examine his mouth.

"It looks like they might have put some kind of intra-oral device in, and maybe they mashed down with their thumb on the inside to bruise him," McAnthony said. "It would have to be something that went from the inside to the outside, because he was bruised on the outside, too."

After we got no response from the dentist at the South Texas Dental office, we called Dr. Chad Park, who supervises three clinics in Fort Worth for the company. He said he is still investigating the matter.

The Texas Administrative Code says a dentist should maintain a consent form signed by a patient, or in the case of a minor, a form signed by his parent.

Villareal said no parent would give a dentist consent to do what was done to her son.

E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|