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4 months ago

Dental Chain Reaches Settlement for Medical Fraud, Performing Unnecessary Procedures

It's a promise many parents make before taking their children to the dentist: Don't worry, it won't hurt too much. But at some "Small Smiles" dental clinics catering to low-income families on Medicaid, that promise was broken behind closed doors.

FORBA Holdings LLC, the parent company of the nationwide pediatric dental chain "Small Smiles," reached a $24 million settlement with the Department of Justice Wednesday for allegedly performing medically unnecessary or substandard procedures on children insured by Medicaid, to turn a profit.


The Justice Department claimed that some dental clinics performed unnecessary procedures, including removing teeth, x-rays, and pulpotomies -- also known as baby root canals -- and then charged Medicaid.

"This was a matter of profit over compassion," said Daniel Levinson, inspector general of the U.S. Health and Human Services. The company submitted "false and fraudulent claims to Medicaid for unnecessary and potentially dangerous services to children in an attempt to maximize profits."

Whistleblowers from inside the company told ABC News it all allegedly was done to bilk taxpayers and compensate for Medicaid's low reimbursement rates.


"They wanted us to tell parents that they needed services on teeth that were healthy," one cosmetic dentistry whistleblower told ABC News.

"We have zero tolerance for those who break the law to exploit needy children," Assistant Attorney General Tony West said. "Illegal conduct like this endangers a child's well-being, distorts the judgments of health care professionals and puts corporate profits ahead of patient safety."

FORBA, the country's largest dental management company, agreed to overhaul procedures to prevent similar violations from taking place, but did not admit liability.

"This comprehensive resolution encourages us to continue to focus on vital, high-quality dental care for children in America's low-income communities, and allows us to build on the improvements implemented since the company was acquired in September 2006," FORBA said in a statement. "We look forward to fulfilling our commitment to the dental health of underserved children for years to come."

The government's investigation into Medicaid fraud was sparked by three whistleblower lawsuits. The Department of Justice's investigation into individual dentists is ongoing.

"Small Smiles" has 68 clinics in 22 states and remains open for business. Dr. Anthony Bain's "Small Smiles Dentistry for Children" clinics in Texas are not affiliated with the chain.

In March 2009, "20/20" reported on the Medicaid Dental Center clinics in North Carolina, which allegedly performed more procedures than necessary and, parents claimed, traumatized their children. One child said he had an astounding 16 baby root canals -- nearly every tooth in his mouth.

Visit the "20/20" Web site and watch "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m. ET for an update to this report.

4 months ago

Natural Toothache Remedies

Nowadays at the first sign of toothache or tooth pain a dentist is sought out. How did our great-great-grandparents and our ancestors deal with tooth pain without the help of professionally trained dentists? Simple, they used natural and organic remedies. Such remedies have long existed and have been long used and practiced amongst all cultures prior to the popularization of western medicine. Such remedies are even practiced today in many parts throughout the world as well as among new-age spiritualists and herbalists in North America.

Water and Non-Iodized Salt or Whiskey

The first remedy for toothaches and tooth pain is a mixture of water and non-iodized salt. Usually only one to two tablespoons is necessary for every half cup of water. Simply mix the non-iodized salt into a glass of water and stir thoroughly. Once dissolved swish and spit repeatedly. The non-iodized salt works to prevent infection around the area of the tooth. Repeat this step three to five times daily for at least a few days. Another remedy that can be used as an alternative or in conjunction to the water and non-iodized salt remedy is the whiskey remedy. Simply swish and spit a small amount of whiskey as to help prevent additional infection around the tooth and to provide numbing relief from pain.


When toothaches and tooth pain occur it is usually really uncomfortable to eat solid foods. Fortunately however there are some foods that can be easily consumed that will cause no discomfort to teeth and will also provide beneficial bacteria. One such food is yogurt. Believe it or not yogurt is consistent with beneficial bacteria that work to ward off bacteria that may cause infection. No numbing solution is provided from yogurt however, it is dentist for teeth whitening easy on the teeth and safe to consume when teeth are in pain.

Peppermint Leaves

Peppermint leaves are one of the oldest remedies that provide comfort from toothache and tooth pain. All that is needed is a small amount of peppermint leaves. Simply take a small amount of peppermint leaves and directly apply them to the tooth experiencing pain and discomfort. Chew on the peppermint leaves for three to five minutes twice daily. The peppermint leaves will act as a medicinal herb as they are consistent with anti-inflammatory properties.

Clove and Vanilla Extract

Clove and vanilla extract are both a great way to providing pain relief and a numbing sensation to the tooth or teeth that are experiencing pain and discomfort. However, only a very small quantity of clove or vanilla extract should be used as too much is capable of causing permanent nerve damage. Simply take a small amount of clove or vanilla extract and apply to a Q-Tip. Apply the Q-Tip directly to the tooth or teeth. Allow the extract to wipe over the tooth and gums as to provide the most relief.

As always if pain worsens immediately seek professional medical attention. However, if any of the age-old natural and organic remedies work share this information with friends and family that may be in need of such news.


"Natural Remedies for Sinus Toothaches." By Sarah. Off The Grid News

Toothache Home Remedies

1 year ago

Minneapolis-Area Dentist Offers Free Dental Care in One Day Dentistry from the Heart Event

HOPKINS, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Minneapolis-area dentist Dr. Scott Shamblott and his staff are giving the community a giant valentine in the form at the special "Dentistry from the Heart" event on Friday, February 24, 2012. Dr. Shamblott, Dr. Claudia de Llano and the staff are offering free dental care to people without dental insurance or the means to pay for their treatment.

Dentistry from the Heart began as one dentists charitable act for the Tampa Bay community. The program began in same day dentures Jersey City 2001. Last year, over 50,000 people benefited from free services offered by dentists in 49 states.

Dr. Shamblott and his fellow volunteers will start work at 7:00 a.m. and continue working throughout the day, caring for as many people as they can. Patients will be examined and will receive free fillings or extractions as time permits. Work will be done on a first come, first served basis.

"Many people are in desperate need of dental treatment but can't afford it," said Dr. Shamblott. "Dentistry from the Heart offers us the opportunity to help as many people as time allows. We truly care about the people in our community, and by donating our services for this day, hope to restores smiles to those in need."

Also participating this year is Lakeville Dental in nearby Lakeville, Minnesota. Shamblott Family Dentistry has given away over $100,000 of dentistry since they began with the program. Dr. Shamblott was the first dentist in Minnesota to join Dentistry from the Heart when he hosted his first event in 2007. Today, he continues to actively champion Dentistry from the Heart and encourages other dentists to participate, too.

Dr. Shamblott and his team do whatever they can to relieve dental pain and fix problems. Patients who need ongoing care or have problems that cannot be fixed in one day are referred to community clinics, where they can receive ongoing treatment at minimal or no cost.

We spend the rest of the year simply running a traditional dental practice, Dr. Shamblott said. One day is a pretty small thing, but we think it makes a difference in the lives of the people who come to us for help. Many people enter in pain and leave by giving us a hug. It's a marvelous event that shows we care for the community.

About Shamblott Family Dentistry: Shamblott Family Dentistry, 33 Tenth Avenue South, Suite 250 in Hopkins, MN, 952-935-5599,, is run by Hopkins dentist Dr. Scott Shamblott and offers a wide variety of dental treatments including sedation dentistry and same day emergency appointments.