Kool Smiles making some parents frown

Kool Smiles making some parents frown

There are 210 comments on the WAVY Norfolk Hampton Roads story from Nov 17, 2008, titled Kool Smiles making some parents frown. In it, WAVY Norfolk Hampton Roads reports that:

For some Hampton Roads parents, their child's first trip to the dentist became their last .

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WAVY Norfolk Hampton Roads.

Got Out

Norfolk, VA

#257 Jul 31, 2010
A friend of mine had the same story: Kool Smiles said her son (on Medicaid) needed all this work done. Luckily, she took him to another dentist who said there were ZERO cavities in his teeth. If you're looking for a good pediatric dentist, call Dr. Martin in Portsmouth. I have been taking my kids there for years and he and his staff are awesome! If your child is scared and very young you can actually let him sit in your lap during the cleaning.
blkbutterfly

Suffolk, VA

#258 Sep 23, 2010
Hi I just would like to say after dealing with kool smiles for about 2yrs. I was constantly told how great my childs teeth were and that she was a good brusher well one day she had an accident which caused me to have to go to another dentist and boy I mean if I thought I could sue them I would that dentist thought that was our first visit to a dentist my daughter had cavities and other things going on I mean why not tell me so we could inprove isnt that the whole purpose. Well I think Medicaid should look into possibly being over charged for services never rendered.
Former DA at Kool Smiles

Easley, SC

#259 Sep 23, 2010
Allison wrote:
The comment that parents are not denied access to the back area is interesting. We have used Kool Smiles in Portsmouth and were denied access to procedures that my son was being given in the back room. I was called to see the assistant who told me he was being somewhat difficult and asking a lot of questions. Of course as a 7-year-old he wanted to know what was going on. When asked if I could just go back with him I was absolutely no, it is against company policy. I knew then that I would not be coming back. When my son was finished he came out completely deflated and would not talk. When we got out to the parking lot he told me that he was told over and over to "be quiet" and "stop asking questions." I am sorry, but I that is unacceptable. I was SO angry at the dentist and at myself for allowing this to happen. He has a right as a person to know what is going on. I went straight back in and confronted them. I left with my child's dental records and never went back. I was interested when I saw this was going to be on because whenever Kool Smiles is brought up I tell people my opinion - don't take your child there. It literally makes me sick that I even allowed my son to go back there without me; I never should have let him go. I learned and we now go to a great dentist is Suffolk who is happy to answer his questions and explain what they are doing. Thank you for running this story.
You are very wise to insist on going back with a small child at Kool Smiles. I know first hand they YELL at the children, hold them down physically in order to get the procedures done quickly. This is how they make thier money since most patients are on Medicaid. Children are wimpering and wide-eyed as the "DENTIST" hurriedly fills a tooth, and reminds them, to BE STILL!,I SAID DON'T MOVE!! PUT THAT HAND DOWN!!! By the time the kids leave they are quite as a mouse and very intimidated.
Dr john

Seattle, WA

#260 Oct 15, 2010
I am sorry you had to go throughout that. I am a general dentist who has been treating children almost exclusively for 14 years. Sometimes crowns are necessary but you should not put them on teeth that have infections. Pulpotomies do not always work. They have a higher failure rate on anterior teeth. So please watch for any sign of recurrent infection. Such as a pimple above the tooth. IF this happens and it often does the tooth may need to be extracted. But a pulpotomy is the only option for a tooth that has the "nerve" infected. I am sorry again it pisses me off when i hear of dentist providing inadequate care. We should all strive to provide the best care possible. There are several dentist who are not specialist who can treat children with the same level of care. If anyone finds a dentist they don't like please transfer to another. Your childs well being is to important. Long term fear can follow them. It is a god idea to take a child who has been traumatized to a few appointments when very limited procedures are performed. This will help to regain trust. Thanks
Angela

Hampton, VA

#261 Oct 24, 2010
L Taylor wrote:
My 3 year old son had a procedure done at the Hampton office and so far it went good. He had w wisdom tooth pull. The only thing that I did not like was that I felt like my son was a gold fish in a bowl because I was told that I could not go in the back where he was gettting his teeth looked at and cleaned. But now that I know it is my right to be with him I will be.
A) 3 year old with wisdom teeth? B) would never allow them (Dr.) to be in a room without me, whether or not I can see. Children under age, need to have parents present in the same room. C) I would never take my child to Kool Smiles. I feel that they are a HUGE money pit, capping baby teeth, pulling teeth, etc. Such a shame.
JoBeall

Lexington, KY

#262 Oct 29, 2010
katina jones wrote:
we do do they say that u cant come back in the room with ur child?
I was there yesterday at an office in Lexington, and when I asked if I could go back they said no. I was VERY unhappy with my experience there and will never go back! HORRIBLE!!!!
JoBeall

Lexington, KY

#263 Oct 29, 2010
also why would you cap a baby tooth?
Mad as can be Mom

Midlothian, VA

#264 Nov 22, 2010
I took my son to Kool Smiles for the first time. I went to the one on Southside Plaza in Richmond. I had my dentist look at and clean my sons teeth. They had found 2 cavities, a small one between his two front teeth and the other in a molar. They did not accept his insurance and gave me a price for what it would be to have a filling put in the molar. They stated there was no reason to fix the front tooth because it was really loose and was about to fall out in the next couple months. I found out Kool Smiles accepted his insurance, so I checked out the website and it seemed nice. They even had a picture with a dad and daughter while the little girl was getting her teeth cleaned. My appointment was at 315 and he did not even get called back until after 4! When I asked how much longer the rude lady at the front said she had no idea and to please take a seat. When they finally called my sons name and 4 other kids to come back I started walking back with him and they told me I could look through the glass but could not come back. I said "BS!!" I will come back or I will leave. The lady bent down and asked my son if he wanted to be a big boy and come back by himself. I got in between them and said I will come back with him or I will leave. They let me back but the assistant told my son he hoped next time he could be like the big kids and be without his mommy instead of going in the baby room. It took everything in me to not come across the room at that man!!!!! THen the dentist (whom barely spoke English) came back and said she wanted to put Silver caps on FOUR of my sons teeth. I asked why she couldnt fill it and she said they prefer caps. I started asking more questions because I did not understand why they were wanting to put caps on 2 teeth that were loose. They were all VERY rude and demeaning to me and my son. I told her I did not want anything done at the time. She said she would just put in her computer what they were going to do so they had it. I let her know they were not going to do ANYTHING and if she put a treatment plan in the computer I was going to break it! i have contacted the main office in GA, I have also contacted the local news station and newspaper about the Obsurd treatment and demeaning and horrible staff. I plan to proceed with action until they are shut down or they can give better care. By the way what happens in the back is they tell you they are giving your child a great deep cleaning of their teeth... ha BS they brush them and that is it! I watched 7 kids come back, they brushed their teeth, then sent them on the merry way.
Life Coach

Chesapeake, VA

#265 Nov 22, 2010
Mad as can be Mom wrote:
I took my son to Kool Smiles for the first time. I went to the one on Southside Plaza in Richmond. I had my dentist look at and clean my sons teeth. They had found 2 cavities, a small one between his two front teeth and the other in a molar. They did not accept his insurance and gave me a price for what it would be to have a filling put in the molar. They stated there was no reason to fix the front tooth because it was really loose and was about to fall out in the next couple months. I found out Kool Smiles accepted his insurance, so I checked out the website and it seemed nice. They even had a picture with a dad and daughter while the little girl was getting her teeth cleaned. My appointment was at 315 and he did not even get called back until after 4! When I asked how much longer the rude lady at the front said she had no idea and to please take a seat. When they finally called my sons name and 4 other kids to come back I started walking back with him and they told me I could look through the glass but could not come back. I said "BS!!" I will come back or I will leave. The lady bent down and asked my son if he wanted to be a big boy and come back by himself. I got in between them and said I will come back with him or I will leave. They let me back but the assistant told my son he hoped next time he could be like the big kids and be without his mommy instead of going in the baby room. It took everything in me to not come across the room at that man!!!!! THen the dentist (whom barely spoke English) came back and said she wanted to put Silver caps on FOUR of my sons teeth. I asked why she couldnt fill it and she said they prefer caps. I started asking more questions because I did not understand why they were wanting to put caps on 2 teeth that were loose. They were all VERY rude and demeaning to me and my son. I told her I did not want anything done at the time. She said she would just put in her computer what they were going to do so they had it. I let her know they were not going to do ANYTHING and if she put a treatment plan in the computer I was going to break it! i have contacted the main office in GA, I have also contacted the local news station and newspaper about the Obsurd treatment and demeaning and horrible staff. I plan to proceed with action until they are shut down or they can give better care. By the way what happens in the back is they tell you they are giving your child a great deep cleaning of their teeth... ha BS they brush them and that is it! I watched 7 kids come back, they brushed their teeth, then sent them on the merry way.
You have fallen for their marketing schemes

You are an idiot
Dr G

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#266 Nov 27, 2010
Hi,
I came across these posts as dentist myself (not employee of Kool Smiles) and I believe all these "problems" came from miscommunication between parents and dental staff. I had my daughter as very young mother and back that time I wasn't a dentist and had no idea about pediatric dentistry. As any parent I wouldn't understand, why my daughter instead "beautiful" white/tooth-colored filling needs "ugly" stainless steel crown? And if this tooth is a baby tooth, does it need to be treated at all, or may be it is just so easy to take it out? New tooth eventually will come anyway! May be dentist just wants my money? Nope, it costs exactly the same for stainless steel crown versus many surfaces filling, which takes 5 times as more of efforts and time itself than simple white filling. So what is wrong with pediatric dentist, why he cannot just simplify his/her job and stick a filling? Of course they use fillings too, when it is small cavity. Now as dentist I know, that children are not adults. Even in dentistry they cannot be treated the same as adults. Kids don't brush their teeth as well as adults (of course we don't talk about some adults, who don't brush at all). Infection in kid's mouth and teeth spreads much faster. And if there is any bug inside the tooth, any treatment or no treatment can stimulate it to multiply fast and gum around it get swollen. There are standards of care for children by guidelines of American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. One of them,if there are many and large cavities in child's mouth, kid is in high risk for caries,and it is better to cover these teeth with SS crowns for longer better results, so baby teeth will not get decayed again as fast. If baby tooth needs pulpotomy (it is like partial root canal for adult tooth), it needs to be covered with SS crown. It is not cheaper and easier to "pull" bad baby tooth out, if there is at least 2-3 years before it will shed. These teeth keep the place, so back teeth will not shift on empty space and kid will not get crowded teeth in future with expensive orthodontic treatment (braces). If tooth has to come out anyway, because it is so rotten, it must be placed space maintainer to preserve this space. About "restraining blanket". Dentists hate it as well as parents and kids. But, nobody wants child to be injured with instruments, when they cannot or don't want to understand what is going on around them. No dentist wants to hurt child, child will get anesthetic for sure. So, most of the times kids are just trying to get away because they are scarred not because they are hurt. Parent's presence most of the times is not helpful in the room, because kids are crying mostly for parent. They know well, if they cry, mommy or daddy may possibly will take them away from this experience and they can avoid it. This is simple children psychology. A lot of times parents can say something (of course, they try to help!) that it will trigger more tears and fear in children. Home preparation to dental visit should be positive, not like " if you behave bad I will take you to dentist". Most of the dentists are parents too, and we understand how parents feel behind the door, so we are trying our best to help your child. Dear parents, brush your children teeth, don't give them sugar drinks at night (even juice), bring them for regular cleanings with fluoride treatment and it will prevent from said above problems.
treesha

Hampton, VA

#267 Mar 3, 2011
Wow! I took my 3 yr old daughter to Kool Smiles, and they told me she needs 4 silver caps, and 3 fill ins. I am supposed to take her back tommorow and now I'm scared to do it. I know she needs some work, but the four caps seems extreme. When I was a child, we didn't get those caps.
Get a grip

United States

#268 Mar 10, 2011
Mad as can be Mom wrote:
I took my son to Kool Smiles for the first time. I went to the one on Southside Plaza in Richmond. I had my dentist look at and clean my sons teeth. They had found 2 cavities, a small one between his two front teeth and the other in a molar. They did not accept his insurance and gave me a price for what it would be to have a filling put in the molar. They stated there was no reason to fix the front tooth because it was really loose and was about to fall out in the next couple months. I found out Kool Smiles accepted his insurance, so I checked out the website and it seemed nice. They even had a picture with a dad and daughter while the little girl was getting her teeth cleaned. My appointment was at 315 and he did not even get called back until after 4! When I asked how much longer the rude lady at the front said she had no idea and to please take a seat. When they finally called my sons name and 4 other kids to come back I started walking back with him and they told me I could look through the glass but could not come back. I said "BS!!" I will come back or I will leave. The lady bent down and asked my son if he wanted to be a big boy and come back by himself. I got in between them and said I will come back with him or I will leave. They let me back but the assistant told my son he hoped next time he could be like the big kids and be without his mommy instead of going in the baby room. It took everything in me to not come across the room at that man!!!!! THen the dentist (whom barely spoke English) came back and said she wanted to put Silver caps on FOUR of my sons teeth. I asked why she couldnt fill it and she said they prefer caps. I started asking more questions because I did not understand why they were wanting to put caps on 2 teeth that were loose. They were all VERY rude and demeaning to me and my son. I told her I did not want anything done at the time. She said she would just put in her computer what they were going to do so they had it. I let her know they were not going to do ANYTHING and if she put a treatment plan in the computer I was going to break it! i have contacted the main office in GA, I have also contacted the local news station and newspaper about the Obsurd treatment and demeaning and horrible staff. I plan to proceed with action until they are shut down or they can give better care. By the way what happens in the back is they tell you they are giving your child a great deep cleaning of their teeth... ha BS they brush them and that is it! I watched 7 kids come back, they brushed their teeth, then sent them on the merry way.
Oh come on, lady. I can understand being upset, but it's a wonder you didn't get thrown out or locked up for your behavior. Seriously, as a business owner, I can tell you that if you had been behaving so combatively in my business, treating employees so rudely and disrespecfully and threatening to destroy equipment, I would have called the police and pressed charges on your butt!

Such a sense of entitlement out of these welfare queens. Your kid's teeth would rot out of his head if it wasn't for my tax dollars, but rather than being grateful, you go in threatening to bust up the place. So typical!
metoo

Philadelphia, PA

#269 May 4, 2011
Dr Ben wrote:
I am a dentist who used to work for Kool Smiles in TX. They always emphasized quality first. Trust me there was no need to "overtreat" patients. The amount of children with dental disease is vast. Those, with families of low income, lucky enough to have Medicaid (which are few)drastically needed the care. Dentist who have completed pediatric dental specialties have no need,nor desire to treat these patients as they are already booked with cash, commercial insurance patients. Yes, general dentist typically run the offices. However, all dentist are trained in pediatric dentistry as required by the ADA for dental school graduation. Most also have completed additional residencies which further train general dentist in pediatrics. Any dentist who performs a procedure is held to the same standard as a specialist and all Kool Smiles dentist are trained to strictly follow AAPD guidelines. Those of you talking about composite's(white fillings) being the better treatment option for high caries patients vs crowns are immensely misinformed. Multi-surface composites on child teeth almost always fail, leaving and abscessed tooth that now must be extracted. Those child molars are of great importance in maintaining arch space and chewing function. They typically don't fall out until age 12, if lost before then and space maintainer is not placed, braces, impacted teeth, or ectopic eruption are certain. Opting a crown, & if needed pulpotomy, prevents redecay, ensures the tooth is only treated once (thus not over-exposing the child), and is the only proven treatment to ensure long term oral health of the child. In addition, Medicaid pays the same for multi-surface composites as crowns. Crowns on children are much more difficult and time costly than composites. Crowns have to be sized, cut, crimped, cemented; composites-easy; dry, etch/bond, place, cure. Mom's happy cause it looks good, child's happy cause it was easy, dentist happy cause it was fast . Oops,then patients always come back in with abcessed or redecayed teeth now needing extraction, but they make you happy; so keep going to that dentist who tells you you're right your 6-7 yr old with interproximal decay is best served with composite(you'll find plenty cha-ching). Read AAPD guidelines. Kool Smiles provides greatly needed quality service to underserved populations whom need it the most. Keep your uninformed comments going and we'll lose the remaining few dentist willing to provide these services. We as dentist will feel for those children, but will still be overbooked and earning high incomes awarded for years of training. The kids and their families are the only ones who'll suffer. This is provided free, from a dentist, no charge to you or Medicaid.
Dr. Ben
Well said!- rdh
cruel smiles

Norfolk, VA

#270 Jun 6, 2011
On the commercial it says you can go back with your child. That is not true my child was restrained with bruises on his face. He never wants to go to the dentist again. Bad experience....:(
Concerned Mom

Moss Point, MS

#271 Jun 17, 2011
Why is action not being taken for those children with the bruising? THIS is NOT normal and would qualify as abuse it would seem!!
ashmatash

Norfolk, VA

#272 Jul 3, 2011
L Taylor wrote:
My 3 year old son had a procedure done at the Hampton office and so far it went good. He had w wisdom tooth pull. The only thing that I did not like was that I felt like my son was a gold fish in a bowl because I was told that I could not go in the back where he was gettting his teeth looked at and cleaned. But now that I know it is my right to be with him I will be.
3 year olds dont have wisdom teeth. They dont develop untill around age 16-17.
ashmatash

Norfolk, VA

#273 Jul 3, 2011
there is no charge for use of a "restraining blanket" and you should always come back into the operatory w/ your child while they are being treated.
ashmatash

Norfolk, VA

#274 Jul 3, 2011
Dr. Ben, I couldnt have said it better myself. Please everyone read Dr.Bens comments, truely read them, as they are the guildlines we follow (as do any other childrens dentist) and since everyone who is posting these sorts of things must be, a licenced doctor in the feild of dentistry- if you dont consent for it, dont sign for it. Take a second and read what you are signing, ask questions- get informed. But please, dont sit on the sidelines, and judge what people work hard at every day. You dont get a dental licence out of a cracker-jack box it takes over a decade of
continued education to do what they do. Please respect the profession and what Kool smiles provides & perhaps try a little harder to see for yourself, rather than off a forum in order to make the choice of treatment for your child.
ashmatash

Norfolk, VA

#275 Jul 3, 2011
Kool smiles manually brushes childrens teeth who meet the following qualifications 1. Poor behavior/ uncooperative
2. age 3 or under.
And the "deep cleaning" your talking about is something that is done for an adult w/ periodontal disease. What does someone speaking or not speaking english have anything to do with their qualifications as a dentist? Your behavior set the tone for your childs appointment, not the staffs. You let your child think that the dentist was going to hurt them. This is what people dont -realize. P.s- Regular brushing and flossing can prevent the need for crowns, crowns are placed for decay present between the teeth.
Act like a grown up lady jeez.

ashmatash

Norfolk, VA

#276 Jul 3, 2011
**everyone who is above age three & coopeative gets a prophy cleaning w/ a dental tool.

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