Bryn Mawr, PA – ABC News reports that a receptionist and dental assistant were arraigned Monday in Montgomery County Pennsylvania for allegedly performing complicated dental procedures, including root canals. Cheryl Lainge, dental assistant, and receptionist Jessica Gullickson are accused of using the dental office, where they worked during the day as a low-cost clinic for uninsured patients at night. Prosecutors have identified three patients of the phony dental practice so far.
According to another source from ABC News, Lainge was presenting herself to patients as a licensed dentist and with Gullickson was performing some frightening procedures. The unsuspecting patients were being given X-rays, root canals, and having teeth pulled by the office assistants. The procedures, which included administration of medications were done without reviewing the patients’ medical history.
The patients were led to Lainge and Gullickson by word-of-mouth and were asked to pay only with cash. No records were kept of procedures performed or patient names.
The owner of Smilz 4 Life, Dr. Alan Fan maintains that he was unaware of what occurred in his office after-hours. A statement from his attorney Barry Gross states:
“My client was shocked and dismayed to learn that the practice he worked so hard to build was being used in this after-hours manner. He was not aware of these activities and had cooperated fully with the authorities and will continue to do so. We want to express our sincere thanks to the Lower Merion Police Department and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office for their ongoing efforts in this case.“
The dental assistant and receptionist were charged with corrupt organizations, criminal conspiracy, theft by deception, unauthorized practice of dentistry and reckless endangerment. Both women are now free on $10,000 unsecured bail according to mcall.com.
Investigators are using the log from the X-ray machine to identify possible victims. Authorities encourage anyone who received after-hours dental care in the Smilz 4 Life office to contact Detective John Mick at 610-645-6229.
As of Monday the Smilz 4 Life office was still open. There is a website where anyone who is interested can arrange an appointment.